In a potentially transformative deal for the tech industry, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is in discussions to purchase Juniper Networks for $13 billion, according to Reuters.
This acquisition could be strategically crucial for HPE as it seeks to expand its reach in the AI and related markets that are becoming increasingly competitive.
“HPE is experiencing a plateau in growth within its established market segments,” said Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and CEO at Greyhound Research. “To catalyze growth, aligning with Juniper could be strategic. HPE’s networking subsidiary, Aruba Networks, would complement Juniper’s robust SD-WAN, cloud, and AI services, potentially enhancing HPE’s market offering and competitive edge in networking.”
Countering competition and arming for the AI drive
This deal presents multiple advantages for HPE. First, the company’s networking portfolio, which currently falls short compared to that of Cisco, will be significantly strengthened through this acquisition, positioning it as a formidable competitor.
“Juniper is a top vendor in the global networking equipment market, trailing behind Cisco, with an estimated annual networking revenue at $2.6 Billion in 2023, excluding security solutions, software subscriptions, and professional services revenues,” said Gina Luk, practice head at TechInsights Telecom Strategies. “The acquisition could boost HPE’s market share, potentially making it a stronger competitor against Cisco and Extreme Networks in the high-growth areas of 5G and cloud networking.”
Perhaps more significantly, the inclusion of Juniper’s AI interests, particularly its Mist AI, is of strategic importance to HPE. This is due to HPE’s shift in computing strategy, which is increasingly focused on enabling a broad spectrum of AI applications.