As it becomes increasingly easier to connect the digital and physical worlds, businesses are seeking to reinvent their physical workspaces. As with a digital transformation, a physical transformation can help a business run more efficiently and create new opportunities for employees.
The smart office trend has opened up a new opportunity for Aruba, which represents HPE's networking portfolio. Already a $2.5 billion business, Aruba is now partnering with a range of companies, some outside of the technology industry, to build smart digital workplaces.
"It really takes a village to make this idea of the smart digital workplace come to life," Janice Le, Aruba's VP of global marketing," said to ZDNet. "It's no longer just about IT or about construction or design, it's really the intersection of it all."
In the commercial real estate sector, where a significant portion of smart building IoT spending happens, Aruba is working with the major firm CBRE. "They look at the role of the network as integral to the building," Le said. "The network is the building, and we view the building as an extension of the network."
Inside the building, Aruba is working with HermanMiller on furnishings like connected desks that can be used to customize ergonomic settings. Its lighting and space management partners include Lunera, which makes connected lightbulbs, along with Patrocinium, AccelTex Solutions and SpaceIQ.
Patrocinium provides crisis management technology that can help building managers keep spaces safe. This kind of technology has become increasingly valuable, Le said, in countries that are implementing regulations requiring real estate managers to account for everyone in their building in the event of an emergency.
For visitor registration and room reservations, Aruba is working with Teem, Robin and Envoy. Aruba also has communication and collaboration partnerships with Microsoft Teams and Zoom. For smart workplace consulting, Aruba has teamed up with Deloitte.
In all of these partnerships, Le said, Aruba's role is "about enabling new types of business applications that rely on connectivity to always be on and performing optimally."