Adios Aruba: Meru Promotion Aims To Lure Partners Wary Of HP Buy

Meru Networks is trying to capitalize on fears stemming from last month's announcement of Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Aruba Networks by offering a 50 percent discount and incentives to any Aruba partner who is willing to make the jump to Meru.

"A bunch of Aruba customers reached out to us once the HP acquisition was announced to evaluate what Meru could do for them," said Sarosh Vesuna, senior vice president and general manager of Meru's Enterprise Networking Business. "We initially brought on a handful of Aruba customers. … We're reaching out to them now. There is going to be some churn in the channel and we want to take advantage of it."

On Thursday, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based wireless infrastructure vendor launched Adios Aruba -- a promotion offering up to a 50 percent discount for any Aruba or HP partner who switches to Meru. Aruba partners who apply and are accepted into Meru's Partner Program will also receive additional cash incentives, free demo equipment, and free sales and technical training.

[Related: HP-Aruba Acquisition Creating Opportunity For Wi-Fi Competitors]

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Vesuna said Meru reviewed what he said was HP's poor history of wireless acquisitions, such as Colubris and 3Com, and thought Aruba partners would be seeking an alternative.

"I'm not surprised to see Meru launching an aggressive campaign at this time," said Jason Gress, president and co-founder of InterVision Systems Technologies, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider partner of Aruba, in an email. "Like many channel partners, I had initial concerns about the viability of HP's acquisition of Aruba. There's now more clarity in the market on the potential benefits of the deal and the direction HP will take its networking business."

Gress said the Adios Aruba promotion will benefit customers looking for an Aruba substitution, although he doesn't believe the campaign is going to "significantly" impact the market.

Vesuna said the promotion is geared toward Aruba partners who carry Cisco Systems-wired switches.

"Partners don't know whether HP will force them to carry HP products from their wired side, which would compete with Cisco wired product. We don’t mind if they carry Cisco," said Vesuna.