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Keerti Melkote On Aruba ESP Vs. Cisco Meraki, Silver Peak Plans, And How Aruba As-A-Service Isn’t Simply ‘Repackaging’

Gina Narcisi

Aruba is incentivizing partners to pursue the as-a-service model and the vendors’s ESP platform is winning against Cisco Meraki and Juniper Mist. Meanwhile, Aruba has big plans for its Silver Peak purchase, Aruba Networks’ longtime leader Keerti Melkote told CRN.

Are you seeing more partners go down the MSP road today as a result of the last year?  

Absolutely. In fact, I heard from a partner that has a hosted cloud service because they’re seeing a big pickup in the cloud. They’re already offering ClearPass in the cloud, and now they’re offering Silver Peak in the cloud. It’s their opportunity to differentiate; take the software, host in the cloud, and deliver it as-a-service. We’re certainly seeing a lot more uptick from our partners. And I think [regarding] the pandemic, our default motion used to be when the customer says, “Hey, I’m rolling out a big project and I need some help from you,” [the partner’s] default reaction tends to be ”Okay, you’re an important customer, let me make sure that I sent a couple of my best engineers to work side by side with you to make it happen.” And their reaction is, ”I appreciated it, but I can’t let them on the premise because of COVID protocols.” The amount of time it takes to get them permission; it’s too painful for them. Now, [the customer is asking] how people don’t have to come on site, but [still] help, so it’s forcing us to transform, and our partners to transform, because we used to take for granted that we can go on site and help our customers, [but now] it’s forcing us to think differently and do more work remotely.

When will focusing on the edge not be enough?

We’re already starting to talk about edge to cloud. The point is it has to come together. Even when we talk about the edge, we talked about it being delivered from the cloud, so I think the broad architecture -- and this is for the next decade -- I see edge to cloud becoming the de facto architecture, Where data center, cloud and edge -- those three worlds have to come together in a common architecture. The incremental opportunities I see beyond what we do right now. security’s going to be a massive, I would say additional opportunity on top of the ordinary network compute and storage infrastructure that partners can sell.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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