HPE Aruba to launch low-end range and attack Cisco's SMB stronghold

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HPE Aruba to launch low-end range and attack Cisco's SMB stronghold

Aruba Networks chief executive Dominic Orr says the networking vendor, for the first time, is building a new low-end product line that partners say is sure to take a bite out of Cisco's SMB share.

Orr said he planned to leverage the Hewlett Packard Enterprise SMB channel muscle to break into the SMB market early next year.

"We traditionally have not been very focused on SMB, so for us, it is totally a market untapped," said Orr in an interview with CRN USA. "Aruba's product is not low-end oriented. Since the [HPE] merger, we have been working on a low-end line of products… We have to tap into the HPE SMB engine which they have."

Orr expects to launch the new low-end SMB product lines for both wireless and switching in early 2017.

He said cloud-based networking management was important for SMB companies and an area where Aruba wanted to drive sales through the channel with the company's cloud-based network management and monitoring solution: Aruba Central.

"I do want to enable our channel partners so that they could have the price-point and they will be able to centralise-manage a lot of small customers," said Orr. "So the cloud-based management we call Aruba Central and the low-end product lines for both the switching and wireless component, and then tapping into the HPE SMB engine [is our plan]."

Cisco declined to comment on this story.

HPE and Aruba had been relatively quiet following HPE's acquisition of Aruba for US$3 billion (A$4 billion) in May of 2015.

At HPE's 2016 Global Partner Conference in Boston in September, the two companies unveiled their first-ever joint partner program, combining the best elements of the Aruba Partner Edge and HPE Partner Ready programs. The new Partner Ready for Networking Program became the company's new networking channel go-to-market strategy. 

Additional reporting by Steve Burke.

This article originally appeared at crn.com

Copyright © 2016 The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
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