From ensuring users can navigate the challenges of a COVID-19 work environment to creating hospital gowns with smart tracking capabilities, Juniper Networks is a technology company building a wide variety of solutions for its customers. While many of these behind-the-scenes solutions might initially go unnoticed, they ensure clients like the Department of Veterans Affairs run as smoothly as possible.
Bob Dunn, vice president global federal markets at Juniper Networks, credits the company culture for Juniper’s success. According to Dunn, it’s always about the mission and the business impact.
Juniper delivers high-performance networking solutions and artificial intelligence (AI) driven security to scale services. The company offers certified, open standards technologies and their security resolves threats quickly. They work side-by-side with agency partners to support specialized operations and offer a streamlined shift to the cloud with simple solutions. The company has a vertical team called Juniper Federal that is dedicated solely to the unique needs and mission sets of the federal government.
“Juniper, as a company, has always been extremely supportive of the federal mission, whatever that mission may be,” Dunn said.
“It’s always about the user experience, so we don’t want the WIFI going down. We don’t want latency,” Dunn said. Through technology, Juniper helps clients have the insights to rapidly fix and repair any hiccups so the solution – a phone call, video conference or a full-on webinar – works.
Another important component for the company is open communication.
“Without great communications, many of the solutions or business objectives of our customers simply will not work,” Dunn said.
Last year, the company incorporated Mist Cloud Architecture into their portfolio. The Mist solution allows Juniper to provide wired and wireless AI, provisioning and management solutions for clients and end users. The result is simplified and automated operations for IT teams.
“Our Mist solution backed up by our switches and other portfolios allow for that. It does a lot of self-monitoring, self-healing and we are expanding that within our entire network,” Dunn said.
In the era of COVID-19, the company is using innovation to meet the challenges of the moment.
“The Mist capability is one in which, with wired assurance and artificial intelligence, we can do things like contact tracing,” Dunn said.
In some of their offices, Juniper has set up AI contact tracing. For example, if you know a few people were in the conference room, Dunn explains, and others had access to those individuals. “One person may have been found to have COVID. And so, through the Mist system, we’re able to track who was around whom, where were they at what time and it’s all automated. Now lucky for us, no one has contracted COVID. So that’s good but the capability is there,” he said.
Going forward, Juniper believes innovation like this creative use of AI could be of tremendous value to a wide variety of clients. One of those clients is VA, which Dunn says is very close to their hearts because of the sacrifices veterans have made for the greater good.
“They are protecting our freedoms; they are putting themselves at risk,” he said
Juniper’s developed technology to track wheel chairs and ventilators to ensure that VA assets are not only protected but available to the nearest point of need. In one particular case, Juniper has developed RFI technology that could be sewn into gowns of patients with mental challenges. If they get too close to an exit door, the door is automatically locked to prevent harm to the patient.
On a personal note, Dunn has worked with both the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Gallant Few, two organizations committed to serving veterans. Dunn’s friend, Sergeant First Class Michael Schlitz, serves as a reminder of the impact of Juniper’s programs on the lives of veterans. While on deployment in Iraq, the vehicle Schlitz was riding in was hit was an improvised explosive device (IED). Three others were killed in the blast and Schlitz sustained massive injuries, losing both hands and sustaining burns on 85% of his body. When the team at Juniper is designing products, Dunn says, the end goal is to aid those who have sacrificed like Schlitz.
“Michael is that personal connection for me. That personal touch serves to remind me every day of not only what we can do personally for our veterans but what Juniper as a company can do for the VA customer,” he concluded.