For visiting performers and show producers, the Center wanted to provide a way for them to stay in touch with loved ones, connect back to their offices and remain productive. Finally, for patrons, the Center wanted to deliver an enhanced mobile experience, allowing guest access for Internet, email and social media posting, and to provide mobile ticket sales.The Center had used a Cisco-Meraki infrastructure for wireless connectivity in the past, but needed to modernize their network to encompass both indoor and outdoor areas and support the increased demands from its varied users and emerging applications. The Center had also used HPE for its data center networking solutions, so when HPE acquired Aruba, the benefit of having a single vendor, approaching a single-pane-of-glass for management, made their upgrade decision easier. The Center utilizes HPE 5900 switches in the core and Aruba 2920 switches at the edge of the network. To upgrade the wireless network, the Center worked with channel partner, CSPi to deploy more than 100 Aruba 802.11ac access points for both indoor and outdoor use. An Aruba Platinum Partner, CSPi Technology Solutions (NASDAQ:CSPI) is a master systems integrator specializing in wireless and mobility solutions. With the new infrastructure in place, the Center is also providing an enhanced experience for all visitors including the broader Miami community. In addition to accessing the Wi-Fi inside the Center's four main performance spaces and their respective box offices, guests and visitors can also stay connected in the Center's outdoor areas. These include the outside dining spaces of the Café at Books & Books, and the popular Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts that hosts numerous outdoor events including a farmers market each Monday. Said Thompson, "We have new condo towers near us and foot traffic is increasing. We have TV crews who like to film commercials in our Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts, given its location in the heart of downtown Miami. And we get people visiting the Café at Books & Books who may just want to have a cup of coffee and use their laptop or phone to do some work. We're committed to fostering this kind of community environment, so being able to extend the Wi-Fi across our outdoor areas was key."
Although the Café at Books & Books and Brava by Brad Kilgore, the center's on-site restaurant, are managed by third-party vendors, all of these facilities rely on the Center's Wi-Fi network for connectivity as well as credit card transactions. The box offices all use the wireless network, along with tablets and credit card scanners, to sell tickets and conduct other financial transactions. Thompson noted that supporting these kinds of Point-of-Sale applications with robust security and PCI compliance were top of mind when they selected the Aruba wireless solutions.The Adrienne Arsht Center is already preparing for the next phase of its mobile-first network rollout, with plans to deploy Aruba's AirWave network management and ClearPass Guest for secure onboarding of visitors' mobile devices to its guest Wi-Fi network, as well as Aruba's Mobile Engagement Solution including the Meridian App Platform and Aruba Beacons. With the Mobile Engagement Solution, the Center will have the platform it needs to create its own mobile app allowing patrons to take advantage of such features as indoor navigation, accessing detailed and interactive information about the Center, its events and performances, proximity notifications and in-app ticket sales. The Center also hopes to leverage the Wi-Fi network to deliver open captioning and other programs for ADA needs. "Our users are always vocal about the Wi-Fi and more specifically, about the need to have good Wi-Fi when they are in our Center and the surrounding areas," said Thompson. "We need to make sure that we continue to offer secure and reliable access and most importantly, keep up with the increasing demand from our patrons, guests, performers and staff." About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.