Aruba growing well in Southeast Asia
According to Aruba Network’s Director and GM of SEA and Taiwan, Justin Chiah, the company having maintained its innovation engine and mobile-first architecture, is resonating well with its customers and potential customers.
For example, Macau, the venue of Aruba’s latest annual APAC user conference, Atmosphere, had the highest concentration of Aruba equipment; Keerti earlier described that “pretty much every resort here has embraced Aruba technology.”
Chiah also shared about Aruba’s strong legacy in switching, especially in countries like Thailand, which has grown 2 percentage points. Even more impressive is how its wireless portfolio gained 8 percentage points, despite overall industry growth, actually declining.
Room to grow
The region which Chiah overlooks, Southeast Asia and Taiwan, are also the largest contributors towards APAC’s revenue.
The reason why the rate of growth is high, may be due to because the region comprises of many emerging markets, with still some way to go in terms of infrastructure growth.
In these emerging countries, where there may not be substantial communications infrastructure investment yet, mobile Internet broadband has proved to be an attractive technology to connect a country, quickly and conveniently, compared to say, building out fibre for Internet connectivity.
But spectrum allocation, to enable mobile Internet broadband, is a long, arduous and very expensive exercise.
Chiah said it eventually boils down to the economics of WiFi versus mobile broadband.
“Aruba is acquiring new customers, for example in the hospitality segment, because of new hotels being set up. When there is migration from old wireless standards to new wireless standards, access points have to be upgraded to those with new radio chips,” he described.
He also shared, WiFi sales cycles are shorter than for their wired portfolio.
According to Aruba Malaysia’s country manager, Raymond Ooi, Malaysia is quickly gaining market share in the hospitality and property segment, but other sectors which Aruba is eyeing as well, include retail, government and education.
Chiah was quick to point out that they engage customers directly, but together with their partners. “For example, in hospitality we work with the Marriot team to ensure that we deliver work that is up to their standards.”
Aruba’s SD-WAN ambitions
Chiah and Ooi briefly chatted about their new SD-WAN solution.
Chiah said Aruba’s SD-WAN or software-defined wide area network, aims to solve the tricky deployment of WANs and offer quality of service.
“Traffic would be going through WiFi and wired networks, end-to-end. Basically, it would offer assurance of capability of service, as well as reduce complexity, via management through a single console,” Chiah said.
As recent as June this year, Aruba co-founder, Keerti Melkote, had mentioned Aruba’s new SD-WAN solution, during press engagements, and he had emphasised the importance of one unified architecture spanning LAN, WiFi and WAN, that is mobile-first and cloud-first.
This is achieved by embedding SD-WAN technology into Aruba access points, controllers and so on.
Chiah concluded, “This in effect is a SD Branch solution, which would be able to bring connectivity from the edge, to the cloud, right up to the data centre.”