Tuesday, 29 August 2017 14:02

HPE Aruba promises small biz 'simplified, business class Wi-Fi'

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A “new Wi-Fi solution” from HPE Aruba promises “simplified, business-class Wi-Fi with the ease of a mobile app” for small business, with secure employee Wi-Fi and Get Wi-Fi set up in “minutes".

HPE Aruba’s “OfficeConnect OC20” has arrived and is billed as a “cost-effective wireless solution designed for businesses without dedicated IT resources” allowing small businesses to “rapidly deploy and manage Wi-Fi for small business across all vertical industries".

Accoring to global research from Intuit in 2015, small business owners are “embracing smartphones, tablets, and cloud applications".

We’re told that “nearly half (43%) of small business owners use a smartphone over Wi-Fi as the primary device to run their operations, and 65% are conducting bookkeeping and accounting on cloud-based apps, demonstrating the need for reliable, ubiquitous wireless connectivity".

And, while the competitive and operational benefits of mobility are clear, HPE Aruba points to the the gating factor often being “installation and configuration,” thanks to small businesses usually having “limited IT resources, so the option for quick self set-up or configuration with the assistance of a channel partner is essential".

Naturally, HPE Aruba says it has a solution, being the new HPE OfficeConnect OC20 wireless, which the company says “addresses these challenges by offering small businesses an intuitive and cost-effective wireless solution that is simple to manage without technical expertise. Resellers can now offer small business customers a fast, business-grade Wi-Fi solution that keeps their employees connected and productive".

Here’s the company’s pitch:

  • Fewer headaches with a reliable business-grade solution
    • The OC20 APs deliver high performance and reliable Wi-Fi connectivity to handle today’s business critical applications including voice, video and cloud-based applications. They intelligently optimise wireless coverage and performance, while minimising interference for a powerful end-user experience. Built-in website filtering blocks access to malicious websites to protect the small business network from online threats, as well as inappropriate or non-compliant websites.
  • Reduce set-up time with intuitive mobile app
    • Using the OfficeConnect mobile app, a business or its resellers can configure and monitor a network in minutes from any location. Multiple offices can be managed at once, and IT or the user’s channel partner can quickly respond to network changes and outages remotely without network downtime.
    • When businesses are ready to expand their network, new OC20 APs can automatically join the network and will copy their configuration settings from a previously configured OC20 AP. Business owners or their channel partners can create an optional and separate guest network with a choice of open guest access, simple password sign-in or Facebook Wi-Fi log-in, including their company logo for a branded Wi-Fi experience.
  • Manage on-the-go with remote monitoring and troubleshooting
    • The OfficeConnect iOS or Android mobile application offers intuitive remote monitoring and troubleshooting. A network health dashboard provides network visibility at a glance, including information about wireless performance, number of devices, and who is connected to the Wi-Fi network.
    • In addition to the OC20 Access Point, Aruba also offers the OfficeConnect 1920S switch, which secures and extends small business networks. The 1920S can also be monitored by the OfficeConnect mobile app.

As you’d expect, HPE says its OfficeConnect solution “helps small businesses do more with less – enabling them to share resources and collaborate like an business-grade network, without the complex set-up".

So, whether you’re just starting out or planning to expand your business, HPE wants to connect you to its OfficeConnect products so you can deploy a business-grade wireless solution to support your needs at each stage of your growth.

Available to order now, the price for HPE’s OfficeConnect OC20 Access Point is not listed, although distributors will be happy to help you in that regard. 

Right on schedule arrives Marty Simunic, the general manager of HP and HPE products at Dicker Data, who said: “The new OfficeConnect OC20 product is a perfect fit for the thousands of small and medium businesses across Australia who need reliability and ease of use from their WiFi deployments. From a Dicker Data perspective, we see a substantial opportunity for this product with our extensive range of partners who service many of the SMB communities around Australia. We look forward to working with the team at Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Aruba to accelerate the uptake of this product.”

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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