WiFi as a Service: The Importance of Finding a Long-Term Partner Vs. a One-Time Vendor
In a hypercompetitive world where every business is becoming a technology business, network infrastructure is more critical than ever as a competitive necessity.
Mobile device adoption has gone mainstream at companies of all sizes, across all industries -- driving the need for fast, reliable, and wireless networking backbones at all locations.
However, unless your company is large enough to have a fully-staffed IT department, with its own in-house enterprise WiFi specialists, you’re likely rolling the dice a lot more than you realize.
Your internal and external customers now almost certainly consider your company’s WiFi reliability to be as important as utility power, heating, air conditioning, and running water.
Every minute that your WiFi network is down at an inopportune time could cost your company thousands of dollars in lost revenue and brand damage.
The challenge, however, is that supporting a complex WiFi network is difficult. And not everyone knows what hardware and software to purchase to address your current and near-term needs.
Fortunately, there is a solution for companies of all sizes:
WiFi as a Service (WaaS) Explained
Even if you consider yourself a technical neophyte, you’re probably at least familiar with one kind of “as a Service” program: Software as a Service (SaaS).
If you’ve ever used Microsoft Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, Dropbox, or QuickBooks Online, you’ve used SaaS. All of your software runs in the public cloud. You pay for one easy-to-track monthly subscription cost, often as little as $5 per month, per user. There’s no need for expensive, difficult to maintain client/server infrastructure in your own office.
WiFi as a Service is the wireless networking equivalent:
All of the wireless networking design services, hardware, management software, and support gets bundled into one, easy-to-budget monthly subscription.
In this article, you’ll learn why WiFi as a Service works best when you understand the importance of finding a long-term IT partner, as opposed to risking your business with a one-time vendor.
Better Understanding of The Customers’ Needs
Traditionally, most companies decided on their network infrastructure investment by developing a list of specifications and shopping prices.
In a digital-first world, where the pace of change is dizzying, approaching a significant IT investment with “lowest price” as the driving factor could be fatal to the business -- especially when specs are created by someone with limited knowledge of enterprise WiFi success factors.
To make the right short- and intermediate-term decisions, the person designing the wireless network needs to have a firm grasp on their customers’ needs. This is not possible if an IT vendor has a commission-hungry salesperson who’s selfishly focused on making quota and cycling through to their next transaction-oriented customer.
SecurEdge Networks has seen firsthand just how short-sighted this decision making can be and has a much better approach.
With more than ten years experience building and supporting WiFi infrastructure for many different kinds of companies, SecurEdge Networks takes great pains to make sure that its clients end up with the right WiFi hardware, software, and managed network services.
Invested In a Continuous Relationship
SecurEdge Networks provides its client base with the best-value stack of WiFi hardware, software, and support -- including access points, switches, and firewalls with the convenience of a single point of contact and one monthly WaaS subscription.
So that your WiFi infrastructure is always performing at its best, SecurEdge WaaS customers get consistent updates and upgrades to their WiFi hardware and software.
WiFi is no longer a set-it-and-forget-it kind of technology. Because new mobile operating systems (OS’s) for smartphones, tablets, and other devices undergo radical changes every 12 to 18 months, typical wireless network design is at-best good for three to four years.
As a result, no company can afford to invest six to eighteen months “shopping” for new wireless network infrastructure without risking its business continuity -- or sanity!
When you’re planning your company’s wireless network, be sure to insist on a company like SecurEdge Networks that’s invested in continuous relationships with its client base.
The Dangers of Changing Providers and Instead of Maintaining a Continuous Relationship
When companies are looking for the right long-term technology partner to design, install, optimize, and support their WiFi, it’s especially important to steer clear of vendors that are just after a high-volume of barely-profitable “one-offs.”
Picking a selfish, shortsighted, or incompetent wireless managed service provider (MSP), integrator, or value-added reseller (VAR) could have serious performance and security risks for your business.
Like most managed network services, WiFi as a Service provides companies with access to much better IT support, with much better coverage hours, at a much lower cost than it could provide itself by staffing up these functions internally.
But when an MSP, integrator, or VAR isn’t primarily focused on enterprise WiFi, the company doesn’t make the long-term investments it needs to be effective. So especially with small businesses, that lack sophisticated in-house IT staff, small business owners often make the wrong choice. They go with a generalist MSP or VAR that may not even have one single enterprise WiFi specialist on its payroll.
Avoiding Product Pushers
When it comes to your WiFi network, the other significant danger to steer clear of is what’s not-so-affectionately known as “product pushers” or “box pushers.”
These “pushers” are generally very focused on closing sales on the actual hardware devices, the equipment, and give very little thought to design, software, network monitoring, and ongoing support.
Steer clear of the “pushers” as their underlying motives often revolve around selling a high-volume of hardware to make the most of manufacturer-driven sales incentives.
In other words, if they sound a lot like the “used car dealers” of the network infrastructure world, your instincts are spot on.
Again, managed network services around WiFi as a Service involve the right mix of design, installation, hardware, cloud-based software, network monitoring, and 24/7/365 network support. If the technology provider you’re considering can’t address all of these issues, put your credit card back in your pocket, don’t sign anything, and run, don’t walk, the other way.
The Bottom Line on WiFi as a Service and The Importance of Finding a Long-Term Partner Vs. a One-Time Vendor
Because of business applications, competitive necessity, and mobile device adoption, wireless networking has become a lot more mission-critical than it was as recently as three or four years ago.
The challenge, however, is that it takes a lot of enterprise WiFi expertise to keep wireless networks reliable, fast, and secure enough to meet a company’s needs. Most small companies typically don’t have the resources to address these needs internally, so they’ll look to outside technology providers.
In this article, you’ve learned about WiFi as a Service and the importance of finding the right long-term partner, and avoiding technology providers that try to provide a quick fix instead of an invaluable solution for your business.
To find out how SecurEdge Networks can help your company get the WiFi infrastructure that it needs to support its technology goals, plans, and challenges, all with one monthly subscription, Get an Estimate.
Joshua Feinberg is President of the Data Center Sales & Marketing Institute where he finds revenue growth opportunities that companies are currently missing. This includes helping clients differentiate, get found earlier in the buyer's journey, achieve trusted advisor status, and command premium pricing power to drive sustained, profitable, revenue growth. He's been writing professionally for the IT services market since 1998 and is a former Microsoft Corporation content provider for its Small Business Server (SBS) product teams and small business channel partner teams. As a big fan of inbound marketing and inbound sales, Joshua holds 10 HubSpot Academy certifications. A New Jersey native and Rutgers grad, Joshua now lives in South Florida with his wife and two children.