Aruba: Partners Will Profit From HP Acquisition, Open System Networking Vision

Aruba Networks is ensuring its channel community that the acquisition expected to close this summer from Hewlett-Packard will not hurt their companies' business. It will, in fact, allow them to grow even larger and become more profitable thanks to an open system networking vision, the company said.

Greg Murphy, vice president of business operations, told CRN that Aruba's culture and philosophies instilled by CEO and President Dominic Orr of open system networking will stay the same.

"We'll be maintaining one of the real things important philosophically to Dominic, which is that we have a very open system architecture, multivendor support policy because we know that lots of our partners choose different vendors that they're going to work with, and we give them the ability to integrate those technologies and products into mobility solutions that work and deliver value they need," said Murphy, in an interview with CRN. "We think this will be a very strategic move that will help our partners grow their businesses and grow their profitability."

[Related: Despite Strong Q2 Earnings, Aruba Partners Jittery About Possible HP Acquisition]

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Aruba and HP officially entered into an agreement Monday under which HP will acquire Aruba for $3 billion in equity value. Upon closing, Aruba will become a subsidiary of HP and will combine with the existing HP networking business with Aruba's mobility solution within HP led by Orr, according to Murphy.

"[Partners] are going to take a lot of comfort from the fact that Orr will be running the Aruba brand," said Murphy.

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Aruba said it will be continue to invest in open systems, multivendor policy management and network management, with both companies sharing a vision of open system networking "with compatible solution components rather than proprietary systems that lead to vendor lock-in," said Orr in an email sent to partners.

"We know a lot of our partners work with other vendors and infrastructures providers in the space … we have a very open system philosophy with software solution support for multiple vendors and we built them that way because we know that it's important for our partners to be able to provide flexibility and support to their customers and that's something philosophically always been very important to Aruba," said Murphy.

Murphy said Aruba sees the industry at an inflection point where campus networks are shifting toward "mobility-first" and by working together with HP, they have a "huge" opportunity to capitalize on the trend and accelerate their go-to-market strategy.

NEXT: Murphy: Aruba Partners To Gain Resources, Better Portfolio

"Aruba partners are going to have far greater resources available to them, a broader solution portfolio that's available to them, better ability to drive business and demand," said Murphy. "Frankly, we think that combining with HP, that we and our partners will get higher-level access to larger enterprises than we're currently able to do by ourselves, and that is one of the main strategic drivers for this."

Aruba is planning for HP's switching business to expand its wireless and wired solution opportunities in the market, while HP's channel also allows Aruba partners to expand into the SME market.

"This transaction brings together Aruba's best-of-breed mobility hardware and software solutions with HP's leading switching portfolio," said Orr in a press release. "Aruba's channel partners will have the opportunity to expand their businesses with HP offerings."

The acquisition is expected to close between May and October. Orr said Aruba will continue to operate as an independent company and partners will continue their day-to-day business as usual, according to the company.