Juniper Networks is laying off 500 workers, or about 5 percent of its total workforce. Initially, rumors suggested that those layoffs would primarily affect personnel working on Juniper's QFabric line, but Juniper later said those rumors were "inaccurate."
TechTarget's Shamus McGillicuddy first reported the job cuts, writing, "Some industry insiders said the team responsible for Juniper's QFabric data center networking technology has been particularly targeted for staff reductions. The technology has received positive reviews, but uptake has been slow. Juniper recently added new components to QFabric to make it more affordable to midmarket enterprises. One insider at a competing vendor said senior members of the QFabric team are actively looking for work."
But Juniper disputed that account. Network World reported that a spokesperson said, "Our actions to reduce operating expenses fall across our support functions, including supply chain, procurement, SG&A, as well as R&D." Juniper added, "We are committed to our QFabric business and product innovation roadmap, and we are continuing to add both hardware and software functionality to the QFabric roadmap."
Reporting for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Peter Burrows wrote, "The jobs being eliminated are part of a plan outlined in July to cut costs by $150 million by 2013, said Ellen Roeckl, a spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper. The company is dealing with slowing spending by large phone companies, and fiercer competition from market leader Cisco, which has refocused on its core business of selling routers and Internet switches in the past year."
And eWeek's Jeffrey Burt noted, "Juniper is not the only top-tier networking vendor looking to job cuts to help offset changes in their business. In July, Cisco System executives announced another 1,300 layoffs, blaming the move on the global economy and weak corporate IT spending. That came a year after the networking giant announced 6,500 job cuts as part of a larger restructuring effort. Days after Cisco announced the 1,300 job reduction, Alcatel-Lucent executives said they were cutting 5,000 positions in hopes of stabilizing their financial situation."