Recent in-depth VAR discussions reinforce our confidence in both Aruba’s short-term trajectory and long-term growth strategy. In the near term, Aruba’s business is being driven by three main product catalysts—802.11ac, Instant, and ClearPass—each of which we believe are best of breed.
In the medium to long term, as the network edge becomes wireless-centric and the vision of an all-wireless workplace takes shape, we believe Aruba’s strengths in security and management software for the access layer will increasingly stand out and drive share gains. The current success of ClearPass in particular illustrates Aruba’s leadership and expertise in security software.
Our VAR contacts indicate that customers are beginning to recognize the transformation occurring at the access layer of the network, driven by the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend. These customers are seeing the value in a unified access layer and are buying into Aruba’s MOVE (Mobile Virtual Enterprise) architectural vision, which combines ClearPass and AirWave software with Aruba wireless controllers, access points, and mobility switches.
Our research indicates a fast ramp-up for the new standard, with Aruba’s 802.11ac APs flying off the shelves. We are hearing of multiple big Aruba wins in higher education and increasing traction in enterprise, especially given the range and throughput benefits of 802.11ac relative to 802.11n. On average, we are hearing about a 20% lift in deal sizes for 802.11ac transactions because of the higher average selling prices of the AC APs .
There is no doubt that AC has been a big catalyst for Aruba in winning deals head-to-head against Cisco, which has lagged Aruba on AC technology by a few quarters. Looking ahead, our VAR contacts believe that Aruba will continue to sustain its AC product advantage based on the robustness of its hardware (better CPU horsepower, dual port design to enable full backhaul) and software.