Aruba Networks Enhances Its Partner Program
Now that Aruba has extended its product portfolio into the small and midsize enterprise space, the company is looking for solution providers to help take those products to market.
Aruba Networks this week extended its PartnerEdge Program, which now provides solution providers that sign up for the program access to a dedicated channel account manager and sales engineer to help focus their selling efforts. Previously, Aruba only provided access to those types of resources to partners focused on enterprise accounts.
The company will also give those new partners access to the Aruba partner portal and Aruba Quotient mobile applications, including access to deal registration financial incentives. Partners also get free sales training and certifications along with access to a 30-day license to Aruba Central, the cloud platform that Aruba Networks created to manage its wireless access points.
Aruba Central is already used fairly extensively by the company's partners to create a managed service around Aruba wireless network deployments, according to Jim Harold, vice president of channels for Aruba Networks.
"A lot of customers simply don't have the resources to manage the network," Harold said. "And yet, they are still moving toward the next-generation all-wireless office.
The ascendency of wireless networks, coupled with the rise of mobile computing applications that are starved for more bandwidth, is creating demand for wireless networks based on the 802.11 ac standard. Aruba Networks is taking advantage of that standard to expand its presence in the channel at a time when many customers are ripping and replacing wireless networks based on previous standards that are not up to meeting their current bandwidth requirements, Harold said.
That transition is creating an opportunity for solution providers in the channel to either resell next-generation 802.11 ac controllers and access points or set up a managed service that allows them to bill for their management services on a recurring basis, he said. In either scenario, with the explosion of mobile devices and applications in the enterprise, it's really a matter of time before most IT organizations will be upgrading their wireless networks.
Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.