The News: San Jose, Calif., July 13 – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE:HPE) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Silver Peak, an SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) leader, in a transaction valued at $925 million. Silver Peak will be combined with HPE’s Aruba business unit and will extend Aruba’s technology leadership in the large and fast-growing SD-WAN space. Read the full release from HPE.
Analyst Take: I’ve continued to be impressed with the aggressive M&A strategy of HPE under CEO Antonio Neri. The company’s recent DNA has been to acquire unique portfolio adds to enable the goal of delivering everything-as-a-service over the next 8 quarters, but to also be more capable of meeting the growing and changing demands for enterprise IT in a world also seeing major shifts in architecture and consumption. Add a completely unforeseen pandemic into the mix and the need for agility and adaptability becomes even more important.
The acquisition of Sliver Peak fits into the company’s enterprise network business. Let’s take a quick look at Silver Peak and where this acquisition fits into the business.
Silver Peak Brings Value to Extend Aruba and Broader Edge to Cloud Needs
First of all, Silver Peak isn’t a household name, so let’s take a moment to cover that. Silver Peak is an emerging leader in the SD-WAN market with more than 1,500 production SD-WAN customers around the world. The company’s solutions are designed to help enterprises and service providers quickly migrate to secure enterprise-grade SD-WAN connectivity, while dramatically improving application performance and lowering connectivity costs.
Silver Peak’s has developed a well known edge platform known as the SD-WAN edge platform, which enables customers to achieve dedicated WAN-like performance while running all cloud applications and services via broadband access. All of this aligns well to the Aruba offerings, but of course there will need to be considerable design/engineering and sales/marketing to make sure that customers understand the portfolio and ideally for the solutions to be interoperable in the not too distant future.
In the company’s statement, it provided what it considered to be the key benefits of the acquisition as:
The combination of Aruba and Silver Peak will accelerate Cloud transformation for enterprises with a comprehensive edge-to-cloud networking solution covering all aspects of wired, wireless LAN and wide area networking (WAN)
Silver Peak’s simple, intuitive ‘self-driving’ WAN delivers significant cost savings while Smaintaining application performance for rapid business recovery in a post COVID-19 world
Silver Peak complements Aruba’s existing work from home and branch office solutions to deliver one of the industry’s most comprehensive portfolios designed to securely connect any edge to any cloud
Establishes end-to-end leadership with a comprehensive, secure networking portfolio in growing market for campus, data center, branch and remote worker locations
I believe these do reflect the opportunities as well as fit the aforementioned DNA of HPE under Neri. I particularly like that Silver Peak has a “Meraki” feel about it with some of its simplicity. We have entered a world where simplicity continues to be a driver for technology adoption and with services like GreenLake and Aruba Central, I can see Silver Lake fitting in for its telemetry but also its SaaS like functionality that enables as a service delivery.
Overall Impressions of HPE Acquisition of Silver Peak
HPE is entering a critical inflection point for the company. With its bigger overriding commitment to moving to as-a-service along with its significant recent moves to expand its software offerings for modernized data center and cloud management, the company is once again flashing its ambition.
I feel this acquisition, while not necessarily a game changer, is indicative of the company’s continued path to meeting customers where they are. In this case, as remote work and at home work demand continue to skyrocket, enterprises large and small will be looking for the right mix of capacity and capability–coupled with the already promising offerings of HPE Aruba, I believe Silver Peak puts another tool in HPE’s proverbial tool box. The next few quarters will tell the tale of execution, which of course, is perhaps the top item on the watch list for an acquisition of this type.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.