You're in business. You know that it takes more than luck to keep pace in today's market. IT managers have always struggled to maintain worker productivity, but increasingly they are also asked to create market advantage for the company, add to profitability by cutting costs, and enhance efficiencies by streamlining processes. And, you know the decisions you make every day show up on your bottom line. You require flexibility, agility, responsiveness-in short, the ability to move more quickly than your competitors to meet the needs of your customers. Wireless networking could be a natural fit for your company and here's why:
Wireless networks are quickly installed, provide flexibility, and easily reconfigured.
Very low incremental cost is required to add users to an existing WLAN network. Average cost per user drops dramatically as more people are added to WLAN. WLAN provides solid return on investment to many businesses through productivity gains. Implementations do not require the expense or maintenance of wiring.
With a wireless network, you and your staff can work anywhere, anytime.
Easy To Deploy
Wireless networks are easy to set up providing benefits in areas whereas wiring is difficult to deploy.
- Ideal for trade shows, exhibitions and construction sites that employ temporary networks.
- Useful for growing businesses and retailers requiring frequent relocation or office rearrangement.
- Valuable for historic buildings where wiring is difficult, dangerous, or undesirable.
- Suitable for highly mobile workforces that require roaming access to network resources, like medical workers or warehouse employees.
Today's wireless networks offer high performance and bandwidth to keep all your essential applications and transactions running.
Throughput speeds comparable with or better than 10-baseT wired networks provide reliable access to e-mail, the Internet, file sharing, and other network resources away from the desk. WLAN can give you back as much as five hours a week, allowing you to do more in less time at a lower cost. (Gartner Consulting 2001)
Configure the security measures that help protect your network traffic, including network access and data protection, known respectively as authentication and encryption. There are several levels of security including:
- 802.11: The original Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 specification used three mechanisms to protect wireless LAN networks: service set identifier (SSID), media access control (MAC), and wired equivalent privacy (WEP).
- 802.1X: This framework is designed to provide controlled port access between wireless client devices, access points, and servers. It employs dynamic keys instead of the static keys used in WEP authentication, and it requires an authentication protocol for mutual authentication.
- WPA: Wi-Fi Protected Access* standard provides all the authentication benefits of 802.1X, but adds the encryption benefits of temporal key integrity protocol (TKIP).
As you change your business operations, your wireless network can change with you.
Make decisions faster. If business managers have instant, twenty-four-hour access to data, they can make faster business decisions, which can translate to a competitive advantage. Increase sales force efficiency. Salespeople can access information on the fly that can be incorporated into an account presentation in a timely and efficient manner, adding value to the customer.
Achieve better accuracy. When business managers are able to communicate whenever and wherever they want, mistakes can be prevented or at least minimized. Obtain higher employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction rises when they have the tools they need to work productively anytime and anywhere. In turn, this becomes a competitive advantage for companies because it minimizes employee turnover.
Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology extends enterprise productivity by keeping employees connected to the corporate network at work, at home, and on the road. Explore WLAN technology, benefits, security concerns and practices, and deployment considerations.