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The rise of GenMobile

Mobile devices and gadgets connected to the network and the entry of the young generation into the labor force are changing the way people work, according to a technology expert who visited the Philippines recently.

Vinay Anand, an Indian national who works for a US company based in Sunnyvale, California, says the work environment is shifting, as companies move away from fixed, static wired networks to an open, dynamic environment where mobility rules and the young employees belonging to the so-called GenMobile demand to work anywhere, anytime with constant access to the Internet.

“The whole mobility aspects, which allow us to go wherever we want—from home, from work, from outside, and do our job as effectively as before is as the heart of what we are seeing in this transformation,” Anand says in a news briefing at Raffles Hotel in Makati City. 

ClearPass Security general manager Vinay Anand of Aruba Networks (left) and Aruba Philippines country manager  Cheryll Terrado

Anand is the vice president and general manager of ClearPass Security at Aruba Networks, a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprise. The company,  which was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise last year, delivers IT solutions to empower organizations to serve the so-called GenMobile, which refers to mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.

Before coming to Aruba, Vinay was the vice president of product management for network security at Intel Security.  He also held leadership positions with Symantec, Nokia and Cisco Systems.

Anand cites the results of a survey showing that a lot of new employees refuse to take a job if they are not given the freedom to use the computer they want.  “This is a very dramatic change from the behavior we have seen in the past where you go to work and take the computer you are offered.

Now, the younger generation is actually insisting on the kind of work environment they get,” he says.

He says this became possible through WiFi, or wireless networking that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections.  Through WiFi, people can now work and get connected everywhere they want.  It has also led to the rise of IoT, short for Internet of things, which is the network of devices other than smartphones or tablets which are embedded with electronics, software and sensors to connect to the network.

“IoT is the new trend we are seeing.  That will change the entire paradigm. Non-traditional devices get connected to the network.  Not only computers or laptops, but monitors, light fixtures, process control systems, healthcare equipment, factory equipment, cars etc. are now connected to the network,” says Anand.

“When you bring that paradigm into the network, it is just an extension of mobility. The old paradigm is on wired networks, the next paradigm is on mobility. IoT is an extension of mobility.

“In the next three to five years, there are few trends we are seeing.  IoT is one.  It will be pervasive.  Years from now…. that would be our life.  It is like our cellphone.  Three to five years from now, IoT will be adopted so broadly and cloud will be much more pervasive. The interesting part is that all these trends come together  to define a new work environment.  The whole concept of sitting in a cube or a desk in an office to do work, that is gonna change rapidly, as the next generation comes in.   As more younger people come in, that paradigm of work environment is going to shift,” he says.

Anand says GenMobile, armed with a growing number of personal devices and apps, is taxing IT and security administrators by demanding greater access to company resources via Wi-Fi and cellular.

“That becomes very important when we design our new solutions,” he says.

He says to address the requirements of GenMobile, Aruba is offering a new suite of integrated networking software and hardware solutions.  The new portfolio enables IT teams to anticipate and resolve connectivity problems, and create secure policies to build digital workplaces that are optimized to boost employee productivity.

The new, integrated wired and wireless portfolio, combined with innovations in network management and security, allow IT organizations to design and augment their networks for the digital workplace.

“We are taking those trends that we are seeing and we are building technologies that are helping drive those trends.  We are moving from a legacy architecture to mobile first,” says Anand.

Aruba Philippines country manager Cheryll Terrado says the company has thousands of customers in the Philippines, including telecom companies, banks, retail establishments and manufacturing firms.

“We are doing very well in the wireless space.  We have clients in telco, retail as well as manufacturing,” she says. 

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