The HPE-Aruba SMB product is targeted squarely in the market segment where Cisco is most vulnerable, said Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, a top HPE partner, No. 167 on the 2016 CRN SP500.
"It's still very difficult to take Cisco out of the core of the network," he said. "There are not a lot of enterprise companies that are willing to create turmoil by pulling out their core networking infrastructure. In the small and medium business market, Cisco is ripe to be taken out with products like Aruba and Force 10. Aruba is going to bring a lot of value for partners playing in that SMB segment."
Cisco declined to comment on this story.
HPE and Aruba had been relatively quiet following HPE's acquisition of Aruba for $3 billion in May of 2015.
At HPE's 2016 Global Partner Conference in Boston in September, the two companies unveiled their first-ever joint partner program, combining the best elements of the Aruba Partner Edge and HPE Partner Ready programs. The new Partner Ready for Networking Program became the company's new networking channel go-to-market strategy.
Additional reporting by Steve Burke.