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Aerohive Strives to Unlock Wi-Fi Potential

Growing up in the highly connected, digital age, I have to admit to taking Internet access for granted. While I can vaguely recall a young me sitting in front of the house computer and listening to the screeching sounds of AOL struggling to connect, those days were only a blip in my connected history. Rather, for the largest chunk of my life, connecting to the Internet has been wireless, quick, and carefree, requiring little to no effort from me.

Given my subdued experience with getting online, my briefings with Aerohive Networks have been enlightening, helping to rid me of my simplistic view of connectivity. In announcements today, Aerohive highlights just how far you can take Wi-Fi and connectivity.

The Connected Experience
Like many industry players, Aerohive is focusing on the power mobile technologies provide for business transformation. It has been hard at work putting together a suite of new technologies that make up its Connected Experience Platform, built on its cloud networking architecture and promising to help businesses "unlock the future potential of Wi-Fi."

Among other capabilities, the Connected Experience platform includes a new release of Aerohive's HiveManager Next Generation (HiveManager NG), its network management application for on-premises and cloud deployments. HiveManager NG now makes available integrated solutions for guest access and personal device access.

With the connected experience platform, Aerohive is bringing the idea of APIs to the Wi-Fi world. To do so, it has launched its Application Platform, which not only includes the release of APIs, but also a supporting developer program. I spoke with Aerohive's Milind Pansare, director of strategic marketing, and John Hanay, senior manager of product management, who took me through a few demos to show how organizations can leverage this sort of application and developer platform.

"A lot of the wireless vendors have really focused a lot of their conversation as well as their solutions around speeds of the Wi-Fi access points themselves -- you know, the better my radio, the better my antenna, etc. We are trying to up-level that conversation to the business value of Wi-Fi," Pansare said, adding that he wants the focus to be more on how the solution is providing a better experience for enterprise customers.

As Pansare explained, the Application Platform can help businesses:

The idea behind the Application Platform is to provide a developer portal, APIs, and reference apps that give Aerohive customers a way to create business applications that help them serve their customers. Aerohive sees several types of developers using this platform, with the main developer audience being within the IT departments of Aerohive customers. These developers could be writing apps specifically for things like guest access on their networks, or using location to automate time and attendance logging for employees. Another type of development work would involve using data feeds from HiveManager NG for network monitoring and configuration purposes.

In a sample demo, Hanay showed me how a university used the Aerohive platform and APIs to develop an application for simplifying connectivity to campus networks. Using this application, students and their guests can get access credentials and security codes for connecting their personal devices.

With reference apps such as this one, Aerohive said it hopes to illustrate to its customers the various use cases and to shorten their development times. Next spring, it will launch an app showcase on HiveStore that it said will highlight its partner and customer solutions -- so it may be worth a check-in at that time to see what companies have been up to in the way of developing applications that better serve the end user.

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