Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARUN) today announced that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has chosen Aruba’s wireless infrastructure, including its 802.11ac solution, to deliver a rich, innovative museum experience for its anticipated one million plus annual visitors. As part of a broader expansion of the museum’s facilities, the new Wi-Fi network will provide an interactive museum experience for patrons, while enabling operational efficiencies for the museum and its staff.
SFMOMA’s renovation plans include a brand new facility that will open in 2016 and will double the size of the museum to 450,000 square feet. The vision for this new facility is to provide a context-rich experience that allows visitors to use mobility solutions to interact and learn more about the exhibitions and artwork as they navigate through the museum. As SFMOMA CTO, Leo Ballate, explained, while the museum previously offered Wi-Fi, it was considered a convenience rather than an integral part of the museum experience.
“In the spirit of serving our community, we’ll not only offer free Wi-Fi and enable Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but we’ll also use the Wi-Fi to facilitate our visitors’ entire experience. We want to encourage a deeper and more meaningful engagement both with the museum and the artworks themselves,” Ballate said.
In the new facility, the Gigabit Wi-Fi network will allow visitors to connect via their personal mobile devices. A new SFMOMA mobile app will also enable visitors to leverage indoor location services to access specific information and details about selected artworks on view. SFMOMA aims to use this app to deliver a wealth of visitor benefits including advance ticket purchases, special features for members and personalized tours – including assistance with artwork interpretation – that begin the moment visitors enter the museum.
In addition to the numerous benefits this new network will bring to visitors, the museum is excited about the operational efficiencies it will offer. Said Ballate, “With the robust wireless infrastructure Aruba has provided, many of the museum’s manual processes will be streamlined and automated to help improve operations and therefore our bottom line.”
Ballate noted that SFMOMA is also moving to Microsoft Lync for unified communications, with the goal of allowing employees to be more mobile while enhancing collaboration and communication during their workday.
“With a few exceptions like conference rooms, we are moving to 100% softphones,” Ballate said. “We want to allow staff to communicate with Microsoft Lync from either their desktop or any mobile device they happen to be using so they can still connect to their corporate voicemail, instant messaging, screen sharing and all of the other aspects of unified communications. The end result is a much more mobile and efficient workforce.” Ballate also believes that the combination of SFMOMA’s wireless network and Lync deployment will benefit the museum employees who work in the field conserving, storing and moving the museum’s artworks, as well as interacting with the artists.
To achieve its goals for a rich visitor experience and more streamlined operations for staff, SFMOMA has deployed two separate networks – one for employees and staff and one for public access. Together, the networks use more than 200 Aruba 200 Series 802.11ac access points, 7200 Series Mobility Controllers, AirWave network management, and ClearPass Guest.
“With our partners, TeeCom and Intervision assisting us, we did a tremendous amount of research to determine which vendor was the best in class and could deliver on our vision,” said Ballate. “While Aruba was clearly the leader in the Wi-Fi space, it wasn’t just about that. Aruba had a broader ‘solutions story’ including mobile engagement, which really matched our long-term needs.”
Ballate says that SFMOMA is excited about discovering more ways to leverage the new infrastructure to improve the overall experience for their visitors. The museum is currently evaluating the use of Aruba Beacons and the Meridian Mobile App software to enhance the location and wayfinding capabilities of their mobile app.
“We really want to use the network and mobile app to learn more about our visitors – what exhibits most interest them, which artwork is their favorite, what can we be doing to facilitate their enjoyment of the museum – and in turn, offer our visitors a rich experience that they wouldn’t typically get just walking through any museum facility.”
About Aruba Networks, Inc.
Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company designs and delivers Mobility-Defined Networks that empower IT departments and #GenMobile, a new generation of tech-savvy users who rely on their mobile devices for every aspect of work and personal communication. To create a mobility experience that #GenMobile and IT can rely upon, Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks™ automate infrastructure-wide performance optimization and trigger security actions that used to require manual IT intervention. The results are dramatically improved productivity and lower operational costs.
Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
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Pavel Radda, +1-408-419-0294
Director of Corporate Communications
LSH Communications for Aruba Networks
Lori Hultin, +1-818-879-4651