The branch office doesn’t have to be Siberia for its employees.
With the proliferation of wireless and mobile technology, companies now can offer video training, interactive digital meetings and social connectivity to employees no matter where their desks are located.
The ability to connect employees at branch offices hinges on a company’s ability to a well-designed, high performing, Wi-Fi-ready local area network.
As anyone who regularly uses the Wi-Fi hotspots at coffee shops will know, having a Wi-Fi signal is not enough: The Wi-Fi not only needs to exist, it also needs to run well, delivering the speed to stay productive.
“You have to ensure the network delivers adequate bandwidth to both the applications and the sheer number of devices connecting to your network,” noted a recent iPass blog post on the topic. “By addressing only the internal Wi-Fi element, you could be building an eight lane highway connecting to a two lane country road and consequently deliver an unusable Wi-Fi experience.”
Constructing a high-functioning Wi-Fi network is more than just the Wi-Fi equipment, according to the blog. Connectivity must be designed end to end, to both public and private clouds. The goal is consistent, truly usable Wi-Fi that can only be achieved by deploying smarter connections.
There are four components of a smarter Wi-Fi solution.
First, there must be modern, enterprise-class Wi-Fi equipment. Companies must resist the urge to use consumer-grade equipment that looks good but fails to deliver business-grade functionality and reliability.
Second, bandwidth must be managed properly.
“Bandwidth management delivers the bandwidth needed for any application and only throttles certain groups or users when saturation thresholds are exceeded,” noted the iPass (News - Alert) article “This happens in real time and can be easily managed as new applications come onto the scene. Couple this service with real scalable bandwidth solutions and your business can stay ahead of the curve and deliver truly usable Wi-Fi.”
Third, leverage scalable, high-bandwidth access technologies. Bonding “full” T1 lines are no longer enough. Cable, Fiber and Ethernet type Internet technologies are required because they deliver speeds in the double digits and in many areas offer up to 100Mbps with no local business disruption to increase or decrease over time.
Fourth, engage with experts when deploying. The landscape is changing fast, so hire technologists who know how to design the network so the business can stay ahead of the growth curve as applications and devices come into the market.
As we noted in May, enterprises can benefit from using a company like iPass Unity Network Services to ensure that their Wi-Fi network is deployed properly and with the future in mind.
“iPass can plan, build, design, manage, support and refine your Wi-Fi network, dealing with local providers and provide one bill and one team to proactively handle any issues that may arise,” we noted at the time.
Branch offices no longer need to be removed from center of a business. But they can be if the network is not built properly. So it is key to get the network right, and these four components help make it happen.