Archive for November 2014

How Aruba is using Wi-Fi and ad beacons to improve in-person customer experiences.

Earlier this week, Aruba Networks announced a “Mobile Engagement” platform that lets businesses create personalized mobile experiences. The product is targeted primarily to organizations that have a high number of in-person customers on a daily basis, such as stadiums, retailers, hotels, and hospitals. The venue owner can use Mobile Engagement to deliver customized services based on the customer’s location and profile.

At its FORCE user conference, Riverbed laid out its plan to adapt its optimization tools for the hybrid WAN.

A little over a decade ago WAN optimization became a real market, and it was flooded with names like Peribit, Actona, Packeteer, and SWAN Labs. However, no one did WAN optimization better than Riverbed. In fact, Riverbed and the term WAN optimization became synonymous with one another as the market took off. WAN optimization was hot because it solved a huge problem – it made applications such as Windows file transfer and Exchange work better over wide area connections, alleviating a sore point for network managers for years. Once deployed, it was impossible to take out. I remember interviewing a network manager of a global firm who referred to Riverbed as “network crack.” Once workers got used to an optimized WAN connection, it was impossible to go back to a non-optimized connection.

Over the past few years, though, the WAN optimization market has cooled off and Riverbed’s growth has slowed. The challenge for Riverbed and the rest of the market is that WANs have evolved into hybrid WANs, and optimizing the private network only solves part of the problem.

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