NOVEMBER 2012: Back in the day when wireless technology was just a tadpole in the pond of business IT, your focus was on your wired network. But today, if your business is like most, what was once WiFi for “guests” is now your team’s preferred technology for getting work done. So wireless needs a lot more attention.
Tablets, VoIP phones, laptops without Ethernet ports and other mobile devices have exploded into the work environment — mobile is here to stay. So IT teams are scrambling to keep up, troubleshoot and plan for tomorrow. Each time your wireless network slows to a crawl, for example, or goes down for no apparent reason, it’s letting you know it needs proactive management.
Here are five ways a managed wireless network lets your company gain control and leap to new heights of productivity:
1) Manage your entire facility and control all access points from a central location. As with your wired network, your wireless network can be managed remotely with the same level of control and without field techs, even if your environment is as big as a university, hospital complex or big corporation. The technology has really evolved lately. Those Netgear $50 access points are not going to cut it anymore, but you also don’t need the expensive $10,000 Cisco and Aruba controllers, either.
2) Install Security that keeps bad people out of your wireless network, like the folks hanging out in the lobby or in their cars parked right outside. And if someone unauthorized tries to gain access, the managed wireless tech team will know about it.
3) Detect rogue access points to prevent mobile hot spots and the creative and resourceful coworker from circumventing your security measures — they’ll be thwarted before any damage can be done.
4) Monitor and report on your entire network (wired and wireless) so you can spot and fix trouble areas before they become actual problems, and understand the people and applications using bandwidth — including at what time and with which devices. You’ll even know when a brownout inadvertently knocks an access point offline. Quick repairs ensue.
5) Enforce Wireless policies that focus on your priorities and make sense for your business. Delegated priorities make sure each network gets the bandwidth it needs and prevents misuse, intended or not. You won’t have to worry about your email flow being interrupted by someone sneaking a peak at a Netflix movie.