Dean Claassens, Networking Product Manager: HPE Aruba
Businesses of every size and in every industry, need to have strong connectivity to successfully communicate with customers, clients, and staff members. Connectivity is key to the day-to-day running of the majority of technologies today and determines how well an organisation can deliver its goods and services. And connectivity is only growing in importance, as the ‘always-on’ and ‘working-from-anywhere’ mentality takes over in the new normal, and customer expectations continue to evolve.
Moreover, these days, consumers don’t live by nine to five business hours, they want to be able to engage with their brands of choice at any time, from anywhere, and through a wide range of different communication channels. Being well connected can make the difference between a business that is thriving, and one that is forced to close its doors because good connectivity means more and better business. Just as our networks of partners and suppliers form a solid foundation for businesses to flourish, so too do the organisation’s digital networks and connections. The bottom line? Everyone, everywhere, needs to be connected in some way, whether it is wired or wireless, and do this in a manner that is secure and safe.
While the level of connectivity differs from one organisation to the next, there can be no doubt that the demand for enterprise-grade connectivity is growing dramatically, particularly in South Africa where access to world-class fibre broadband is becoming far more widely available and cost-effective. Even the smaller entities have hefty bandwidth requirements to ensure smooth internal collaboration and external communication, particularly in today’s time of distributed workforces. Being always-on and always-connected gives organisations a competitive edge, by making sure that employees, customers, and teams are able to communicate and work together around the clock, irrespective of their locations.
Similarly, the soaring demand for wireless access is increasing significantly, particularly as the number and variety of devices and applications continue to skyrocket alongside the Internet of Things (IoT), which is seeing billions of devices and sensors talk to each other and the Internet. WiFi 6 is helping to accommodate the growing number of mobile and IoT devices by enhancing network efficiency and speed, to better meet IT and business requirements. Concurrently, the burgeoning trend of cloud-based digital architecture has seen a massive digital transformation happen across all industries around the globe, and to support connectivity on this scale, a robust network is needed. The constantly shifting landscape of digital technology is driving organisations to up their games in terms of their digital offerings and operations, and hand in hand with this, arises the need for reliable and secure enterprise connectivity, at scale.
This is where Aruba, a leader in connectivity solutions from the core to the edge comes in. However, it’s not always easy to find the best connectivity provider. Companies need to decide what solution is best for them, and which solution providers offer the most effective way to address their unique business needs. This is where Aruba sets itself apart from the competition, as it has been at the forefront of innovation since its inception and has continued to make significant investments to deliver its Aruba ESP edge platform, the first of its kind, that goes way beyond conventional network management, to provide artificial intelligence (AI) powered operations, provisioning, orchestration, security, and location services - all from the cloud.
In essence, Aruba ESP is a next-generation, cloud-native architecture that enables enterprises in every vertical to accelerate their digital business transformation journeys through automated network management, edge-to-cloud security, and predictive AI-powered insights with an accuracy of up to 95%. In addition, the platform offers organisations the ability to do cloud-managed networking, at a massive scale - something which traditionally, has been exceptionally challenging to do. In fact, Aruba is now able to provide customers with even upwards of 100,000 devices, to be able to manage their connectivity infrastructure directly from the cloud, which is unprecedented in the industry. Similarly, when it comes to WiFi 6, Aruba delivers built-in security with unified policy enforcement across wired and wireless networks. In addition, it has the ability to simplify operations by using AI and machine learning to automate optimisation and provide actionable recommendations to remediate issues. It also offers the flexibility to manage environments, both on-premise or in the cloud, and to deploy with or without gateways. Finally, it brings secure, energy-efficient IoT capabilities to enable customers to leverage APs as an IoT connectivity platform using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Zigbee, or USB ports.
Understanding that the network is at the heart of the organisation, Aruba ESP ties the full networking portfolio together, including the infrastructure layer with switches and access points, the policy layer with Aruba ClearPass and security, as well as the services layer, including onboarding, provisioning, analytics, and location-based services.
However, organisations have a slew of choices when equipping their IT and networking departments, and often do not know where to start. Having a knowledgeable channel partner, accessible through Tarsus Distribution’s network, can be a tremendous benefit, as a trusted channel partner can offer the assistance needed when choosing the right technology or solution that best fits a company’s needs. Everything runs more smoothly when technology vendors and channel partners understand each other, as well as the needs of their joint customer