The 10 Biggest Networking Stories Of 2016

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1. HPE-Aruba (Finally) Hits Its Stride

It took 16 months after HPE acquired Aruba Networks in May 2015 for the two companies to finally come together in a synergistic way. This happened in September at HPE's 2016 Global Partner Conference in Boston with the launch of its first-ever joint partner program – combining the best elements of the Aruba Partner Edge and HPE Partner Ready programs along with a new platform and consumption model aimed at driving recurring revenue for the channel.

In an interview with CRN, Aruba CEO Dominic Orr said his company plans to now accelerate its acquisition strategy around software as well as launch a new networking product line for the SMB market with the backing of HPE. The companies also launched in November a new Internet of Things strategy together alongside joint solutions.

Partners said organizations now see, for the first time in years, a company that can compete end to end with Cisco. "Aruba and HPE are really now competing against Cisco, and I'm seeing more companies becoming ABC -- 'Anything But Cisco," said Charles Koehler, the lead Aruba enterprise architect for Denver-based solution provider Optiv Security, ranked No. 25 on CRN's 2016 Solution Provider 500 list.

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