Networking vendor Aruba Networks Inc. has expanded the Aruba PartnerEdge Program in a move to capture more opportunities in the small and mid-sized enterprise (SME) market.
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Having already experienced growth in the SME market with its Aruba Central cloud management solution and Instant controller-less access, Aruba said its recently announced 200 series -- a set of introductory level dual radio APs -- and the 210 Series AP further expand the options for SMEs looking to upgrade to 802.11ac.
"We're really going after this market space," said Karl Soderlund, the company's vice president of worldwide channels. Aruba defines an SME as an enterprise with anywhere between 50 and 350 end users, he said.
According to estimates from Dell'Oro Group, the annual market opportunity for wireless in the SME space could reach $1.3 billion in several years, driven by SMEs and distributed enterprises upgrading from small office home office-class devices and toward 802.11ac devices. Just over half of today's SME WLAN market is served by enterprise-class devices, Aruba said.
Aruba PartnerEdge expansion
The Aruba PartnerEdge Program will add training, promotions and sales enablement support specifically for the SME market.
Structured with four tiers -- Authorized, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- partners can move up in the Aruba PartnerEdge Program based on sales volume and competency. Authorized partners will receive a limited number of technical training vouchers each fiscal year that can cover a variety of certifications.
Benefits of the partner program include access to the partner portal and the Aruba Quotient mobile app; dedicated support from an inside channel account manager and inside channel SE; demo equipment offers; and deal registration financial incentives. Aruba PartnerEdge also offers preferred pricing and targeted promotions, cloud Wi-Fi training, and free sales specialist training and certifications.
The vendor currently offers a number of incentives for partners and their customers, as well as for distributors. Incentives for SME customers include a special $50 Aruba Central introductory price and a Buy-Four-Get-One-Free Instant AP promotion. Partners can receive a K to 12 promotion, bundling Aruba Central or AirWave with Instant APs; a discount for new and dormant partners; and a $20-per-Instant AP sales performance incentive fund (SPIF) for partner representatives. Distributors can take advantage of a 10% backend rebate on Instant APs and Aruba Central bundles.
Additionally, the vendor has built out a call center based in Portland, Ore., to support the company's SME channel effort in the U.S. The call center team focuses on partner recruitment, enablement and demand generation, and Aruba plans to globally expand the team before the end of calendar year 2014.
Since Aug. 1, Aruba's said it has recruited over 200 net-new partners. The company expects to add 1,500 partners for the year globally, Soderlund said.