Mar 03 2015

HP Makes Offer to Acquire Aruba Networks in $2.7 Billion Deal

If the merger goes through, expect to see a stronger, more robust networking and mobility solution from HP.

In a bold move that could see Aruba Networks fold into the HP family, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company made a $2.7 billion offer to acquire Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Aruba Networks.

“Aruba boasts a highly regarded innovation engine and specialized sales, marketing and channel model, complementing HP's leading networking business and go-to-market breadth. Together, HP and Aruba will deliver next-generation converged campus solutions, leveraging the strong Aruba brand,” according to HP’s press release announcing the deal.

Current Aruba CEO Dominic Orr would stay on as leader of the HP-backed Aruba, which should ease any concerns about a new world order stepping in.

Orr is optimistic about the future of Aruba within HP’s ecosystem.

“Together with HP, we have a tremendous opportunity to become an even greater force in enterprise mobility and networking,” Orr said in the media announcement. “Together, we will build on Aruba's proven ‘customer first, customer last’ culture, creating an innovative, agile networking leader ideally positioned to solve our customers' most pressing mobility, security and networking challenges.”

Orr recently spoke with BizTech about the need for businesses to plan and invest in the future “gen mobile” workforce.

“This new era is exciting because as we move to mobile-first, cloud-first architectures, end users are seeing increased access to all types of information,” he said. “And, in turn, they’re enhancing the responsiveness of their organizations in serving customers.”

In her analysis of the HP-Aruba deal, Forbes contributor Maribel Lopez pointed out that Aruba brings along with it the cutting-edge technology from previous acquisitions.

Aruba made several important acquisitions over the past two years that has positioned the company to support the future of WLAN growth. In 2013, it acquired Meridian, which uses Wi-Fi triangulation to determine location indoors where GPS signals can’t penetrate and offers tools to build apps for businesses that want location-awareness as part of their mobile offering.

Retailers, casinos, museums and others have used Meridian’s tools to create compelling experiences. It also announced major enhancements in policy control with a tool called Clearpass. Median, Clearpass and its recent announcements in areas such as beacon technology and cloud WLAN will help position Aruba Networks as a participant in the contextual identity and mobility services market.

This market is different from simply delivering connectivity. It delivers indoor location services and supports contextual identity based on the person, the device, the location and the type of traffic.

The ability to leverage wireless networks for more than just connectivity is a key point that shouldn’t be lost in the news of this Aruba-HP merger. With the proliferation of mobile devices in everyone’s personal and professional lives, having a powerful, scalable and innovative wireless solution that can support the massive amount of data traffic will become critical for every organization.

Aruba Networks