As WLAN management moves to the cloud, SMEs + Public Sector finally have access to easy to manage and affordable enterprise grade wireless networks, without requiring CWNA experienced wireless engineers or IT specialists on site.
The cloud management model empowers Wi-Fi as a Service (WaaS) opportunity for sites to consolidate the management, configuration, support and upgrade to their Wi-Fi network as one easy to manage monthly service charge.
In 2013, sales of tablets outstripped both laptops and desktops, and smartphones trumped all three combined. Even when removing smartphones from the equation, by 2017 desktops will account for a mere 17% of connected computing devices in the workplace.
Mobility is as crucial for small businesses as it is in large enterprises. SME owners average three mobile devices each, and a large number of them plan to purchase tablets, not laptops, for employees.
Not surprisingly, the worldwide enterprise Wireless LAN market continues to increase at 14% annually. In North America and Europe the majority of large enterprises already have solid, reliable and well managed wireless networks. In fact, they are in the midst of refreshing 802.11abg/802.11n for the newer 802.11ac access points. But this is not so for SMEs, budget constraints and high cost of deployment mean many organisations aren’t equipped to cope with mobile devices.
It may be that SMEs struggle with the complexity of deploying a business Wi-Fi infrastructure. With the complexity of some vendor’s solutions they face a steep learning curve to deploy and manage a reliable, high performance wireless LAN infrastructure. This is further complicated by the newer, varied challenges of handling a BYOD strategy. Our research highlights that SMEs want the security and manageability of enterprise grade Wi-Fi but without the technical/IT prowess it asks of them.
The bad news is that there is still a vast chasm between enterprise grade and consumer grade/home user access points (APs). In addition to drastic performance & range differences, management, security, and roaming features limit the use of cheaper home router solutions. The SMEs we consulted recognised that cheap, un-coordinated consumer products are not adequate for the influx of mobile devices now entering the workplace, site wide enterprise-class hardware is overkill. Now Wi-Fi as a service offers an affordable middle ground
Benefits of Wi-Fi as a service: