September 12, 2006 9:49 AM PDT
Symantec, Juniper Networks partner
The partnership is designed to bolster Juniper's security lineup while moving Symantec beyond security and storage and further into network technology. Symantec's move to forge closer ties between the security industry and system management providers and network players should also help it fend off Microsoft, which is venturing agressively into security with Windows Vista.
"Clearly, our customers are demanding a more comprehensive approach to security," said John Thompson, chief executive of Symantec. "Security will be controlled by those that are dominant in the network. Juniper?is in the appliance area and Symantec in the content area."
Under the partnership, Symantec's antispam technology, as well as its identity and intrusion prevention technologies, will be marketed with Juniper's Unified Threat Management and intrusion detection and intrusion prevention products. The expectation is that the companies can deliver co-branded products in the next 90 to 120 days. Symantec will also provide Juniper with vulnerability information and security research in the near term.
In the future, the companies expect to collaborate on integrating Symantec's security content into Juniper's network devices with the aid of open-source technology.
The deal is nonexclusive, and in formulating the partnership, Thompson said, merger considerations were not part of the discussion. He added Symantec is "fully occupied" with integrating storage specialist Veritas Software, which it acquired last year, into the company's product line.
Juniper, which made its big entry into the security industry with its acquisition of NetScreen Technologies in 2004, found its customers were wanting a more comprehensive approach to security, said Scott Kriens, Juniper's chief executive.
The companies have had a longstanding relationship, with Symantec's antispam software running on Juniper's devices, but Juniper's customers were requesting more security features, such as antivirus and e-mail scanning, Kriens noted.
The partnership announcement comes on the heels of the launch last week by Cisco Systems and Microsoft of a new architecture designed to allow their security technology platforms to operate together.
Microsoft is becoming a greater rival to Symantec as it dips further into security products. Microsoft also has the potential to undercut prices by using its security technology as a loss leader to help sell its other business software. And in August, Microsoft added to its security expertise by hiring Vincent Gullotto, former head of McAfee's Antivirus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team.