Aruba releases AI-powered tools for the new way of work

The solutions include contact and location tracing, secure remote access points, contactless visitor management, and more.

Aruba unveiled multiple artificial intelligence (AI)-powered solutions that aim to accommodate employees going back to the workplace, as well as those remaining remote. The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way individuals live and work, which Aruba considered when developing these tools, according to a press release on Monday. 

SEE: COVID-19: A guide and checklist for restarting your business (TechRepublic Premium)

COVID-19 has revealed a lot about society, specifically the capabilities of technology and the reliance on it. Most workplaces have realized their remote abilities, causing most to consider keeping a partially, or fully, remote workforce

The majority of US employees (63%) agreed that the coronavirus has changed the workplace forever, a Prudential Financial report found. While businesses are beginning to open up in the US, that doesn't mean the coronavirus is gone. Organizations must consider the safest way to operate during a pandemic, which may include having fewer employees in the office at a time or spacing out employee workspaces. 

Aruba's AI-powered, cloud-native networking solutions aim to help businesses function smoothly with these new factors in mind. 

"The new fluid workplace requires contextual awareness, adaptability and scalability on a global scale—all without security gaps," said Partha Narasimhan, CTO and HPE senior fellow for Aruba, in the release. "Throughout the pandemic, Aruba's AI-powered infrastructure has adapted to optimize customers' reimagined work environments at half a million customer sites worldwide, with massive teleworkforces dispatched to work from home, and for essential mobile workforces."

AI-solutions for returning to the office 

Social distancing standards recommend people stay six feet away from one another to prevent possible COVID-19 exposure. These tools help employees both stay connected and connect with clients, while remaining at a distance. 

  • Contact and location tracing

Aruba announced a new set of native contact and location training tools for existing Aruba infrastructure customers, based on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The solution allows organizations to quickly identify employees, visitors, and customers who may have come into contact with an individual who has been identified as displaying health issues. 

  • Contactless visitor management 

Employees going into the office are looking to avoid physical contact when possible, whether it's with front desk receptionists or using shared, self-service tablets for check-in. Aruba's contactless visitor management facilitates preregistration, automated host notification, and auto-generated individualized visitor Wi-Fi credentials with zero human-to-human interaction. 

  • Video and AI-based health monitoring 

Identifying and helping COVID-infected guests and employees is critical to maintaining a safe workplace. Aruba partnered with HPE Pointnext to deliver a contactless thermographic solution that measures forehead temperature of groups of people all at once. The tool is ideal for lobbies or other high-traffic areas in an office. It also has automated voice response and interfaces with access control portals, according to the release. 

Tools for working at home 

With remote work, or a hybrid in-person and remote schedule, growing in popularity, Aruba released two other solutions to help working from home run smoothly. 

  • Remote Access Points 

Aruba introduced its Remote Access Points (RAPs) and gateways that broaden access to enterprise applications and services hosted on premises or in the public cloud, anywhere an employee works, according to the release. 

The tools are compatible with broadband and cellular networks, as well as provide both Ethernet and wireless connectivity so workers can use IP phones, VDI terminals, trading consoles, and mobile devices remotely with the same security and quality as in-office employees. 

  • Virtual Intranet Access

A crucial product for maintaining the security of remote workers is a VPN. Aruba's Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) VPN software provides secure connectivity to laptops, phones, and tablets. VIA includes an embedded firewall that intelligently segments traffic and enforces security policies for each user, removing the step of the customer having to set up additional layers of protection.

"For too long organizations have treated working locations as a binary choice—we're either assigned to an office or are remote workers," said Ryan Anderson, vice president of digital innovation for Herman Miller, in the release.

 "The current requirement to work remotely has blown the doors open for a new hybrid workplace reality that experienced designers and technologists alike need to account for in the future," Anderson said. "A comfortable, secure and reliable work-from-home setting will be a key requirement for this new era."

For more, check out CDC guidelines on reopening businesses after the pandemic on TechRepublic.

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