Aruba delivers cloud-based beacon management and app developer programme
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company and partner company of South Africa’s leading value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited, has announced the next wave of its Aruba Mobile Engagement solution with the introduction of the industry’s first cloud-based beacon management solution designed for multivendor Wi-Fi networks and beacon analytics.
Additionally, Aruba expanded its app developer partner programme for the Meridian Mobile App Platform to accelerate innovation of location-based mobile apps allowing organisations to better engage with employees or customers, and thereby, improving efficiency.
Since its introduction in November 2014, Aruba Mobile Engagement, powered by Aruba Beacons and the Meridian Mobile App platform, has improved customer satisfaction in diverse organisations ranging from sporting stadiums to international airports. By directly interacting with customers via their mobile devices based on their in-venue location and personalised preferences, Aruba Mobile Engagement is designed to enhance customer experiences and revenue opportunities for the venue operators.
As the Aruba Mobile Engagement solution grows in popularity, deployments are growing larger in scale, increasing IT management complexity and challenges.
The new Aruba Sensor is designed to dramatically reduce this IT overhead, making it easy to manage all beacons from a single location. Aruba estimates approximately time savings of 48 hours in a 1 000-beacon deployment during a single maintenance window.
Cloud-based beacon management across multi-vendor Wi-Fi networks
The new enterprise-grade Internet of Things (IoT) Aruba Sensor combines a small Wi-Fi client and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) radio for organisations to remotely manage beacons across existing multi-vendor Wi-Fi networks from a central location. For IT departments, this means easier and significantly more cost-efficient management and monitoring of beacon data including battery life, power settings and software updates.
Measuring success with beacon analytics
The projected increase for IoT deployments and demand for business-focused mobile apps, make seamless interactions between mobile apps and IoT crucial. Knowing who is connected, their location and the type of device they are using are all powerful tools for enabling these interactions. To deliver this visibility to business operations leaders, Aruba has also introduced beacon analytics to measure user engagement, including aggregated results on navigation metrics, location-based triggers and dwell time. “While businesses benefit from the information beacon analytics provide, users can rest assured that their privacy is protected, since beacon analytics are inherently more privacy-friendly than alternative approaches. With beacon analytics, users must download an app for a participating business and agree to share their location before any information is divulged,” adds Mark Esslemont, channel manager for sub-Saharan Africa at Aruba Networks.
New app developer partnership programme encourages innovation at the pace of mobility
Because Aruba Meridian is designed to power an unlimited number of location-based applications, for business and marketing leaders, the only barriers to entry are the creativity of mobile app development partners and a strong partnership with IT. To remove these obstacles and accelerate the development of new mobile apps, Aruba’s partner programme allows both Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and Custom App Development Agencies (CADA) to leverage the Meridian Mobile App Platform quickly and easily. Aruba ISV partners focus on creating purpose-built, easy-to-implement enterprise mobility apps that improve efficiencies and productivity for a variety of organisations.
“Networks Unlimited will be offering the Aruba Mobile Engagement solution throughout the 18 African countries we service. With the new Aruba sensors, beacon analytics and app developer, IT departments will be empowered to quickly support IoT initiatives and partner with marketing departments and developers to seamlessly guide customers to points of interest or essentials. In airports, shopping malls or stadiums, these could include restaurants, check-in points, transport areas, restrooms, conference rooms and bookings, and more,” adds Anton Jacobsz, MD of Networks Unlimited.
As larger scale IoT deployments emerge, complexity increases. HPE’s multivendor integration expertise reduces risk and implementation time to help quickly enable business intelligence, customer experience and additional revenue opportunities powered by Aruba Mobile Engagement. HPE services help bring together key elements in an IoT solution, including strategy, assessment, design, deployment, integration and optimisation of Aruba WLAN and Mobile Engagement solutions.