For most executives and IT managers, their company’s WiFi network is a strategic necessity -- right up there with utility power, HVAC, running water, and telecommunications. However, the process that companies go through when planning their wireless network design can be anywhere from frustrating to utterly confusing.
SecurEdge helps you make your WiFi simple, fast, and secure. With a modern process and an all-in-one platform, enterprise-grade WiFi as a Service (WaaS) and WiFi performance monitoring are now within your reach. A straightforward subscription covers all of your WiFi hardware, software, and managed network needs. And it’s backed by the company that’s been shaping the future of WiFi for over a decade: SecurEdge Networks.
In this article, you’ll learn how to plan your WiFi as Service initiative -- and more specifically what to expect when you’re about to implement SecurEdge WiFi.
Every WiFi network has different goals, challenges, and needs. While certain patterns come up among different kinds of IT environments, such as differences among WiFi for offices, restaurants, hotels, and college campuses, wireless network design always starts with a thorough, well-structured discovery call.
Your SecurEdge project manager will conduct a discovery call with you and your team. During this meeting, you’ll talk about what goes into building the right WiFi as a Service plan for your needs including:
● The average number of users on your wireless network at any given time
● The average number of devices (again, on your company’s WiFi at any given time)
● The types of devices (for example desktop computers, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, printers, cameras, and VoIP phones -- plus emerging needs around the Internet of Things (IoT) that can be especially prevalent within industrial environments)
● Types of software applications (including personal vs. business usages such as office productivity applications as well as more bandwidth-intensive applications such as video conferencing and streaming video)
● Building materials (for example dropped ceilings -- the secondary ceiling hung below the main or structural ceiling, the number of floors and buildings, and whether the building is primarily constructed from wood, concrete, steel, or another material)
If there is more than one person from your company that can provide insight on these kinds of questions, such as an IT manager, facilities manager, or maintenance supervisor, you should, by all means, include all essential stakeholders in your discovery call. If in doubt, ask your SecurEdge project manager for their advice when scheduling this initial meeting.
The Importance of Up-to-Date Floor Plans: To get the most value from your discovery call and set you on the right path, be sure that you have current floor plans for your building. As part of creating an accurate wireless network design and recommending the right WiFi as a Service program for your needs, your SecurEdge project manager will review your floor plans. So make sure to have your floor plans available before your discovery call as design times may be delayed without accurate floor plans.
Predictive Wireless Network Design
After a successful discovery call, your SecurEdge project manager will be able to start creating a predictive design. This way you can
● Avoid problems from the outset
● Get the most value out of your WiFi network immediately following the installation
● Save money so that you’re not spending budget in the wrong places
However not all predictive designs are created equal.
As experts on successfully deploying  wireless networks in offices, schools, universities, hospitals, hotels, airports, industrial facilities, and museums since 2006, SecurEdge Networks has perfected the art and science of predictive wireless design to take in account these components:
- Predictive RF (radio frequency) coverage map -- Also known as a heat map, this document gives you a detailed view of the anticipated RF or wireless coverage from the access points (APs) deployed throughout your location.
- AP location map -- This document shows where your APs will be located within your building or buildings to provide the most effective and reliable signal delivery.
- Anticipated throughput forecast -- As anyone that’s ever experienced slow WiFi can attest to; wireless network performance is super-important. So predictive wireless network design must be able to model how much throughput or capacity is included.
- (Optional) Capacity analysis calculation -- If your WiFi network is expected to have a very high number of users (hundreds or even thousands ), capacity analysis becomes a lot more critical. This part of your design looks at the devices, their capabilities, software applications, and anticipated load on the wireless network. Capacity analysis calculation identifies whether there are special coverage/capacity design considerations that require more APs to support the demand.
The result: SecurEdge engineers create a predictive design based on the information discussed during the discovery call. The predictive design is an essential part of developing an accurate bill of materials and price quote. More complex designs may require an on-site assessment to determine the best wireless solution.
Proposal for WiFi as a Service
After your discovery call and predictive wireless network design are completed, SecurEdge Networks can prepare an accurate proposal for your WiFi as a Service subscription.
Your SecurEdge project manager will schedule a call to discuss the proposed solution.
In addition to your SecurEdge project manager, a SecurEdge engineer will also participate in this meeting.
During this session, you’ll be able to get any remaining questions answered and concerns addressed. You’ll also learn about valuable suggestions based on the data gathered from your discovery call and predictive design, plus industry knowledge and experience from deploying hundreds of  wireless networks in offices, schools, universities, hospitals, hotels, airports, industrial facilities, and museums since 2006.
As with the discovery call, if there is more than one person from your company that can provide insight on issues related to network infrastructure and building construction, such as an IT manager, facilities manager, or maintenance supervisor, invite all essential stakeholders to this meeting. If in doubt, again ask your SecurEdge project manager for their advice.
Then it’s up to you!
The Bottom Line on What to Expect from Your SecurEdge WiFi
In a digital-first world, every company needs a fast, reliable, and secure wireless network. However, traditionally it’s been difficult and expensive for companies to get the wireless network design that they truly need. SecurEdge WiFi as a Service changes all of this.
This article has introduced you to the building blocks of successful design: the discovery call, predictive design, and proposal.
To get started with SecurEdge WiFi as a Service, request a design.