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HPE Aruba Channel Chief Grothjan On New Security Specializations, The Way Forward In An 'Open' Market, And Why 'The Time Is Now' In SD-WAN

HPE Aruba Vice President of Worldwide Channels Donna Grothjan talks with CRN about how she aims to make sure the channel program remains consistent and easy to use even as the company introduces new technologies.

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Differing Paths

Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide channels at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, says her aim is to make sure the channel program remains consistent and easy to use even as the company introduces new technologies, which it did during its Atmosphere conference last week in Las Vegas.

The company launched its NetInsight analytics offering, said it planned to acquire Cape Networks, and talked about an upcoming SD-WAN offering slated for this summer. Pulling all of that into a program framework that partners find familiar is top of mind for Grothjan.

Also last week, Grothjan introduced a new security specialization for partners, and Grothjan said that, too, is aimed at keeping the HPE Aruba partner framework consistent.

The efforts tie into the company's drive to remain open and API-focused, as well as able to respond quickly and efficiently to customer demands.

"Based on different customers, you can take different paths with us," Grothjan said of the HPE Aruba partner base. "It's not about rip and replace, it's about what's the opportunity that exists today leading with Aruba. Because of the open architecture, we don't close anybody in or lock anybody out."

What follows is an edited excerpt of Grothjan's conversation with CRN.

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