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Aruba Networks readies for growth with HP acquisition

Aruba Networks co-founder and chief technology officer Keerti Melkote explains how the company plans to benefit from the Hewlett-Packard acquisition.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Wireless network provider Aruba Networks is gearing up and looking forward to seeing the benefits after recently being acquired by Hewlett-Packard, according to Keerti Melkote, Aruba co-founder and chief technology officer.

Speaking to ZDNet, Melkote said under the deal valued at $3 billion, Aruba will remain its own entity, and over time all HP networking products including wireless and WLAN will be rebranded as Aruba.

"Aruba will be the go-forward networking brand for HPE," he said.

Melkote added that while the company was made several acquisition offers in the past, particularly after the company went public in 2007, there was no rush at the time to accept any of them. Instead, Melkote said Aruba was focused on building the business, but when HP's offer came along it was one that was too difficult to turn down.

"We were looking for a big partner that could help us grow into the larger enterprises, as well as to the small medium enterprise market, and so were looking for a big brother that could take us to those markets, and that's when HP approached us," he said.

He believes combining Aruba's existing wireless networking capabilities with HP's will see the two companies deliver an end to end wireless solution to customers.

"The idea of driving a mobile-first architecture in a customer's mind ... in the past it was about building networks to a person's desk where you could connect the computer and phone, but now most office spaces are migrating to a mobile-first workplace and people are roaming around using their mobile device for everything. In that world you don't need that much wireless and that's the reason why we're building out our network architecture," he said.

The acquisition also comes at a time of HP's corporate split and transformation. Commenting on HP's move to form Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Melkote said the acquisition couldn't have come at a more suitable time.

Further to this, Melkote said there is a strong endorsement among some of Aruba's Australian customers including Westfield, Crown Casino, Federation Square, and Dick Smith for wireless capabilities, to boost not only back-office productivity, but also front-office capabilities as they connect with their customers.

"IT organisations are looking for the next win on how you can take productivity higher. What they're finding is mobility can boost productivity because you now have at your fingertips the ability to communicate with people anywhere, and not just at your desk," he said.

"We're also all mobile professionals so getting access to applications and business communications wherever we are is a priority."

He added that the other reason is the entrance of the "genmobile" into the workforce, saying that in order for businesses to attract new generation talent, it's important for them to create a mobile-friendly environment.

In addition, Melkote said businesses are looking at new ways to engage with customers in a meaningful way to boost revenue and customer satisfaction.

"While there may not be any real productive gains, there's real m-commerce benefits to be had if you can connect to your customers and know where they are so you can help navigate them through your store or your public event."

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