Despite channel uncertainty surrounding Juniper Networks' purchase of security vendor NetScreen, resellers have welcomed the move, hoping it will help them compete with Cisco.
The deal, worth $3.4bn, is set to propel the routing vendor into enterprise accounts against Cisco and is expected to clear in the second quarter after approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and shareholders.
"NetScreen is an 800lb gorilla, but it's just been swallowed by a 5,000lb gorilla," said Ian Kilpatrick, managing director of distributor Wick Hill.
A source at NetScreen told CRN: "Juniper has 24 out of the 25 biggest service providers in the world as customers, and we reach most of the enterprise market.
"Our channel is waking up to the idea that if Juniper delivers, they'll have an opportunity to go after Cisco business."
But neither firm has released any information on how the acquisition will affect their routes to market.
NetScreen currently operates a two-tier model using four distributors, although CRN revealed last week that this is under review. Juniper sells to large carriers through a direct salesforce, large system integrators and vendors.
Richard Brandon, EMEA marketing director at Juniper, said: "We have a largely indirect model in the UK and do business through a small number of integrators.
"We don't have the same channel as NetScreen and that is valuable. We can take advantage of each other's channels."
Peter Crowcombe, product marketing manager at NetScreen, said: "[Cisco] is one of our biggest rivals in security. It's inevitable that a combined business will come up against them."
David Grant, managing director of VAR Bedrock Networks, said: "Juniper has a product range in our market, but it is impossible to get hold of it. This has meant sometimes we have had to sell Cisco, which we would rather not do.
"If we could have access to its products in six months it would be great. The only problem with this buy is both firms may become too inwardly focused."
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