Take My Wi-Fi…Please! A nice little play on the oft spoken one liner by Liverpool born, American comedian Henry “Henny” Youngman, but quite apt at the moment as Wireless Networking appears to be the in demand service our customers are looking for. With the rapid proliferation of wireless devices in the classroom and work place such as laptops, tablets
and I-Pads, the demand for managed wireless solutions has never been greater.
Our business started to deploy managed wireless solutions early 2003 into schools and colleges and whilst relatively expensive some of them are still operating to this day and have posed very little problems to the managers looking after them. In fact it was often said the greatest thing about Wi-Fi solutions was they just ran in the background with zero management. This means they have delivered fantastic value for money, but it appears that times are a changing. We used to mainly deploy 3COM wireless solutions which were a Trapeze product, however since then 3COM have become part of Hewlett Packard and Trapeze have changed hands a few times and are now part of Juniper, so maintaining and expanding those wireless networks has now become pretty much impossible.
So that would be probably reason enough for most staff to request their managers to change their system that maybe creaking. The onset of the 802.11n
standard offering greater bandwidth and extended coverage of these systems are ageing, managers are now at a technological crossroads. More and more devices are coming 802.11n ready replacing the slower 802.11g
standard it becomes more inevitable with each new technology release.
We love managed solutions as they offer great wireless performance allowing different groups of people different levels of access to network services and resources. They provide features such as guest access and Wi-Fi management to prevent co-location issues. Uniquely Enterasys
, a global market leader in Wi-Fi, can now offer different organisations under one roof access to wireless services from one controller within a single wireless Infrastructure. There is increasing demand within the public for buildings to support shared ICT services; a typical example of this would be a county council, primary care trust and education authority under one roof, sharing a wireless network infrastructure whilst maintaining network autonomy. This is a priceless benefit to any facilities manager trying to offer the very best ICT service, allowing them to protect their budgets, keep their costs down and deliver an effective flexible working environment.
One of the areas we are seeing recently gaining the greatest demand is in the Primary school market sector, where mobile device proliferation has grown massively. The development of teaching and learning in key stage 1 and 2 has meant that ICT has become a tool that’s embedded across curriculum, and technology needs to be flexible i.e. wireless. The approach that has been taken in some of these schools has been deploying the odd wireless access point around the school giving sporadic unmanaged connectivity. Not only has this been frustrating for the students (who by the way are used to a superfast, reliable connection at home) but meant that teaching staffs confidence becomes further eroded. Managed solutions haven’t been taken up in Primary School partly for cost reasons but also the lack of ICT management that is enjoyed by high schools. That’s why this year we have launched ClouFi
, a managed rented wireless cloud into a school. Under the tag “Wireless without Worry”
after a detailed site survey we provide the schools with enough access points giving a campus wide wireless cloud but manage it remotely from our data centre. This is backed up by a maintenance contract so if there is a blind spot or access point failure we will know about it before the school. This service is completely scalable as the schools demand grows and the services can be provided cost effectively for an annual rental charge.
Demand for this service has been massive so far, and rightly so because Primary schools deserve a hassle free Wi-Fi solution like their secondary cousins. When I hear some of the stories about how wireless surveys are carried out by companies proclaiming to be wireless experts I shudder and realise why some schools have such a bad experience with wireless. Thankfully after nearly 10 years of providing wireless solutions we have customers who have had nothing but a good wireless experience and are quite pleased to consider trading in their old Wireless for new.
So do your organisation a favour, Take My Wi-Fi….Please.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CLOUFI, PLEASE USE THE LINK BELOW
Cloufi Brochure.pdf (341.60 kb)