How Managed Wireless LAN Solutions Help Transform Business Operations

In today’s business environment, employees expect anytime, anywhere access to company resources from any device. Business leaders also want IT departments to deploy tools that improve productivity and lower costs. To achieve all of these goals, organizations must develop innovative mobility initiatives.

Advanced wireless technologies can help accomplish mobile strategies. In recent years, wireless technology has evolved faster than wired technology, becoming a critical business requirement.

The Evolution of Wireless Technology

Wireless LAN technology was introduced in 1997. At that time, only a handful of devices offered wireless capabilities — the majority of an organization’s connected devices were wired. Wired networks offered speed and reliability advantages over wireless networks.

But as wireless technology and standards continued to evolve, organizations began to incorporate more wireless capabilities into their networks. The current standard, 802.11ac, meets today’s wireless challenges by accommodating high-definition video, streaming media, cloud computing, real-time videoconferencing and other complex, content-rich applications. In addition, 802.11ac is the first wireless LAN standard to offer faster speeds than wired LAN connectivity.

In the next couple of years, almost all manufacturers will release 802.11ac-compliant devices. With such a substantial increase in the number of endpoints, more and more businesses will prioritize the implementation of 802.11ac technology.

Enter the New World of Managed Wireless LAN

The 802.11ac standard paves the way for the next-generation of wireless networks – the managed wireless LAN (WLAN). The conventional wireless LAN uses an on-premises-based hardware controller architecture.

As the wireless network grows, bigger and more robust controllers are needed. A greater number of controllers increases network complexity and cost. Plus, the hardware-based controller architecture was not originally designed to handle the onslaught of wireless traffic on today’s and tomorrow’s network.

Virtual WLAN technology eliminates the need for a physical controller by virtualizing the control and management function of the network. This software-based architecture creates a simpler, more flexible solution in which the virtualized controller can be centralized anywhere, including a service provider’s data center.

How Virtual Wireless LAN Supports Today’s Businesses

Removing the hardware controller from a wireless LAN delivers meaningful benefits for your organization. A virtualized solution provides:

  • Cloud-Based Management
  • Upgrade Protection
  • Greater Scalability
  • Enhanced Security
  • Better Reliability
  • Lower TCO

Based on the limitations of hardware-based controllers in conventional wireless networks, virtual WLANs are becoming the preferred solution for businesses.

Prime Applications for Managed Wireless LAN

In general, any organization with wireless devices accessing its network should consider Managed WLAN. Specific types of organizations typically include enterprises, educational institutions, hospitality firms, retail companies, condominiums, assisted living centers, property management companies, real estate firms, construction companies, government entities, libraries, manufacturing facilities and healthcare providers – really any entity looking to move their organizations to a pervasive mobility environment.

If your organization fits any of these situations, you’re a good candidate for a hosted WLAN solution:

  • You require access for a significant number of pure wireless devices, such as smartphones and iPads.
  • You already leverage a hosted voice solution from a service provider that also offers managed WLAN. Adding hosted wireless is a logical next step.
  • You have multiple sites with each location supporting wireless devices.
  • You operate within a campus environment.
  • You staff remote workers.
  • You want to upgrade existing wireless networks based on older standards.
  • You want to be ready for the advantages 802.11ac has to offer, but without having to make a significant investment in a network upgrade.
  • You operate an outdoor venue that would require more rugged access points and specialized equipment.

Why Migrate to an Managed Wireless LAN Solution?

In many business scenarios, a managed WLAN solution makes sense. For example, your organization may be experiencing high growth, you don’t have adequate IT staff to meet your wireless network requirements, or you want your existing staffing resources to focus on core business initiatives. In any case, partnering with a trusted service provider can translate into better wireless service and possibly lower costs compared to purchasing, configuring, managing and upgrading an in-house wireless network.

A hosted wireless LAN approach eliminates the costs associated with hardware controllers and network management. With the right provider – one with proven experience delivering hosted solutions and expertise in wireless network technologies, you’ll have access to the resources necessary to deal with the flood of wireless devices requiring network access.

For a more detailed discussion on how your business can use the latest wireless LAN technology, download FairPoint Communication’s latest guide titled “How Managed Wireless LAN Solutions Transform Business Operations.” This new resource will provide valuable information to help you improve your company’s mobility initiatives.

FairPoint Communications Managed Wireless LAN Solution

FairPoint Communications offers a fully managed, business-class WLAN solution with unmatched scalability, flexibility, security and reliability. You receive all the capabilities and advantages of a next-generation wireless LAN with a substantially lower total cost of ownership compared to upgrading an outdated in-house network.

With Managed WLAN, businesses can transfer the day-to-day network management from their IT staff to the FairPoint team. Your valuable IT professionals can then focus their energies on core business goals.

To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation or request a complimentary demo, contact FairPoint Communications at 1-866-984-3001. For more information on hosted voice and data solutions, visit our website.

Bob is the Product Manager responsible for Hosted PBX at FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England and 14 other states across the U.S.