How big are the opportunities for partners in consumption-based IT?
Grothjan: What we’ve been talking about is about partner choice. We have this as-a-service offering, but that doesn’t mean that for partners that it’s their only offering to a customer, we want to ensure that partners who have the capability to deliver their own network as-a-service offering, that we’re enabling that to happen under their own brand. Because we believe that partners, especially now that customers are buying as-a-service, are really looking for partners to support them [and] as-a-service, which requires partners really building out their own ecosystem because there’s a lot of integration that’s required for that. We want to ensure that those partners who want to present themselves to a customer under their own branded services have that capability.
It goes back to, if a customer really wants somebody to manage their network for them, we’re saying to our partners, you have choice. Either we can help support you and do that for you on your behalf, or you can do that, and we will enable you access to various tools. In fact, Aruba Central has an MSP capability within so [partners] can actually enable a managed services practice. It’s not only multi-tenant, but it also allows them the management features as a managed service provider. Or, if the customer wants to manage their own network, [partners] can resell a [Aruba] Central as-a-service, so it’s really about partner choice. We want to make sure we aren’t locking partners into anything.
We did a study in June 2020 that went out to IT decision makers were [we asked] how many of them were already buying more than 50 percent of their IT as-a-service and at that time, it was 24 percent of them. Then, we [asked] in the next 12 to 24 months, what percentage of you would you be looking to buy as-a-service? That number jumped to 41 percent. So, we absolutely know that the market is ready. The hospitality industry [and] the education industry; when we looked at how what percentage of those particular industries wanted to buy and a consumption model, it was 66 percent for hospitality and education was 57 percent because they were the hardest hit by COVID. Again, it goes back to, that business needs to reduce the upfront spend so that they can invest the business as needed.