Managed Wireless

Managed Wi-Fi: What It Is and Why You Need It

Chaz Hager August 03 2020

In today's highly digitalized work environment, spotty connectivity could lead to lost productivity, missed opportunities, inefficient teamwork, and frustrated employees. 

Yet, maintaining fast and reliable connections is more challenging than ever. During the past decade, businesses have grown from simply needing a handful of access points for wireless hotspots to having to provide Wi-Fi with complete enterprise-wide coverage to hundreds, if not thousands, of users.

Managing an increasingly complex network requires dedicated and specialized resources. That's why more organizations are using managed Wi-Fi services to help them maintain a top-performing network.

What's Managed Wi-Fi?

Also called managed WLAN (wireless local area network), managed Wi-Fi is a business solution that outsources network design, equipment procurement and installation, ongoing upgrade and maintenance, and/or monitoring of a company's Wi-Fi network to a third-party vendor, with the goal of providing seamless access and strong connections.

Many vendors also offer cloud-managed Wi-Fi services with a flexible subscription-based pricing model. The centralized management and monitoring of networks can further improve efficiency while lowering costs for the clients.

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The Benefits of Using Managed Wi-Fi

As network infrastructure becomes more complex, you need specialized knowledge and expertise to ensure that your enterprise Wi-Fi solution is running optimally and you're getting the most of your IT investment. Here are the advantages of using a managed Wi-Fi service:

1. Improve IT Cost-Efficiency

A team of trained professionals can design and install a Wi-Fi solution to achieve your business objectives, provide seamless access, and meet your budget requirements so you can get the highest ROI from your investment.

2. Navigate Licensing and Support

Enterprise Wi-Fi solutions often require annual licensing and support. A professional team understands various manufacturer requirements and helps ensure that you not only get the best pricing for long-term licenses but also avoid the expenses associated with interrupted services caused by a lapse in license renewal.

3. Reduce IT Overhead

Managed Wi-Fi helps improve network performance in an enterprise setting while minimizing the cost associated with hiring a large IT team. It can also remove the burden of day-to-day maintenance tasks from your internal IT department so it can focus on strategic initiatives.

4. Avoid Costly Mistakes

A Wi-Fi system that's configured incorrectly initially could fester into larger problems as your organization grows and the network expands. A reputable managed Wi-Fi vendor has the knowledge and expertise to help you set up your system right the first time to avoid issues down the road.

5. Improve Employee Productivity

Slow or spotty connectivity prevents employees from working efficiently. In particular, with various digital communication and collaboration tools requiring strong signals and seamless connections, a disruption could hold up business processes and impact customer communications.

6. Enhance WiFi Security

The high cost of data breaches means you can't afford to have any security oversight in your WiFi network. A reputable managed WiFi provider ensures that your network is set up with the proper security measures and is updated regularly to adhere to the latest cybersecurity best practices.

7. Improve Reporting and Transparency

A managed WiFi solution provider can help you set up enterprise-grade systems for comprehensive monitoring and reporting. This will give you a complete understanding and control over the activities that are happening on your network.

8. Scale Up Cost-Effectively

Many managed WiFi solutions offer a unified system that allows you to manage a large number of access points located anywhere via one single interface. You can apply unique rules for different locations to achieve granular control without having to set up different systems so you can reduce costs and streamline workflows.

9. Increase Employee Satisfaction

When you give employees the right tools to do their jobs, they'll become happier and more productive in their roles. Satisfied employees are more likely to succeed, stay with your company, and deliver more value over the long-term.

10. Maintain Peak Performance

Network technologies are evolving quickly and a managed WiFi provider can ensure that you're using the best network infrastructure, equipment, and configurations for your needs. It can also upgrade your network at the right time and take the proper steps to minimize costly downtime or data loss.

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How to Implement Managed Wi-Fi in Your Business

While there are many benefits to using managed WiFi for your business, you should also be aware of the potential pitfalls. For example, using a provider that doesn't take the time to understand your business objectives, budget, or schedule can lead to an expensive and frustrating experience. 

Also, if a vendor doesn't offer real-time technical support, you could be affected by costly delays and downtimes. Meanwhile, using a provider that cobbles together different hardware and software without proper integration could lead to issues caused by duplicate data and inefficiencies due to decentralized traffic.

That's why it's important to work with a reputable managed WiFi solution provider to ensure that you're getting the highest ROI for your investment. 

Look for an IT partner that takes the time to understand your budget and business needs. It should address user experience, security, and employee productivity while advising you on the latest software and hardware that can solve your unique challenges.  

Your vendor should also employ a single-pane-of-glass management approach to optimize operational efficiency and provide detailed network analytics to help you make accurate data-driven business decisions.

Here at Northriver IT, we start by understanding your unique network infrastructure needs so that we can help you design the perfect solution. Get in touch to see how we can help.

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