HP's acquisition of Aruba Networks has gone down well in the channel as partners and analysts insist the tech giant will have learnt its lesson from the Autonomy acquisition saga.
Yesterday HP confirmed rumours it was buying the Wi-Fi firm and revealed it paid $3bn (£1.9bn) for it.
HP Platinum reseller DTP Group's managing director Howard Hall said the move was "very positive" for his company.
"It will fill the gaps in the portfolio and in our area – universities – Aruba is very strong and we are very strong, so it gives us a great opportunity," he said.
Canalys principal analyst Matthew Ball agreed that Aruba plugs an important hole in HP's technology and said the buy will significantly bolster its position in the wireless LAN market.
"The key thing here is that HP Networking has done a good job of establishing itself as a switch vendor and is challenging Cisco," he said. "On the wireless piece it has not grown as quickly as some of the specialist wireless LAN vendors like Aruba and Aerohive. So what this deal does is give HP a lot of momentum, expertise and mobile specialists to really drive its business. As a result it will become the number-two wireless LAN vendor, replicating what is has done on the switching side."
Aruba distributor Exclusive Networks' chief operating officer Barrie Desmond said the takeover highlights the importance of the growing wireless market.
"Although wireless has been around for a while, it's reinventing itself and is more relevant than ever," he said. "[The acquisition] is a huge endorsement for the space."
The Aruba buy is one of the first significant acquisitions since it swallowed Autonomy in 2011, which prompted a fierce dispute between the two after HP was forced to write down its value by $8.8bn.
Desmond added that he did not think HP would let a similar saga unfold again.
"It is easy to consume companies, but most [only] fail through indigestion," he said. "HP would have learnt its lessons through Autonomy. It's a great opportunity for [Aruba]. It's a fact of life some resellers don't like working with the big huge brands but I just think [HP is] building up a really interesting portfolio of products and solutions. I think overall it is a very positive move for HP, Aruba and the channel."
Canalys' Ball agreed that HP has learnt its lesson on acquisitions but said resellers ought to keep a close eye on any channel changes.
"Every acquisition is different and obviously this one is a third of the size of Autonomy," he said. "With any deal there is going to be risk and I think what this deal does is complement what HP already has – it is not a new business and it is building now on what it already has.
"The biggest risk is to Aruba's channel partners in terms of maintaining there is no fallout from the deal. What Aruba's channel likes about Aruba is it is vendor agnostic... so long as that is still possible going forwards, I think it will be positive. Obviously they have had challenges with previous acquisitions but hopefully lessons will be implemented in the Aruba acquisition."
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