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ACTS Retirement-Life Communities Connects Staff, Improves Resident Care and Satisfaction with Aruba Networks WLAN

Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN) today announced that ACTS Retirement-Life Communities, Inc., a leader in life care living since 1972, is implementing a unified wired and wireless network based on Aruba’s MOVE architecture. With the new network in place, ACTS is moving toward its vision of having all staff connected via mobile devices to improve resident care and hospitality, while giving residents the ability to stay connected with friends and family.

ACTS operates a range of communities in its 28 locations, employing almost 6,200 staff and serving more than 8,000 residents. The organization operates continuing care retirement communities encompassing independent, assisted living, and skilled care. Having a cost-effective networking solution that could answer the needs of both residents and staff across their continuum including nurses and doctors in their skilled care environments was a challenge that ACTS’ existing wireless network could not handle. ACTS began the search for an enterprise-class solution that could serve all of its communities, as well as the company’s regional offices and headquarters in West Point, Pennsylvania. After an initial Request for Information (RFI) that was narrowed down to a more thorough evaluation of four vendors, ACTS selected Aruba Networks as its preferred vendor.

“The key for us was selecting a vendor that could support both our current environment, as well as our future plans,” said James Clark, Corporate Director of Technology for ACTS Retirement-Life Communities. “Aruba’s Instant Controller-less solution was far and above the most cost-effective way to deploy wireless for our distributed environment while still gaining enterprise-class functionality and ease of use. From a business perspective, the Aruba Instant platform was considerably less expensive than the other solutions we evaluated, while delivering staff access, a bedside entry solution, a Wi-Fi hotspot for guests and residents and an in-room telephone solution for our skilled care rooms.”

Clark also noted that the new network allows ACTS to fulfill its vision of having every employee connected to the network, whether via company-issued or personal mobile devices. In addition, this Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy would allow residents and guests to use personal mobile devices to connect and communicate.

The ACTS deployment includes nearly 4,000 Aruba Instant Access Points, of which approximately 1,000 are already installed, with the rest scheduled to roll out by mid-2015. The organization is also using Aruba 2500 and 3500 Series Mobility Switches, AirWave Network Management System and Aruba’s ClearPass Access Management System to provide guest access. Currently, the wireless network delivers access in the skilled care, assisted living and common areas of ACTS’ campuses which encompass about 30 percent of their communities. The network will be extended to ACTS’ independent living units, which comprise another 70 percent of the organization’s sites, over the next year.

For ACTS’ staff, the new network finally brings wireless coverage to areas that were previously devoid of access. With wireless extended to the bedside, nurses and staff can document care on mobile devices, saving time, reducing delays and potential errors – all of which contribute to better resident care. With ACTS expecting to see thousands of devices connecting to the network, Clark noted that flexibility to expand was a crucial factor in their infrastructure choice.

For residents, the new network provides services that weren’t available previously and according to Clark, were cost-prohibitive until the Aruba deployment. “Using the Aruba Instant APs, we were able to create a solution that placed a phone in each of our skilled care residents’ rooms without running expensive cables,” said Clark. “There were a number of ways to do this, but this model saved us an estimated $15,000 per location.” The new network also provides HotSpot-type capabilities for residents allowing them to use applications like Skype to communicate with loved ones. Clark noted that a key benefit of the Aruba Instant APs is the ability to rate-limit specific apps on residents’ and guests’ mobile devices, to avoid saturating the network.

“ACTS exemplifies many of the progressive healthcare organizations that are recognizing the numerous benefits a solid networking infrastructure can bring to both their employees and patients/residents,” said Jeff Dolce, Area Vice President, Aruba Networks. “By choosing the right network infrastructure, these customers can improve productivity and patient care and satisfaction, while saving significantly on both their capital and operational expenses. We’re excited to see organizations like ACTS using Aruba technology in an increasingly innovative fashion.”

Additional Resources

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.

© 2014 Aruba Networks, Inc. Aruba Networks’ trademarks include Aruba Networks®, Aruba The Mobile Edge Company® (stylized), Aruba Mobility-Defined Networks™, Aruba Mobility Management System®, People Move Networks Must Follow®, Mobile Edge Architecture®, RFProtect®, Green Island®, ETips®, ClientMatchTM, Virtual Intranet AccessTM, ClearPass Access Management SystemsTM, Aruba InstantTM, ArubaOSTM, xSecTM, ServiceEdgeTM, Aruba ClearPass Access Management SystemTM, AirmeshTM, AirWaveTM, Aruba CentralTM, and “ARUBA@WORKTM. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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