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Networking solutions provider, Juniper Networks (JNPR - Analyst Report) has announced a partnership with Thursby Software to offer secure solutions to government employees for accessing government resources via Apple (AAPL - Analyst Report) iOS devices.

The partnership involves the integration of Juniper’s Junos Pulse Secure Access Service and Thursby's PKard software and card reader hardware. This integration will enable government employees to use the same smartcard for both physical and virtual access to mobile or private networks through iPhones or iPads. Thursby’s position in the government vertical is a positive for the partnership and should help Juniper Networks expand its customer base.

Thursby is a market leader in enterprise Apple integration, management and security specialization. The Thursby PKard Toolkit secures the application development environment, simplifies app programming and facilitates app debugging.

Mobile devices have become critical to most people including government agencies and ministries worldwide. It is therefore all the more necessary to secure access to government networks. Smartcard authentication is a tool for government agencies to ensure secure and authenticated access through devices such as Apple iPhones and iPads.

Earlier, in order to further strengthen its position in networking solutions, Juniper Networks extended its partnership with VMware to offer solutions for connecting virtual and physical networks within a virtual data center. VMware is an industry-leading virtualization software company.

Juniper Networks on the other hand is a leading provider of networking solutions and communications devices. The company develops, designs and sells products that help to build network infrastructure, which are used for services and applications based on single Internet protocol networks worldwide.

However, the pending outcome of the SEC investigation, competition from Alcatel-Lucent, S.A. (ALU - Analyst Report) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO - Analyst Report), still-sluggish federal spending and unfavorable macroeconomic conditions remain near-term headwinds.

Currently, Juniper has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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