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Yesterday morning’s news about a new alliance between Juniper Networks and Websense couldn’t have been welcomed to the folks over at Cisco Systems. It’s just the latest in a series of alliances designed to tighten the competitive noose against an increasingly isolationistic Cisco.

First, the news.

Websense, a leader in Web and content security, announced this morning an alliance to bundle its Web Security Gateway and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies on Juniper’s SRX Series Services Gateways. In the two company’s words, “The joint solution simplifies network topology and consolidates security functionality to optimize network service and performance.”

From my perspective, the alliance is significant in three ways. First, it consolidates security and networking functionality into a holistic solution that’s easier to deploy and manage by the customer. Second, it provides a richer value proposition for both Juniper and Websense when they go into deals against Cisco’s ASA security appliances. And third, it expands the potential market penetration for both Juniper and Websense since partners will have access to both vendors’ products.

The deal is actually a pretty big win for Websense, since its content and Web filtering technology is often dependent on a primary security and networking sale to create an opportunity. Being bundled with Juniper gear means its filtering and DLP technologies won’t require as much of a sales push.

And that’s the point of such alliances, especially when they’re lined up against Cisco.

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