Aruba is prioritising the delivery of business continuity solutions across Southeast Asia as Covid-19 challenges continue to rise, supported by a network of channel partners.
Central to such ambitions will be the roll-out of remote access solutions, enhanced cloud managed service provider offerings and an increased commitment to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
“As the world responds to the current health crisis, the well-being of our customers and everyone impacted by this pandemic remains our top priority,” said Justin Chiah, senior director of Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong and Macau, in addition to spearheading the Product Category business across Asia Pacific and Japan at Aruba.
“To support healthcare providers, teachers and students, and the huge number of people working from home, we are committed to help maintain business continuity in these challenging times.”
According to Chiah, the vendor - acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in 2015 - is adopting an agile approach to ensure core product segments are tailored to evolving customer needs across ASEAN.
“Our remote access solution with cloud or on premises management platforms helps IT departments address the daunting task of supporting a workforce that is highly mobile and requires access to the same resources as corporate users,” said Chiah, when speaking to Channel Asia.
“By providing a versatile remote networking solution, IT can securely extend the corporate enterprise network at lower cost and massive scale to easily overcome the complexity that makes traditional remote networking options poorly suited for wide-scale business continuity applications.”
Delving deeper, Aruba’s cloud managed service provider (MSP) offering aims to help partners drive profitable recurring revenues while offering customers “secure, enterprise-grade connectivity”.
“Powered by Aruba Central, our multi-tenant cloud management platform with flexible licensing, partners can spin up a profitable managed service practice is no time,” Chiah added. “We will also continue to enable our SMB customers through these challenging times. Our SMB portfolio of wireless products and switches allow partners to offer secure, simple-to-manage, value products to SMBs.”
As explained by Chiah, such products are managed by the vendor’s cloud-connected app which can run on any smartphone, in a move designed to allow ease of deployment for SMBs lacking dedicated IT staff.
“Our partners can expand their target markets with a solution that helps SMBs manage costs to be more productive and provide their customers and employees a better user experience,” he said.
In assessing the evolving market landscape in the context of Covid-19, Chiah acknowledged a “dynamic change” in the way people now approach work, with partners and customers also facing disruption.
“We are sensitive to the concerns of our partners, and we have taken what we believe to be the right sets of actions and considerations to help them weather the storm,” he said. “Our core responsibility lies in the health and well-being of our partners, customers, employees, and the various communities we do business with.
“The response and cooperation we are getting from our diverse group of partners and customers have been tremendous – we have followed through to ensure business continuity across all functions including research and development, Technical Assistance Centre and supply chain management.”
Forming part of the Partner Ready for Networking program, Aruba is also continuing to invest in partner expertise and differentiation to help reposition the channel for future growth.
“This means we are able to address not just business needs in these unusual times, but the needs of tomorrow, which we believe will change forever due to the pandemic,” Chiah said.
To achieve this, Aruba is extending the deadline of any soon to expire certifications for partners, alongside suspending revenue threshold requirements for entry into the FY21 program. But the vendor has announced an FY21 mid-year review based on performance.
Backed by HPE Financial Services, Aruba is also allowing partners to maintain the same medallion level status earned in FY20, providing the necessary training and certification requirements are achieved by 30 September 2020.
Specifically, Aruba Education Services is providing a five-month extension to partners with a re-certification date of 1 May, with the new deadline set for 1 October 2020.
Meanwhile, the eligibility timeframe of the written expert exam towards the taking of the practical exam has been extended from 18 months to 24 months for all written exams set to expire through 1 November 2020. Delving deeper, training credits which expired between 1 March and 30 June have been extended for three months.
“We are encouraging our partners to discover resources that could help them during this time of uncertainty, including business continuity guides via the Partner Ready for Networking portal,” Chiah outlined. “Separately, we have also put together a partner relief fund to alleviate some of the financial pressures and assist with business continuity.”
In Singapore, Aruba has rolled out a virtual Customer Experience Centre tour to offer business continuity support for partners and customers.
“In this customised virtual tour, customers and partners are taken through a demo on how to reconfigure their office buildings or education facilities for example, to ensure productivity and secure connectivity, having in mind that physical work and learning environments will look different even when businesses return to their usual,” Chiah explained.