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Aruba Channel Leaders Push MSP Model With Program Updates For Partners

The networking specialist updated its MSP partner program around the Aruba Central and brand-new Aruba ESP platforms that partners can use to build out their managed services businesses, Aruba's channel leaders told CRN.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, has been nudging its partners toward a cloud-first model. To do that, the networking specialist has been making enhancements to its MSP program.

The 18-month old Aruba Partner Ready for MSP program now makes discounting easier for partners selling products and services. The program is also taking advantage of HPE's pocketbook, specifically HPE Financial Services (HPEFS) to give customers OPEX payment options, Aruba channel leaders told CRN.

"We have a lot more flexible financing options, anything from rentals or leasing options to help partners from a deployment standpoint," said Jim Harold, vice president of channels for Aruba Networks.

Aruba's Channel Chief Donna Grothjan said the MSP program updates couldn't come at a better time with the company having just introduced the Aruba Edge Services Platform (ESP) on Tuesday, which ties the entire networking portfolio together, including the infrastructure layer, the policy layer, and the services layer. From there, solution providers can use the multi-tenant Aruba Central platform to deliver these valuable services across data centers, campus environments, and remote user locations.

"With Aruba Central being the single pane of glass, the [MSP] program really supports the efforts of that platform," she said.

[Related: Aruba Networks' Keerti Melkote: The Edge Is The 'Exact Opposite' Of The Cloud]

Grothjan wants Aruba partners to know that they have choice in how they work with HPE and Aruba Networks. "They can go to the market under their own brand or under the Aruba brand. We want them to satisfy their customers' needs," she said.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Aruba knows that some partners also have different business models, depending on their offerings or customers. The Aruba MSP program joins the company's other programs, including the Aruba Partner Ready For Networking and GreenLake For Aruba program.

HPEFS in April announced $2 billion in financing as a form of payment relief for customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Payment Relief Program allows HPE and Aruba customers to defer over 90 percent of the total contract value of products and services until 2021.

Grothjan said that several new financing programs, including deferred or reduced payments upfront, are available through the channel. "[COVID-19] has enabled us to think about how we can help customers through the partners," she said.

Aruba also introduced a new cloud designation around Aruba Cloud Central three months ago; the Aruba Cloud Central Expert. The new designation has rallied partners around cloud-attach selling, with access to additional rewards, marketing resources, and technical training, Harold said.

About 184 partners so far have taken advantage of the latest designation in the last 90 days, Harold said.

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