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CRN Exclusive: Aruba President On Cisco's Software Shortcomings, Aruba's 30-1 Scaling Advantage And Why Cisco Customers Are 'Sick Of Being Dictated To'

Dominic Orr spoke with CRN about Aruba's battle against networking behemoth Cisco including Aruba's software and architectural advantages versus Cisco Meraki, Cisco's software-defined shortcomings and the changing customer networking landscape.

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Orr: Why Aruba Is A Software Company, And Cisco Is Not

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Aruba Networks President Dominic Orr, who has competed against Cisco for more than 20 years, says Aruba's software prowess – including its highly regarded ClearPass software and its Mobile First Platform – has forever changed the networking landscape for both customers and partners.

"Half of the customers have come up and said, 'Thank God there is now truly another choice," he says referring to Cisco's once tight grip on the networking market. "Until now, it's [been] one guy with a catalog and everybody has a one-page menu. Seriously, I walk into places, and people say, 'I've waited for 10 years, why did it take so long? Because I am being sick of being dictated to.'"

In a wide-ranging interview at Aruba headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., Orr talked about Aruba's software strengths, why Cisco is not a software company and he detailed Aruba's architectural and API (Application Programming Interface) advantages over the Cisco 'proprietary' networking model. He also explained why he thinks Aruba is the best platform for partners looking to build a recurring-revenue, wireless-as-a-service platform, under their own brand.

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