In 2017, Ryan Ruiz, one of CNI’s Systems Engineers (SE), achieved the elite status of Partner Ambassador in the Aruba Partner Ambassador Program.  Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is the global leader in secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud networking solutions that use AI to automate the network, while harnessing data to drive powerful business outcomes.  This invitation only program recognizes a small group of elite partner engineers with a high level of Aruba certification and practical expertise designing and implementing Aruba networking solutions.  Across the United States, Ruiz is one of 70 Ambassadors that has been selected based on his knowledge and engagement with Aruba.

CNI’s partnership with HPE/Aruba began in 2016 as a gold partner.  Through our increase in certifications and business year after year, we are now a platinum partner.

An Aruba sales representative said, “Often when working with a partner, you need to verify an Aruba sales rep or Product Line Manager is available for any technical questions from the customer.  However, with CNI, we do not have to worry as Ryan Ruiz knows the Aruba solutions so well.  It has made CNI such a great partner knowing we can trust and follow their lead with a customer.”

We asked Ruiz to reflect on his involvement with Aruba and the Ambassador Program:

Q: How have you grown your knowledge of Aruba solutions?
A: I was dedicated to Aruba when I joined CNI.  I started Aruba’s training and certification process by obtaining the Aruba Certified Design Expert (ACDX).  This certification verifies that you have the skills needed to properly design multi-site, complex Aruba mobile (wireless) and switch (wired) solutions incorporating ClearPass, mobile engagement, and network management.  Since then, I’ve achieved Aruba Certified Edge Expert (ACEX) status, which is given once you gain three expert level certifications.  I completed that by obtaining ACDX, Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX), and Aruba Certified ClearPass Expert (ACCX).  These certifications denote the additional competency in implementing Aruba Mobility solutions, as well as ClearPass.  My goal is to continue along the same path and work towards the Aruba Certified Switching Expert (ACSX) certification.

Q: What have you gained from being a part of the Aruba Partner Ambassador Program?
A: Through the program, I have received product roadmap, product trainings, and solution deep-dives.  I also have priority access to Aruba support for any product related issues.  Through bi-monthly virtual meetings, I receive early access to launch overviews and participate in feedback that can influence components of Aruba’s go-to-market plan.  In addition to those virtual meetings, the Ambassadors attend a Symposium preconference at Aruba’s Atmosphere conference annually.  Technical workshops are usually led by the Ambassador Channel SE or the Education team, though I usually get early access and beta invites to participate prior to customers and other partners.

Q: What Aruba solutions do you recommend based on the response from the end user?
A: CNI and Aruba’s sales teams work together in providing the best solutions that meet the customer’s unique needs.  I would say we focus on ClearPass, wireless, and switching portfolio, as they at the core of Aruba’s history.  We are placing additional engagement with cloud services, like Central and Silver Peak solutions, as Aruba executes that move toward the future.

How has CNI and Aruba’s partnership grown over the years?
A: When Aruba took on switching, as well as wireless, we were able to expand our Aruba business significantly.  Customers started moving to ClearPass subscription to secure authentication.  With the switching product line, an end user can now use Aruba solutions end-to-end.  Prior to HPE acquiring Aruba, CNI never sold HPE.  So, when switching expanded Aruba’s portfolio, CNI knew this would change the Aruba partnership for the better.

Q: What is unique about CNI and Aruba’s partnership?
A: CNI has a tight-knit relationship with the sales team at Aruba.  Aruba seems to trust us as an advisor above all else, which speaks to the confidence in our partnership.

This program benefits our company, but more importantly, our customers.  This level of expertise allows CNI to bring the best solutions to our customers because the Partner Ambassador Program gives CNI a unique insight into product development.  CNI is proud to be an Aruba platinum partner and applauds Aruba for continuing to enhance their partnerships with programs like the Partner Ambassador Program.