Another Status Quo Game Changer – Best of Breed Wired and Wireless Network Subscription Model

By rjfreedman, Blog Contributor
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Integrated best-of-breed technology, management and support.  And now best-of-breed financing?  Really? No capital outlay with flexible operating expense options.  Nice to know when technology and financing move so fast in the network world. Only available from Brocade and Aruba.

As if the original deal wasn't already sweet enough, two best of breed partners have now added unique industry acquisition methods. For background: Brocade and Aruba Networks signed a partnership agreement in 2013 to provide customers with integrated wired and wireless network solutions.  The companies offer best-of-breed [Brocade] wired and [Aruba] wireless networks and together provide complete core-to-edge network solutions.  The agreement spanned technical aspects including:

  • Technology: Engineering teams have shipped three new code releases in 2014 – Aruba Airwave 8.0, Brocade BNA 12.3 and Brocade FastIron 8.0.20 – all with new integrated features united the two companies' product portfolios.  Ongoing efforts continue on joint development projects and coordinate testing and QA to ensure compatibility between the companies' products.
  • Management: Brocade and Aruba have added integration into their respective software tools to monitor and manage both Brocade switches and Aruba controllers and access points.  Customers, like Kilgore College, monitor usage with software tools no matter whether users are connected via wire or wirelessly.
  • Support: Technical support services have been integrated as well.  If, for example, a customer calls Brocade with a problem that appears to be related to the Aruba wireless network, Brocade will open a trouble ticket directly with Aruba and work jointly to resolve the problem.  Joint, integrated support has been a big reason customers, like Westmark School, selected Brocade and Aruba as their networks of choice to avoid that finger-pointing and passing-the-buck between vendors.

And now. Just this month, Brocade and Aruba announced that the partnership has been extended into integrated financing.  Wait.  Financing?  Can financing really make a difference?  Most vendors offer purchase and lease options, so customers can choose to pay now or spread their payments over a period of time.  What else would customers care about?

Brocade Network Subscription (BNS) is truly a unique offering that has customers paying attention.  It allows customers to acquire their network equipment on a month-to-month, pay-as-you-go basis.  Unlike a lease, there is no term commitment with options to add (or remove) equipment as needed.  Furthermore all payments are considered operating expense instead of capital investment or capital lease expenses.  Customers can upgrade to the latest and greatest technology at their discretion rather than committed to retaining their network equipment for its extended useful life. This unique offering has made a big difference in helping many customers to fit a new network into a tight budget:  IT departments with limited capital funds; schools with limited E-rate fund available. Many Brocade customers have found that they can acquire complete new networks for about what they've been paying for support and maintenance on their existing legacy network equipment.

The addition of Aruba into BNS is a first – for Brocade and the industry.  Aruba is the first Brocade partner to be included under the BNS umbrella.  Now customers purchasing wired and wireless networks can include the equipment for both into a BNS subscription - expanding opportunities and virtually eliminating risk.

The intent of the partnership was to integrate their products as well, if not better, than wired/wireless solutions from a single vendor.  Can your vendor(s) of wired and wireless networks offer a more tightly integrated solution with regard to technology, management, support and financing options?