My Thoughts on the HP / Aruba Acquisition

Image Source: Press Release

I received a message on LinkedIn asking about my opinion of the HP / Aruba deal. After writing it out, I thought I’d share. Please let me know your thoughts and why you think ’em.

Here’s the question that started it:

whats your take on the HP Aruba deal. Do you think this and the issues at Meru allow for a new manufacturer to take hold and /or emerge?

Here’s an expanded version of my response:

Meru? I have yet to ever come across them in the marketplace, ever. I know they have some installs out there, but I have actually never seen one in the wild.  For a $100 million / year business, they are sneaky sneaky. The HP Aruba deal could be pretty big. Regardless of the buyout, Aruba‘s been doing some great things over there and are playing as competitive as ever. Just like everyone who’s talking about it I honestly think this injection of “big money” into their company could be a good thing, as long as they (HP) don’t mess with the product and operations. 

Let’s Talk About Food

Image source:

El Pato Mexican Food is a restaurant chain in South Texas. Labeled as “A Valley Tradition” it is not only well-known, but revered as a local brand that serves the community with food that embodies our culture and area. Being this close to the Mexico border, we have a unique blend of people, food, heritage, and loyalty. El Pato hits on all of those. It was started by “Mrs. G” in a small space where her recipes were used to hand craft everything from the spices in the Carne Guisada to the amazing tortillas.

Somewhere in the late 90’s / early 2000’s, the El Pato brand was purchased by a local group of “gringos”. Although it sparked local controversy about the change in ownership, none of the recipes, ingredients, or methods changed. People will debate you to this day about how it “used to be”, even though the core components have remained the same. Since the acquisition, El Pato has flourished in the area and have even been rumored to have mulled expansion plans throughout the state (although it never happened.)

When they sold out, there was a bunch of concern that their products and services would suffer. Instead, whoever acquired them knew that their recipes were a secret to success, so they left them alone and scaled them up instead of altering their process. 

If Aruba ends up like El Pato I think it’ll put some hurt on the other vendors, and definitely affect the marketplace. 

And now you know where to eat when you come to South Texas! (Note: I should eat breakfast before blogging)

So, is there room for other vendors? 

Always. However, Ruckus is really strong right now, Cisco is Cisco (although honestly I have been fielding a bunch of Meraki rip-and-replaces lately), AirTight has great product that plays into their niche perfectly, Extreme is trying *so* hard, even Avaya is trying to make waves … and then there’s everyone else: Moto got acquired by a label company, and what’s happening with Xirrus anyway??

Whoever it is would have to differentiate quite a bit and carve some of their own space out. Ubiquiti could take a stab at it, but would have to show off some Enterprise experience and deployments before Fortune 500s start taking them seriously IMHO.

Thanks for my new blog post Gary. Haha 🙂

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