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New Aruba Instant On Switch Series Powers SMB Networking, Digital Transformation

The networking specialist has unveiled a new family of Aruba Instant On switches to address new SMB networking demands that are being driven by the influx in remote working and connectivity challenges.

Aruba Networks, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is reinforcing its portfolio designed specifically for small and midsized businesses with a new family of switches to tackle new pressures facing SMB networks with remote working and digital transformation on the rise.

The Aruba Instant On 1930 Series is an "enterprise-grade" family of seven new switches that can be easily deployed, centrally-managed, and maintained by managed service providers and SMB customers, said Amol Mitra, vice president and general manager of global small and medium business for Aruba Networks.

Aruba Instant On 1930 Series targets the higher-end of the SMB space and joins Aruba's existing Instant On switch products for SMBs, the 1920 Series. The new switches can work alongside Aruba's Instant On wireless indoor and outdoor access points that were introduced last June, which took aim at small business Wi-Fi vendors and Cisco's Meraki line.

[Related: Aruba Networks’ CEO: Remote Access Critical In Post-COVID-19 World]

SMB networking is challenging under typical circumstances, but the current COVID-19 pandemic is placing brand-new pressure on small businesses who may not have the IT resources to handle networking challenges, such as fluctuating network demand due to social distancing orders or moving their customer engagements from mainly in-person interactions to virtual, Mitra said.

Despite small businesses being hit hard by the coronavirus crisis from a financial standpoint, many SMBs are still looking to enhance the capacity of their existing networking environments as they digitally transform their businesses, Mitra said.

"SMBs are expected to increase spend to just make sure they have the connectivity and communications they need during these uncertain times," he said. "These companies are looking at new ways to adjust their routes to market, like offering online-only services, as they transition to this new norm."

Freemont, Calif.-based solution provider giant SYNNEX has built a separate practice for SMBs that has taken off, said Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing, North America, for SYNNEX, an Aruba partner.

"I think going after the SMB market is a very smart move on the part of Aruba and I hate to say it, but the timing is perfect because of so many people working from home," Stegner said. "A lot of people aren't set up and SMB resellers need to make it as easy as possible to get [end customers] up and running quickly and easily."

SYNNEX is already offering Aruba's Instant On wireless products and the new switches create a full SMB networking solution for channel partners and end customers, Stegner said. "It's wired and wireless under one management tool, and the thing I like is that there is no licensing," he said.

Channel partners are Aruba's primary route to market for its SMB portfolio. For solution providers, the new switches can open new doors for wired sales with customers who may already have Aruba's wireless products in their environment. The portfolio also presents new revenue opportunities around managed services, Aruba's Mitra said.

"Partners can deliver value-added services, such as remote IT management, configuration, or post-sales support. Because these products are so easy to install and use, partners can add on services beyond just installation to increase their revenue and profitability," he said.

The Aruba Instant On 1930 Series includes flexible configurations with 8, 24, or 48 1G ports with PoE and 10G connectivity, as well as enhanced PoE+ on all ports to target and power a range of Internet of Things endpoints. The switches themselves are easy to for anyone to plug in and configure in a do-it-yourself fashion, according to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Aruba.

The new line of switches can be managed via Aruba's cloud-based Instant On desktop or mobile app for wired and wireless management. The platform doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the Aruba's flagship, cloud-based management platform for enterprises, Aruba Central, but the Instant On management platform is right-sized for smaller businesses and their specific use cases, Mitra said.

"We've taken the richness of the features of [Aruba] Central and boiled it down to an app that is very lightweight," he added.

Aruba said that latest Instant On 1930 Switch Series will available beginning June 1 directly to customers and through the channel.

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