At a recent press conference in Dubai hosted by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, the key word #GenMobile was introduced by Arubaâ€™s Middle East and Turkey Regional Director, Mr. Ammar Enaya. The term refers to employees defined by their preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work. Aruba, which prides itself on providing smarter networks that are insightful and predictable to accelerate the transition to smart buildings, held the press conference to extend its expertise in preparing IT firms and telcos for the future of enterprise mobility.
In his presentation to the press, Ammar spoke with passion about #GenMobile, the label belonging to those who own three or more connected devices (62%), feel most productive when working from home (57%), and demand reliable internet. This growing demographic is no longer limited to the static connectivity setup in the 90s between a desktop PC, an IT server and a set of printers, he explained.
Technologies that we are accustomed to in our social lives are making their way into the enterprise. Therefore, there is no better time than now for IT and telco networking teams to think differently, said Ammar. These big waves of technology shifts in the market – the consumerization of computing devices and the applications they enable – are beyond the control of IT and telco organizations.
To prepare IT and telco firms for the changes in the IT landscape – the uncontrollable nature of mobile, IoT and cloud, and the impact of the decisions made by other lines of business leaders outside of IT – Ammar laid out Arubaâ€™s requirements.
It is Arubaâ€™s firm belief that the next sets of best of breed IT organizations will be defined partially by how fast they find solutions to issues, such as the arrival of high density mobile devices and the unpredictable nature of mobile apps. Legacy network operators will not be able to keep up with new demands for faster deployment, configuration and troubleshooting, the company predicts.
Aruba works closely with IT organizations and telecom operators to help them move towards being 'smarterâ€™. The word 'smartâ€™, however, is a ""tricky word to define,"" says Ammar. Speaking to Telecom Review, he said, ""In my opinion, 'smartâ€™ means 'always onâ€™. As long as there is no off-time in a network, then it is 'smartâ€™. Smart also means that you can connect to the internet at any time, and also means there is some intelligence in the network that will allow you to work faster and be more productive.""
The most effective way to connect to the internet, according to Ammar, is through wireless. Arubaâ€™s core is wireless, and the company strives to maintain a lead with the technology. ""We believe that we are early adapters of smart buildings – we help buildings to be smart through our own solutions by installing stable devices and secure devices that will allow them to always be connected to the internet in efficient and smart ways,"" said Ammar.
Catering to IT organizations, Aruba is a trusted cloud provider, which, according to Ammar, is a more simplified method of data storage for smaller enterprises than hosting a data center. There are two types of businesses in the IT industry, explained: one is where businesses build their own data center, which keeps their data centralized, removing the need for cloud storage. Money and location is needed for this option, which is justified by heavy data usage.
The remainder of the market often prefers to use cloud. ""If you are in the retail industry with shops across the country or globe, then cloud is a good option for you, because in this case, you donâ€™t need a data center in each location,"" said Ammar.
""You can use either the public or private cloud to connect to a data center. In this case, Aruba helps customers to have an all-in-one package which will give you your wireless needs and your security needs all together. This allows you to connect to the cloud in a simple and secure way, because at the end, all you want is the same user experience.""
For instance, if you are in a companyâ€™s headquarters or in a remote branch, Ammar explained, you donâ€™t need to change anything in your mobile phone, computer or handheld device, because they will all join and connect automatically to Arubaâ€™s cloud. This is part of the simplicity message Aruba is delivering in the market, and ""it works fantastically"".
Aruba also caters specifically to the telco sector, Ammar told Telecom Review. The first and most common solution that Aruba offers is its ""hotspot solution"". The idea behind this solution is helping operators dominate and acquire more locations in the market so that they can market their GSM network and WiFi network, Ammar explained.
""At the same time, through this solution, we help operators reduce the cost of data usage. If the operator spends X amount of money to connect people over their 3G, usually the WiFi is about one tenth of the cost – the same data utilization over WiFi for the operator compared to data utilization over towers and GSM. We help operators save money and we increase the capacity for the user to connect with speed, and more importantly, we free the tower to do the thing that makes more money for the operator, which are phone calls.""
Additionally, Aruba helps its operator customers to build proper mobile solutions, including wired and wireless security – all of the things that the company also does for its IT customers, ""because operators fall under the umbrella of IT for us"".
The third thing Aruba does for operators is managed services. Aruba uses the operator as a ""sell-through"". Aruba essentially tells the operator, 'Go and market your internet and bundle our solution with it.â€™ The operator can bundle it with cloud, or can bundle it with enterprise. ""When you lease a building, you lease the internet, and within the same lease, operators can add our switches and routers, wireless, software management and security,"" said Ammar.
Providing a prediction for how mobility will increase in the coming years, Aruba has highlighted IoT as game-changer for both the IT and telco sectors. IT managers everywhere are grappling with an onslaught of new ""things"" coming on their networks, according to Aruba. While security is top of mind, beyond this, IT must automate the security process to quickly accommodate these new devices and scale their networks, the company noted in a release.
Aruba further noted that one of the important challenges facing enterprise IT is keeping up with the rapid pace of innovation. With new mobile technologies emerging, users wanting more flexible options in the workplace, and the increasing number of IoT devices looming on the horizon, enterprises need to move quickly to ensure that their networks are prepared. For these reasons, one of the key trends for 2017, according to Aruba, will be a move to integrating third-party applications into the network and, as a result, a move toward more open, software-based platforms.