The expectations surrounding WiFi have changed. Whether you’re waiting for an oil change, sitting in the doctor’s office or meeting a friend for coffee, you expect that WiFi will be available. WiFi is not only expected, but it also offers a better customer experience. Investing in managed WiFi allows you to deliver connectivity without hiring an in-house team dedicated to handling WiFi.
When it comes to WiFi, it’s a service that nobody notices until it’s not available. If you’re trying to handle WiFi with your IT team, you may miss out on the opportunity to create digital engagement avenues as well as gain new customer insights. Here are the benefits of choosing managed WiFi:
Find new ways of engaging with customers: Managed WiFi offers you a new way of connecting with customers. Use surveys, promotional announcements, and videos that pop up when a customer accesses your WiFi as an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship and engage with customers. You will also have a new way of collecting information about your customers’ preferences based on the behaviors related to your pop-up.
Enjoy technical support: Most business owners wear enough hats without adding WiFi manager to the list of duties. Even if you have in-house IT staff, they likely are not trained specifically to manage WiFi, which requires a certain set of skills and dedicated management.
When your connectivity is interrupted, you also have immediate assistance through managed WiFi. Your service provider understands that every time you lose connectivity, you’re losing productivity and inconveniencing your customers.
When evaluating managed WiFi providers, ask them for their downtime rates and average resolution times, and be sure that your agreed-upon standards are specifically detailed in your service level agreement (SLA).
Keep in mind that your managed service provider will also handle any upgrades to infrastructure devices and maintain your equipment. These updates are a frequent event, and can put a lot of pressure on your wireless local area network (WLAN) and on your administrators if you don’t outsource your WiFi. To avoid the potential of a network crash, your updates need to be conducted smoothly and efficiently.
Low, predictable costs: Building a WiFi network from scratch is costly, as are the frequent upgrades necessary to eliminate downtime and improve performance. While your initial investment in managed WiFi may seem formidable, the rewards over the long run will convince you it’s money well spent.
In addition, while an in-house WiFi solution may initially seem cheaper, you may end up paying a third-party provider a hefty sum to straighten out your WiFi network. From managing licenses to ensuring you are meeting manufacturer’s requirements, a managed WiFi solution is a more cost-effective solution.
Improved security: Network management has become increasingly complex, and allowing any device that walks in your door to access your WiFi network isn’t exactly a comforting thought. You significantly reduce that risk by handing off your WiFi management to a team that specializes in keeping this type of network secure.
Managed WiFi provides layered security strategies, using encryption and centralized authentication as well as the tracking of users and devices. Providers will also offer intrusion detection and other security features.
Better understanding of WiFi consumption: Detailed reporting from your managed WiFi provider will give you insight into how the network is utilized, as well as performance metrics that can help the network configuration to meet challenges related to congestion and other problems.
You’ll also gain more visibility into the WiFi network. You’ll have access to user-friendly monitoring dashboards, allowing you to better understand consumption and make more informed decisions in a shorter timeframe. If you have multiple locations, you’ll be able to see the activity across all branches and how the network is performing. You’ll also have insight into which applications and which users are consuming the most bandwidth, providing key information for better management of network performance.
Scale easily as your business grows: When you keep your WiFi in-house, your expansion to a new branch location requires you to handle wireless network infrastructure because you did not have a centralized management point that allowed you to control more than one location through the same interface. A hosted WiFi solution allows your network to be managed from an access point that is overseen by an integrated management system, whether you have two locations or two dozen.
With a managed WiFi service provider, you can instead focus on training employees, ordering their new desktop computers and coordinating the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Improve the user experience: Whether it’s customers or your staff, your goal is to ensure that connectivity is reliable and offers optimal performance. This is what your managed WiFi provider offers, along with options to customize your service.
If you are considering an upgrade to your WiFi network, or if you are discovering that handling WiFi in-house is taxing your IT department, contact us at Copper State Communications. We’ll help you identify the specific goals you would like to achieve with managed WiFi and create a solution that is right for your company. We look forward to hearing from you.