Aruba Brings GPS Indoors for WiFi Context

Aruba's third quarter revenues rise; vendor announces acquisition of Meridian Apps for application and location awareness capabilities.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted May 17, 2013
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The WLAN market is one of the fastest growing segments of networking IT, with IDC reporting growth of 28 percent in the each of the last three years.

One of the leading vendors in the space is Aruba Networks, which announced its third quarter fiscal 2013 earnings late Thursday, as well as the acquisition of privately-held Meridian Apps.

For the quarter, Aruba reported revenue of $147.1 million, a 12 percent year-over-year gain. The company had a net loss of $20.2 million, or $0.18 per share, a decline from the $6.0 million net income reported for Q3 2012. Looking forward, Aruba provided fourth quarter 2013 guidance for revenue to be in the range of $148 million to $150 million, an increase of 6 to 8 percent year-over-year.

"In our core wireless LAN business, our account teams are working diligently with major customers on planning the next wireless LAN expansion, which includes readiness for 11ac and unified communication on mobile devices," Dominic Orr, chairman, CEO, and president of Aruba Networks, said during his company's earnings call. "Additionally, we are expanding our presence in the distributed enterprise with Aruba Instant, which exceeded our sales expectations in Q3."

Aruba Instant is a controller-less WLAN architecture that was first announced in 2011 and expanded with an enhanced enterprise offering in October 2012.

Meridian Apps acquisition

Aruba is also growing its application-awareness capabilities by way of the acquisition of privately-held Meridian Apps. Meridian's software helps to enable enterprises to deliver indoor GPS for location awareness in mobile applications.

"Meridian's WiFi base and the location services platform for smartphones and tablets helps guests navigate large indoor facilities such as shopping malls, airports, resorts, hospitals and campuses," Keerti Melkote, cofounder and CTO, commented during the earnings call. "The platform delivers location-specific mobile application that provides indoor GPS functions such as turn-by-turn directions, highlights points of interest along the way, delivers context-aware notifications, and offers detailed analytics about users' travel patterns and preferences."

Melkote noted that the Meridian platform will help enhance Aruba's MOVE architecture. The MOVE (MObile Virtual Enterprise) initiative started in March of 2011 with the goal of enabling management of both wired and wireless networks. MOVE also provides application context capabilities that will benefit from the Meridian location awareness.

"The addition of Meridian will enable enterprises to tap into all their information so that they can better engage with customers with personalization and realtime analytics," Melkote said. "This is a clear opportunity for WiFi to become not only an enabling platform for BYOD, but now, across industries, a revenue-producing customer engagement platform for the business."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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