Interesting news that Microsoft president of its Platform and Services division Kevin Johnson is leaving the company. Apparently he’s heading over to become CEO of Juniper Networks, the manufacturer of networking hardware. As Om reports, this hire, and some other recent ones, point to a shift in strategy for Juniper.

So what’s the relevance for a blog that talks about SaaS? As a commenter reminded us, "expensive routers are nothing more than software wrapped in expensive hardware". So it’s natural that Juniper would want a CEO with software experience.

There is also some rumour that Juniper is considering offering SaaS apps for network management/QoS. Excellent – hardware plus services – H+S

Now all this is really interesting for those in the network management industry, but even more interesting is to see how flexible even big businesses are becoming in terms of there strategies. Now only yesterday I lambasted Foldera for it’s bizarre turn-on-a-dime strategy shift, but this Juniper shift, if it eventuates, is a smart move.

It’s about finding core competencies and augmenting the scope of those competencies – if you make network hardware, which includes some smart embedded software, it’s a smart and obvious move to introduce some external software offerings that both add to the existing offerings, leverage off the successes of the existing offerings and simultaneously provide some discrete diversified revenue opportunities. Nice move – watch this space.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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