Wireless: Think of the wider opportunity

Wireless
 

Wireless: Think of the wider opportunity

In this second of a six part series, Mike Smythe, Marketing Director at distributor Capstan Communications, suggest resellers can find excellent margin opportunities by looking beyond the obvious applications and deployments for wireless access.

According to Mike Smythe, Marketing Director at distributor Capstan Communications, it would appear that many organisations look to provide wireless access to the people that often need it least.

“Whilst directors and managers want effective wireless access, resellers should look beyond the Finance Director that wants to watch cricket on his iPad at lunchtime to other areas of the business.

One key application for wireless applications we have observed is in the restaurant sector where it is used for point of sale devices. By not using a secure wireless infrastructure these outlets are exposing their business and clients to unnecessary risks. By supplying a virtualised solution, say from LANCOM, security can be ensured and maintained.”

 

Roaming

Roaming refers to a user’s ability to associate with other cells in the same wireless network service set identifier (SSID). With regards to the wireless LAN, this means that the mobile client identifies the access point offering the best signal strength and associates with it.

 

Focus on the business

Smythe says that we need to understand the implications of the trends within business to realise the opportunities that are presenting themselves.

“For some time now organisations have been developing a more mobile workforce to increase their agility in responding to their own customers’ needs. More recently there has been a rapidly growing trend for employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) in to the workplace. Going mobile means going wireless and whilst this preference and trend is seen as having a positive impact on productivity by many organisations for most this means a security issue has to be addressed as well.

Visitors and guests also demand wireless access as routine today; corporate guests who arrive at a company for a meeting and public guests in hotel lounges and coffee shops etc. They all need secure and easy access for their devices.

A simple solution for channel partners is to provide a router with a hotspot licensing feature, as all LANCOM routers have for example.

Here the host organisation can quickly generate guest access codes for say 30 minutes, an hour or a day on a separate, virtualised wireless network that is securely away from the corporate network which greatly mitigates the risk of unfettered guest access.”

 

Margin maker

Smythe points to the increased reseller margin opportunities that are available for channel partners with wireless applications in a market that is clearly growing.

“For resellers looking to further lock in their customers by supplying a wide range of applications rather than focussing in single solution sales wireless represents a great on-going opportunity. Resellers are coming under margin pressure on many fronts today – EU and Ofcom regulation on short term contract options, increased competition chasing fewer sales opportunities for PBX (MZA report the market is down once again) and the general decline in fixed line revenues all point to difficult trading conditions. Wireless applications on the other hand solve business needs to meet the growing trend in mobility and BYOD and represent a greater margin opportunity than ever before with ‘fit for purpose’ solutions that are voice and device ready.”

 

Handover

On behalf of the client the access point informs the network that a client is associated with it. This is handled by a broadcast featuring the client’s sender address (MAC address) to update the network switching information. Also, using the IAPP protocol, the access point informs its predecessor that a roaming procedure has been concluded.

 

Concluding, Smythe says, “Business is going mobile and that means a big opportunity for a reseller looking to build new income and margin streams. Solutions are available that provide easy handover from access point to access point and seamless roaming throughout the organisation so now is the time to become involved and grasp that opportunity.”