Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, unveiled a suite of innovative workplace solutions and a new vision for three return to work scenarios – returning to the office and venues, working from home, and ultimately, the office reimagined.
With Aruba’s AI-powered, cloud-native networking solutions as their foundation, each scenario provides pragmatic steps organizations can take today to expedite business recovery and implement contact tracing and touchless solutions that enhance the health and wellness of employees and visitors.
There’s no question that the new state of work will be much different from office life prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mandate to shut down non-essential physical offices and businesses tested the effectiveness of fully virtual workforces, which has been successful when the right networking technologies and tools are in place.
We will return not to one, but to many kinds of workplaces – traditional offices, homes, on the road – within which our safety must be ensured, and between which we must move seamlessly without retraining or compromise.
“The new fluid workplace requires contextual awareness, adaptability and scalability on a global scale – all without security gaps,” said Partha Narasimhan, CTO and HPE Senior Fellow for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
“Throughout the pandemic, Aruba’s AI-powered infrastructure has adapted to optimize customers’ reimagined work environments at half a million customer sites worldwide, with massive teleworkforces dispatched to work from home, and for essential mobile workforces.”
Return to the office and venues
Traditional offices and buildings are relying on AI-powered contact and location tracing tools to enable social and physical distancing monitoring solutions that make the workplace safer for employees, students, patients, customers, and fans.
Through Aruba-led innovations or implemented in concert with Aruba Technology Partners, these solutions use IoT and Bluetooth radios already built into Aruba access points and managed from a single pane of glass.
The solutions operate on customers’ existing Aruba infrastructure, eliminating the need for rip and replace, and leverage cloud-based applications that are easy to activate and affordable to deploy.
- Contact and location tracing – Aruba will be releasing a new set of native contact and location tracing tools for existing Aruba infrastructure customers based on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This will be demonstrated at Aruba Atmosphere Digital on June 9, 2020. For expanded capabilities, Aruba Technology Partners AiRISTA Flow, CXApp, Kiana Analytics, Modo Labs, and Skyfii integrate with Aruba infrastructures to monitor social distancing and group sizes, and generate contract tracing trees of potentially exposed individuals.
- Contactless visitor management – In the new work environment, organizations are looking to avoid physical contact with front desk receptionists or using shared, self-service tablets for check-in. Aruba and its digital workplace partners, such as Envoy, allow pre-registration, automated host notification, and auto-generated individualized visitor Wi-Fi credentials – all with zero human-to-human contact.
- Video and AI-based health monitoring – Proactively identifying and assisting COVID-infected guests and employees keeps everyone in the workplace safer. HPE Pointnext and Aruba’s technology partners can deliver and support contactless thermographic solutions that measure forehead temperature of groups of people simultaneously. Ideal for lobbies and other high traffic areas, the solution incorporates automated voice response and interfaces with access control portals.
Working from home
An effective long-term work-from-home solution has to deliver a secure, enterprise-like experience that enhances efficiency, creativity, and productivity.
Unlike solutions that use repurposed consumer network equipment, Aruba provides enterprise-class telework hardware coupled with plug-and-play installation, identity-based security, and cloud native management for rapid, simple and scalable deployment.
Field-proven since 2008, Aruba’s work-from-home solutions scale to accommodate organizations of any size, and are available with FIPS 140-2 validation for defense-related telework.
- Secure remote access to business-critical resources – Aruba Remote Access Points (RAPs) and gateways extend access to enterprise applications and services hosted on-premises or in the public cloud, anywhere employees work. Compatible with broadband and cellular networks, RAPs provide both Ethernet and wireless connectivity so employees can use IP phones, VDI terminals, trading consoles, and mobile devices at remote locations with the same security and quality of service they enjoy in the office.
- Seamless, secure access while on the road – Aruba Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) VPN software client provides secure connectivity to laptops, phones, and tablets. Unlike other VPN solutions that require the customer to set up additional layers of protection, VIA includes an embedded firewall that intelligently segments the traffic and enforces the security policies down to each user.
“For too long organizations have treated working locations as a binary choice – we’re either assigned to an office or are remote workers,” said Ryan Anderson, VP of Digital Innovation for Herman Miller.
“The current requirement to work remotely has blown the doors open for a new hybrid workplace reality that experience designers and technologists alike need to account for in the future. A comfortable, secure and reliable work-from-home setting will be a key requirement for this new era.”
The office reimagined
The recent trend for the modern corporate office – to deliver open, collaborative work spaces – will soon need to be revalidated. Moving forward, organizations are considering lasting changes in office layout and frequency of employee visits that are more on-demand and modular than ever before. This type of next-generation space poses challenges to traditional networking and security infrastructure intended for a static work environment.
The office will become increasingly smart using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IoT sensors, and other capabilities that were invested in during the COVID-19 reopening phase, but then may be repurposed to provide employee experience-enhancing applications, as well as security and crisis capabilities, should any type of health or other emergency resurface.
To help customers through this office and workstyle transformation, Aruba has established relationships with key leaders in the field of office architecture, design, and furnishings, such as Herman Miller, whose products, in conjunction with Aruba’s AI-powered infrastructure, can help customers redefine next generation spaces.