CW: While that explains the difference in market share, how exactly do you differentiate yourself from players like Cisco?
Kumar: Cisco has been around for almost 15 years in India, but we have had only two and half years of serious operation. Wireless LAN took a big fillip when 802.11n was introduced. Now BYOD makes wireless more relevant for organizations. This is the time when customers are looking at newer vendors. Cisco has been very good at building wired networks. When it comes to wireless, neither Cisco nor anyone else has done anything different in terms of transitioning customers from wired networks to BYOD. That's where Aruba becomes important today. Aruba will never grow to be a 700 person operation in India; Cisco is. In India, we are focusing on building our partner community. Wireless requires more handholding and therefore you need knowledgeable and committed business partners. And that is the reason why we spent a lot of time enabling partners. If you go out in the market and compare the customer experience on both the channels (Cisco and Aruba), you would get a far better satisfaction rating on the Aruba channel.
CW: Most of the vendors do not seem to have an all-inclusive BYOD story. What's your strategy for this market?
Kumar: Aruba's wireless BYOD story is far more feature-rich as compared to anybody else in the industry today. If you look at BYOD, which is partially network intelligence and partially mobile device management (MDM), the network intelligence piece is far more important than MDM. The bigger challenge in BYOD is that, today when one user brings multiple devices,the network has to deliver a seamless experience, without compromising security. This is something that the network has not been doing so far, because it was primarily wired.
CW: So where exactly are you selling BYOD?
Kumar: Wherever good network is being sold today! It will become a way of building access networks. Client profiles have gone wireless and the preferred medium for devices is wireless. BYOD will happen everywhere. It's just a matter of the first few executions and the rest will follow. First step towards BYOD is matching your access network with the medium on which your client device prefers to connect, which is wireless today. Somehow the mental comfort for an IT manager is that, 'if I have done my wired network, then I have my basics right'.
The more complex the BYOD, the better we are because of the intelligence that we bring in the access networks. We also have our ClearPass NAC solution and security capabilities to make the story more comprehensive. That makes our solution slightly complex to deliver at times. That's why we are focused on improving the quality of channel in the market.
CW: BYOD seems to be your single largest focus as of now. Aren't you putting all your eggs in one basket?