IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Aruba Unveils First-Ever Small Business Access Points: Page 2 of 2

Aimed at companies with up to 100 users, the new Instant On product line is designed to be easily installed, centrally managed, and affordably priced. It also provides built-in security functionality and ongoing software updates at no extra cost. By Rich Freeman

Prices begin at $119 for the entry-level Instant On AP11 and top out at $289 for the outdoor Instant On AP17. The entire product family will be available solely through partners. “Small business is an exclusively channel-led and channel-driven sales motion for us,” Hollinger says.

Aruba has two primary partner categories in mind for the new product line: existing resellers looking to add a small business practice and managed service providers in search of easily deployed networking products. “It improves their margin,” says Hollinger of the Instant On family, “because they can get in and out very quickly while still charging a flat rate for installation and management.”

Once the APs are up and running, she adds, an MSP can collect recurring revenue on management services via Instant On’s multi-tenant administration console. “Through a single pane of glass, they can actually see all of the different customers’ Aruba networks that they’re managing, and then can do a drill down on those networks,” Hollinger notes.

They can also cross-sell products from Aruba’s small business-focused OfficeConnect switch portfolio and eventually upsell them on bigger, more powerful access points. “Given that Aruba has a broad portfolio of solutions, there is an opportunity for these partners to land and expand,” Hollinger says.

The launch of Instant On is one element in a larger SMB-focused initiative by Aruba and HPE. “Both companies are really doubling down on our investment in small business,” Hollinger says.

For Aruba, those investments include the recent creation of a dedicated small business unit. Partners can expect that group to roll out more new products in the future. “We want to continue to advance our small business portfolio,” Hollinger says, citing OfficeConnect as a product family especially ripe for expansion.

Aruba has a new small business partner program in the works too. “We are in the process right now of formulating the details around that, and working very closely with distribution and some channel partners to better understand what the needs are,” Hollinger says. “I would anticipate that going forward we will have definitely some specific promotions and incentives, some things of that nature for this space, recognizing it is important in small business.”

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