Complete Guide to Managed Wi-Fi Solutions for Businesses
With everything online today, the need for an efficient Wi-Fi solution is a necessity. A wireless access point is preferred because it eliminates the clutter of wires. Internet cables and inconsistent access have become obsolete. The additional perks that the Wi-Fi solution provides along with convenience in a working atmosphere include — increased dependability, productivity, and teamwork.
However, setting up Wi-Fi and managing one is a herculean task. Moreover, managing a Wi-Fi network needs skilled personnel, and your business team, although one of the best, may not be equipped with the knowledge of setting up a Wi-Fi network and managing one. What is the solution? The scope of managed Wi-Fi solutions is on the rise, and you can find a lot of third-party vendors equipped with managed Wi-Fi solutions. Now let us understand what Managed Wi-Fi solutions mean.
Understanding Managed Wi-Fi
Managed Wi-Fi is nothing but delegating the management of your Wi-Fi network to a devoted provider who comes up with specially curated and complete solutions. Today no business can do without a Wi-Fi network as it boosts the productivity of the employees and gives the customers a good internet experience. But periodically updating and managing the Wi-Fi network can be a full-time job. Efficient management of the Wi-Fi network requires skill, knowledge, and relevant experience. . A managed Wi-Fi solution will be more economical while allowing your IT team to devote the time and energy to focus on more critical tasks.
If your business is spread over a large geographical area and has several branches at multiple sites with scores of employees needing a consistent and fast internet connection, then the management of the company’s Wi-Fi network has to be entrusted to qualified service providers. These service providers will be able to handle the new level of wireless connectivity demand and guarantee that hundreds of employees, visitors, and users have quick access to secure wireless connectivity.
Cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution is the future. The service provider will manage the complete WLAN ecosystem remotely to ensure a safe, scalable, and stress-free Wi-Fi network.
A managed Wi-Fi solution as a service option has a lot of advantages and is considered a good alternative for the most outdated ones. The advantages include cost and time saving and can also help the employees to a great extent if used efficiently. This resource eliminates difficult tasks like service maintenance and potential faults, which will result in higher productivity and performance.
Types of cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions
There are three different types of cloud-managed Wi-Fi solutions i.e., IAAS, PAAS, and SAAS. Each of them allows data flow from front-end customers, the systems of the cloud service provider, and back through the internet. But the services provided are unique to each one of them.
IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service)
When you deploy IAAS for managed Wi-Fi solutions, the cloud service provider will administer your infrastructure on your behalf through the internet. The user normally rents the infrastructure and has access through an application processing interface (API) or dashboard.
Hardware, networking, servers, hard drives, and data storage are managed by the service provider. They handle hardware issues, upgrades, and outages as well. This is the regular distribution model of most cloud storage companies.
PAAS (Platform as a service)
Under PAAS, the provision and management of the hardware and software platform is assigned to an external, third-party cloud service provider. The user still has control of the apps that operate on the platform and the data they need.
Users can manage and develop applications on a shared cloud platform with PAAS instead of having to build and maintain the infrastructure themselves.
SAAS (Software As A Service)
Under this model of cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution, the consumers are provided with cloud-based software applications that are controlled by the service provider. SAAS applications are often web or mobile applications that consumers can easily access using a web browser. Users can connect to the cloud-managed Wi-Fi applications through a dashboard or API. Updates, bug patches, and other basic software maintenance are handled for them by the service provider. There will be no need for the installation of an app on each user’s computer, and SAAS enables access to the software for a bigger group or team.
Most business establishments prefer SAAS models that allow users to access applications without having to maintain the infrastructure and components. The SAAS providers give a quick and simple method for controlling Wi-Fi networks. Flexibility is a major advantage that SAAS provides.
What are the advantages of managed Wi-Fi solutions?
Cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution in itself has several advantages and SAAS scores over the other two models i.e., IAAS and PAAS owing to the flexibility it offers.
Unlike the traditional software installation in a firm where the users are responsible for developing the server, and installing and configuring the application, in the cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution, the software operates as a rental on a remote cloud network that can be accessed online. As a result, businesses can use it for a set period and pay for the software they use.
SAAS is a dependable alternative to a traditional software installation in a business.
Customers will be able to control Wi-Fi networks on a variety of devices whenever and wherever they choose to.
The major advantages of SAAS are:
Quick installation and configuration are the key factors. The cloud will have SAAS applications installed and set up which reduces common delays, unlike traditional software deployment, which is usually time-consuming.
Also, the vendor will have maintenance duties formerly handled by IT teams. This reduces additional labor hours of IT teams as well as downtime that would be required for the updation of the conventional software.
With SAAS, you can do away with the initial outlay for the purchase and installation along with recurring expenses like maintenance and updates. It can be downloaded and maintained instead of incurring huge expenses on physical installations.
The subscription-based business models make it more cost-effective as the companies need to pay only for the licenses they actually use and not for any that are unused. It gives access to expensive and powerful software which might otherwise be unaffordable to small businesses.
Based on the payment plan, all charges will be allocated as expected monthly or yearly payments. There will be no hidden fees or additional prices. And so the organizations can rely on the expenditure allotted for the solution.
Reliability and Integration
There is incredible flexibility since it is a subscription-based model. A third-party vendor hosts the software, so changing your subscription plan will not be difficult. Prior notice will also not be essential. The usage is web-based, subscribers can access the application from anywhere with an internet connection.
Remote configuration and deployment
Storage, protection, and recovery of your data are the responsibility of SAAS and are done remotely. Your business will no longer have to maintain its servers and software.
Acquisition and installation of upgrades are required for conventional models. With SAAS, the up gradation of the software is done by SAAS which saves the cost related to updates and new versions.
The remote monitoring feature gives network operators complete flexibility in the work environment. They can manage and keep track of the network from anywhere across the globe.
SAAS providers focus extensively on security technology and expertise. This being the case, there will be no data loss in the event of equipment failure. Data will be secure in the cloud.
An internet connection and a browser are required to access a SAAS application and can be run round-the-clock from any device. The availability is better than the traditional business software installation.
With the managed Wi-Fi solution market on the surge, businesses that see Wi-Fi as a requirement for day-to-day operations should go for a managed Wi-Fi solution for better productivity and performance.
What are the main advantages of cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution?
A cloud-managed solution makes it possible for businesses to monitor their network 24x7, get instant updates on security incidents, gather data about network usage, and access sensitive reports that help in making decisions.
Is a managed Wi-Fi solution beneficial?
Managed Wi-Fi solution is better than the Wi-Fi network being managed by the in-house IT team as it will be outsourced to third-party vendors who are skilled, professional, and competent to manage the complicated WLAN network.
What are the ways of managing a wireless access point?
Focus on the following points to manage a wireless access point.
Set up your Wi-Fi only after conducting a wireless site survey.
All your access points should be managed by a controller.
Find the right access point placement
Access points should be connected to Ethernet that are under 328 ft.
How do wireless networks help?
Wireless networks are devoid of cables and wires and can be accessed even when you are moving.
What is the difference between an access point and a router?
An access point supports only wireless devices like phones, laptops, tablets, etc. A router supports both wired and wireless connectivity for several devices.