Aruba Strikes Back

Wireless LAN switch startup Aruba Wireless Networks will announce a partnership deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) soon, according to sources.

Aruba is said to have inked a deal with HP's services arm.

"We sent a guy over to their booth [at the N+I show], they were pretty open about it," one industry source told us.

Analysts are starting to get wind of the deal as well. "I heard about that... but they haven't briefed me yet," Chris Kozup, lately of the Meta Group Inc., told Unstrung.

Aruba is at least trying to stay mum on the matter for the moment. “We can’t comment on rumors, speculation and various industry gesticulations," writes Keerti Melkote, VP of product marketing, in an email reply to questions.

"That said, Aruba’s channel strategy is fundamentally different from others because we’re focused on creating a model that builds channel partnerships to extend our sales and support capabilities. The market has told this is what they want. And they haven’t been wrong yet.” [Ed. note: longest "no comment" in history?]

HP was less forthcoming. Despite numerous calls, emails, and promises from company representatives to find the appropriate spokespeople, nobody came forward by press time.

HP's ProCurve networking unit is said to have had WiFi OEM deals in place with Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX), for standalone access points, and Vernier Networks Inc., for wireless LAN security gateways, for some time now (see HP's Security Badge ).

But a real, live spokesperson for the ProCurve division wouldn't even gesticulate on these older, alleged deals.

Aruba has seemed to be lagging behind major switch rival Airespace Inc. on the partnership front of late. Airespace has inked OEM deals with Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY; Tokyo: 6701), and Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

An HP deal should help fix that perception.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:38:37 AM
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