Aruba Networks targets SMBs with new channel program

Network gear vendor Aruba Networks Inc. is lining up a set of new products and a new channel team to help its partners meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses.

The company said it is also looking looking at its “non-authorized” partner community to beef up the numbers of its authorized partners to bring about this fresh global initiative to target SMBs.

With its Aruba Central cloud management solution and Instant controllerless access points, Aruba (NASDAQ: ARUN) said it has already experienced significant growth among SMBs looking for the performance and security features of enterprise-grade wireless local area networks (WLANs) in a scalable yet simple and affordable package.

The company also recently announced its 200 Series of introductory-level dual radio access points designed for medium density SMB Wi-Fi environments and its 210 Series Aps for high-performance requirements in medium density SMB deployments.

“The traction we’ve experienced with Aruba Instant and Aruba Central, as well as the significant number of partners we’ve signed in such a short timeframe indicates that our Aruba Cloud Wi-Fi Solution is quickly becoming the WLAN solution of choice for SMBs,” said Karl Soderlund, vice president, worldwide channels for Aruba Networks. “Given this dynamic, we recognized that building the SMB channel and ensuring that our partners have the right training, tools and perks to drive business opportunities was critical to our continued success.”

According to telecommunications and networking market information firm Dell’ Oro Group, the annual SMB WLAN market opportunity could reach $1.3 billion in several years, as SMBs and distributed enterprises seek to upgrade both from small office/home office (SOHO) class devices as well as toward higher-performing 802.11ac devices. Only half of the world’ SMBs’ networking needs are being served.

Aruba is using its existing PartnerEdge Program as a foundation for its SMB push. The company is introducing new training promotions and sales enablement support tailored for the SMB market to help new partners develop new solution expertise.

Each partner will go through a 90-day onboarding cycle that includes:

  • Aruba Partner portal access and Aruba Quotient mobile application
  • Dedicated support from an Inside Channel Account Manager and Inside Channel SE
  • Demo equipment offers
  • Access to deal registration financial incentives
  • Preferred pricing and targeted promotions to drive incremental business
  • Cloud Wi-Fi training with a 30-day license to use Aruba Central
  • Free sales specialist training and certifications

Authorized partners will also receive a limited number of technical training vouchers each fiscal year to cover a wide variety of certifications that are required to progress within the Aruba PartnerEdge Program.

Aruba also introduced promotions designed specifically for the SMB channel. Aruba will offer SME customers a special, $50 Aruba Central introductory price, as well as a “buy four, get one free” Instant AP promotion.

Aruba will also offer partners a K-12 promotion bundling Aruba Central or AirWave with Instant APs, a discount for new and dormant partners and a $20 per Instant AP for partner representatives. Distributors can take advantage of a 10 per cent back-end rebate on Instant APs and Aruba Central bundles.

Aruba also created a channel team dedicated to the SMB market. The team will focus on partner recruitment, enablement and demand generation. Currently based in the company’s Oregon office, the ream will be grown to a global team by the end of 2014.


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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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