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Dimension Data Sees ‘Double-Digit’ HPE Aruba Sales Growth Ahead

‘Our clients are coming to us and asking us to provide them with Aruba solutions and support,’ says Larry Van Deusen, director of Dimension Data’s wired and wireless networking business unit. ‘So we see Aruba taking market share aggressively especially around things like their SD Branch offering with the multinationals and globals we support.’

Global systems integration behemoth Dimension Data is betting big on its Aruba mobile/cloud first networking portfolio with an eye toward growing that business by double digits this year.

"We have aggressive growth goals to grow the business globally in double digits," said Larry Van Deusen, director of the wired and wireless networking business unit at Dimension Data, No. 9 on the CRN SP500, in an interview with CRN on the HPE Aruba partnership. "There is no pretense about that. Not only because we need to, but because our clients are coming to us and asking us to provide them with Aruba solutions and support. So we see Aruba taking market share aggressively especially around things like their SD Branch offering with the multinationals and globals we support."

HPE Aruba SD-Branch - which took top honors in CRN's 2018 Tech Innovator Awards for enterprise networking - combines new branch gateways and headend gateways with existing HPE Aruba technology, including ClearPass policy management software, to form an integrated SD-WAN, WLAN, LAN and security solution with robust network context built into the solution. Aruba is a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

The Aruba SD Branch offering is a "real opportunity for us," said Van Deusen. "We certainly see it as pull through and additive to the existing business that we already were doing around the wired and wireless portfolio. We see that as complementary and actually helping us to represent a (full Aruba) value proposition."

Dimension Data's HPE Aruba business in Asia is growing at a "double-digit" clip, said Van Deusen. "In places like Europe we are going to continue to invest in that relationship to grow it out," he said. "We definitely see Aruba as helping us to grow our business aggressively." Dimension Data was also recently named Aruba Growth Partner of the Year in South Africa.

Dimension Data has teamed closely with HPE Aruba on building outs its managed services portfolio, said Van Deusen. "It's no big secret that our focus is around enhancing our managed services value proposition," he said. "We see Aruba playing a big part in that ecosystem."

The Aruba Central cloud management platform has been built from the ground up as an "MSP" offering which has opened the door for Dimension Data to "more easily adopt" that platform into its managed services portfolio, said Van Deusen.

"We see it as being the catalyst to allow us to effectively offer a solution to our clients where we can take the advantages and scale of the Aruba solution as well as the fact they built it in a multi-tenant fashion," he said. "That is going to allow us to more quickly accelerate those types of services and deliver what clients are basically asking for: cloud managed solutions around branch transformation and modernization with things like analytics and security built in or by design. We definitely see that as an advantage. We are moving as fast as we can to adopt it as part of our services strategy."

Dimension Data – which began partnering with HPE Aruba about two years ago- also sees a significant opportunity in HPE Aruba's big bet on the intelligent edge. "With regard to the intelligent edge, we line up similar in terms of our focus around workplace and then our strategy to grow our IoT (internet of things) business," said Van Deusen. "The word IoT sometimes is misused but if we look at the areas of disruption- retail, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing – those are going to continue to grow with us and we need partnerships like Aruba that are taking share and actually aggressively growing there to help us to compete globally and give clients choice."

That Dimension Data commitment to customer choice is, in fact, the "number one value proposition" that drives the HPE Aruba partnership, said Van Deusen. "They are giving us the capability to have a variety of consumption models to be able to provide our clients with the solutions that they want. They are continuing to invest in new technologies like security to enhance the edge portfolio, to add more capability. And then innovating in areas like the SD Branch offering."

Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide channels at Aruba, said the Dimension Data relationship is "extremely strategic" for HPE Aruba. "We have been and continue to do business with more global customers everyday," she said. "Dimension Data's capabilities and skills are in perfect alignment to what our needs are in supporting and working with global customers."

Van Deusen, for his part, said one of the keys to the Aruba partnership came with the global scale that HPE provided when it acquired Aruba three years ago. "With HPE acquiring Aruba it provided that scalability for us to take a more global capability to our clients in terms of not only the products, but services and channel programs and being able to scale that," he said.

Van Deusen also praised HPE's executive team led by HPE CEO Antonio Neri for "listening" closely to partner feedback and then modifying programs and offerings to "compete and win." Key to that is the central tenet of the HPE channel philosophy that partners are an extension of the HPE sales team. "Antonio was very clear that he sees us an extension of the HPE family," said Van Deusen.

Grothjan said Neri – a 24-year HPE veteran -- has always looked at partners as an extension of the HPE family. "It's not a new philosophy for the company, but certainly reinforcing it everyday is important," she says. "Antonio wants to ensure that everybody understands that."

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