Reseller News

Aruba CEO moves to allay partner concerns over HP buyout

"The same Aruba... but even faster and with more resources," claims Aruba chief executive, Dominic Orr
Aruba Networks' CEO and co-founder, Dominic Orr.

Aruba Networks' CEO and co-founder, Dominic Orr.

Aruba Networks has moved to allay partner fears over changes at the company following HP's $2.7 billion acquisition of the wireless networking company.

ARN has obtained a copy of Aruba's note sent out to its partners assuring them they will be working with the "same Aruba... but even faster and with greater resources", signed off by its chief executive, Dominic Orr.

Orr confirmed the company had entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by HP, which was announced overnight Australian time.

"Upon completion of this transaction, Aruba will combine our innovation engine and specialised sales, marketing and customer service model with HP’s existing networking business to form what I believe will be a leading force in business mobility," he said.

"First and foremost, I am excited to share that I will be leading this new combined business, along with Aruba co-founder Keerti Melkote.

"We have always taken great pride in our company’s ‘Customer First, Customer Last’ culture, and both Keerti and I will be dedicated to continuing and expanding all of the business and technology principles that have made Aruba an agile, highly responsive company for the past 13 years."

He said he anticipated the company would accelerate the pace of innovation following the transaction, leveraging the combined research and development, engineering expertise, budgets and resources of Aruba and HP.

"Second, we will offer a broader portfolio. We expect you will have access to a broader portfolio of networking products in the future," he said.

"And with Keerti leading the innovation efforts, I expect this portfolio to truly live up to the 'better together' promise."

"Aruba and HP share a vision of open system networking, with compatible solution components rather than proprietary systems that lead to vendor lock-in. ClearPass and AirWave’s multi-vendor support capabilities give you complete freedom to select your wireless and wired infrastructure vendor (or vendors) of choice.

HP will offer $US24.67 per share, giving Aruba a $US3 billion value. The deal is worth $US2.7 billion taking into account Aruba's debt and cash.

The networking gear vendor will join the HP Enterprise group, with Orr and Melkote staying on to lead the new division.

Following the transaction, Aruba customers will be able to leverage HP’s global resources, including global service delivery, systems integrators and channel partners throughout the world.

Orr said he expected the transaction to close "this summer", subject to customary closing conditions.

"Until the deal closes, we will continue to operate as an independent company and there will be no changes to the way you do business with Aruba," he said.

"Please continue to interact with your day-to-day contacts at Aruba as usual.

"Our number one goal is to continue to provide you with the same high quality products and services that you have come to expect from us."

This is HP's first major acquisition since chief executive, Meg Whitman, announced the company would be split into two separate companies: one dealing with enterprise products and the other focusing on printers and PCs.

HP recent downgraded its financial outlook for fiscal 2015 after reporting that revenue and profit decreased in the first quarter. During that quarter, HP's networking sales fell 11 per cent, compared to the year-ago period.

Aruba's sales, conversely, are improving. It recorded 2014 revenue of $US729 million.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both the companies.