Deploying an Enterprise-Grade WiFi Network: Are You Making These 3 Mistakes?
When you were a kid, didn’t you hate it when adults said things like, “Sometimes you have to learn the hard way”—and they were right? Riding on the handlebars of a friend’s bike down a very steep hill while your friend pedaled furiously might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but one busted lip and lots of bruises later, you had (hopefully) learned a valuable lesson about bike safety.
As a managed WiFi service provider, our goal at SecurEdge is to help businesses set up high-performing wireless networks the easy way. But sadly, many customers don’t seek help from us until they’ve already endured some painful lessons.
Slow, spotty WiFi performance and frustrated customers are just some of the pain points we try to address when designing and deploying secure WiFi networks.
In order to help you identify why your business might be experiencing wifi problems, let’s talk about the three most common mistakes we see companies make when trying to deploy an enterprise-grade WiFi network.
Mistake Number 1: DIY
What many business leaders don’t realize is that wireless is a very technical, highly specialized skill set. It takes a laundry list of certifications and technical training beyond a master’s level degree to understand how to properly design, deploy, and maintain an enterprise-grade wireless network.
Often, we see businesses get into trouble because they expect their IT department to take a do-it-yourself approach and simply “figure out all that wireless stuff.” It’s just like your home wireless network but bigger, right?
Wrong. Even with some technical training, if you don’t have a background doing WiFi design and deployment full-time, you will quickly find yourself in over your head.
Mistake Number 2: Underestimating the Importance of WiFi Design
We can’t stress this enough: design is everything. True, even a good WiFi design can't make bad products perform well, but a bad WiFi design sure can make great products perform poorly. In other words, it's not so much about the product or brand, but how you design your network to utilize those products.
It’s very easy to spend lots of money on premium infrastructure and software but neglect to take the necessary design steps and end up with a poorly performing network. We have seen this time and again, and it’s usually the point at which we get a phone call asking for help.
That’s why we always start with a predictive site survey. In many situations, a predictive survey will be more than sufficient to design what your business needs. However, for certain environments an on-site visit will be required. Our network engineers will make this recommendation when necessary.
From hospitals, to hotels, to warehouses, to office and retail spaces, no two organizations are alike. We make sure your plan, not just the products, is tailored to your business’s environment and wireless needs.
Mistake 3: Not Measuring WiFi Performance
“Set it and forget it” might be a fine approach for cooking rotisserie chicken, but it does not work for your wireless network.
You need to think of your network as a living thing. Everything changes: your RF environment, the technology (both devices and applications), the number of people trying to access your network, and the security threats your network faces.
Your wireless system must be managed, maintained, and updated over time for your end users to experience optimal performance.
BONUS* Mistake 4: Purchasing your WiFi network as a capital expense (CapEx).
This isn’t a mistake per se, but more of an outdated way of doing it. At SecurEdge, we are helping our clients move to a WiFi as a Service (WaaS) model, smoothing out the overall cost of their wireless network into an ongoing operating expense (OpEx).
When you consider the speed at which technology is changing today, it’s easy to see why your wireless network will be obsolete (i.e., not worth anything) in just three to five years and you’ll have to start all over again.
Instead of shelling out huge amounts of money every few years to purchase new wireless infrastructure and software that will quickly depreciate, WiFi as a Service gives you access to the best products, design, and managed services, as well as a partner who will make sure your network is always up-to-date and performing at its best.
The beauty of purchasing your wireless network through a subscription (Wi-Fi as a Service) is that it’s really an umbrella fix for all of the other mistakes we talked about above:
● Bye-bye, DIY: Free your IT department up to focus on other things rather than expend a massive amount of time and energy trying to deploy and maintain a large-scale wireless network. As we discussed above, wireless is a niche subset of IT and network communications, and rather than attempt to get your employees trained and certified in wireless, you can simply tap into our expertise.
● Expert Design: We’ll present you with a customized WiFi design based on your business’s needs and RF environment. We’ll factor in the mobile-first demands of today’s end users and the potential obstacles to network performance.
● Ongoing Performance Assessments: Our managed WiFi services include health checks, security monitoring, and troubleshooting. We perform assessments on the devices your end users will actually be using, so we can give you an accurate idea of how well your network is lining up to the demands placed on it.
Ready to Do This the Easy Way?
So, before you go flying face-first over those handlebars—or even if you already have—find out how SecurEdge can design a high-performing wireless network for you, the easy way. If you have any questions or would like to have a conversation about a current or upcoming project, please contact us here.
Dana Adams blogs regularly for SecurEdge and other tech companies. She believes technology should serve people, not the other way around. When she's not blogging, you'll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family and two rescue dogs.