Game-Changing Experiences Shake Up the Midmarket

By Cherie Martin, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager

I shrugged the first time someone told me that voice-activated features would change my life. Little did I know that my days would soon be full of “Hey Google, play Aretha Franklin,” “OK Google, set a timer for 10 minutes.” “Hey Google, how long is the drive to Moscone Center in San Francisco?”

What was eye opening for me was how much better the experience is to talk to a device rather than type on a keyboard. When we speak with customers who moved their network management to the cloud, they are impressed in much the same way.

Just like I could not imagine how a voice-activated assistant would upgrade certain experiences in my home, customers have been wowed by the business-class cloud features that provide uncommonly great experiences for employees, guests, and the IT staff. The combination of innovative features work together to make networking simple and scalable for the IT team while ensuring business-class performance for end users.

 Everyone Deserves Convenient Cloud Management. A comprehensive, at-a-glance summary of your network, customizable guest access, and services and location analytics put you in complete control without lots of technical heavy lifting. All of this valuable insight is available from one screen in Aruba Central where you can centrally manage and monitor your wired and wireless networks from the cloud without looking at a nonintuitive command-line interface or spending hours piecing together reports from multiple systems.

Diving a little deeper, you can monitor all access points, switches, users, apps, and more from one single portal to quickly and easily understand network activity from the big picture or on a specific device. This four-minute-and-change video shows you the rich features and gives you a close look at our network management platform in action.

Remote Sites that Survive and Thrive during Network Outages. Most cloud-based wireless management tools drop out of commission during a network outage, leaving users stranded. Aruba Central provides a safety net that ensures users can keep working even if access points can’t communicate with the cloud. Aruba APs will continue to operate, giving users Internet connectivity from the intelligent edge of the network. For businesses, that means point-of-sale devices will continue ringing up sales, Internet connectivity will be stable, and emails will still go out.

Prioritizing Traffic Any Time, All the Time. When an app’s performance is integral to the business, network administrators can prioritize traffic at the AP. Voice calls at a support center can be prioritized over Internet browsing. A retailer, similarly, can assign a higher priority to inventory updates than video, ensuring that the retail traffic is not stalled by a visitor watching a live stream of a movie or playing a game. Adding this intelligence at the network edge ensures the type of positive experience that keeps customers coming back and the business running without a hiccup.

Great User Experiences with Each Connection. First impressions really do count, and guest access,a popular feature in Aruba Central, makes it easy to create custom captive portals that feature your brand and give visitors secure access to the wireless network. After going to a company-branded login page, the guest can self-register with email, SMS, or social media handle to gain Wi-Fi access. Access is convenient for guests who want to browse the Internet, and safe for your company that wants to prevent guests from reaching business apps and systems. And marketing teams will be delighted with the ability to further their guest engagement through continued outreach campaigns.

Presence Analytics Delivers Business Insights. Another valuable feature in Central is presence analytics that identifies how many people passed by, visited, engaged, and remained on site. Retailers will quickly understand how they could apply these insights into their business, but other organizations have also found presence analytics extremely useful. Schools  understand when and who is visiting their campuses, and enterprises understand traffic flows and redesign areas accordingly.

A Casual Approach to Security is Dangerous. When a business says, “We fly under the radar of cybersecurity attacks. No one is interested in us,” I caution them to re-think that attitude. Attacks happen from both inside and outside the network, and the attacks are becoming more frequent and dangerous as the network perimeter continues to vanish.  Another concern is that vulnerabilities are expanding with the implementation of IoT applications.  A recent Aruba study of 3,100 IT respondents indicated that 84% of those who’ve deployed IoT applications have been breached.

Aruba takes a multi-dimensional approach to security protecting remote access points, applying deep packet inspection technology to web traffic and two-factor authentication for secure access, and controlling access through role- and user-based management. You can compare your current security with that of your peers by reading this Ponemon Institute report.

Network Experiences that Smash Expectations

Having technology that delivers first-class experiences for users and IT is no small thing for midsized businesses. Administrators are transitioning from specialists to generalists as the increasing demand for services has IT teams taking on responsibility for multiple technology platforms.  Aruba understands that generalists can accomplish more when they have the right resources at hand. They can be more proactive and spend less time on fire drills that keep them from injecting the business with their wide-ranging experience and tactical skills.

For an IT group that wants to squeeze out more productivity from an already busy day, we’ve paired a unique combination of business-class features that are simple and intuitive to use with a network experience that cannot be rivaled by another wireless network provider. No one can deliver a similar experience without sacrificing performance. You can read all about it in this solution overview.

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Research: Closing the Security Gap

Watch Aruba Central in action

Solution Overview: Simple Business-Class Networking Without Sacrifice