What is Managed WiFi
Managed WiFi is the outsourcing of your WiFi network management to a qualified managed service provider or ISP (Internet Service Provider).
WiFi is an essential service for many businesses these days. It increases employee productivity and attracts, engages, and creates a memorable customer experience. However, updates, maintenance, and security for a business WiFi network can be a full-time job. It requires knowledge, experience, and a specialized skill set. Enter, managed WiFi.
As skilled as your IT personnel may be, whether it’s 1 person or a team, managing your company’s WiFI network can use up a tremendous amount of time and resources. A managed WiFi solution can save your business time and money and free up your IT team to work on more important projects and needs of the business.
Do you rely on your WiFi to keep your business running smoothly? Even more importantly, do you often host customers who rely on it for connectivity? If your network is mission-critical, you need to start thinking about using managed WiFi from a managed service provider to keep everything up-to-date and running smoothly.
WiFi has become a critical part of the customer experience, and you need to take every opportunity to delight and surprise your customers with it. It’s how you create loyal, raving fans.
Make sure you’re offering a fast, reliable, and secure connection to your employees and customers. Managed WiFi can help you do that. At the same time, security is paramount. It can be difficult to manage though, with multiple types of users and devices that need to be kept up-to-date.
A managed WiFi provider will take care of equipment, network configuration, and maintenance, freeing you up to focus on your business and ensuring you have a smooth, steady connection for everyone that needs it. In this article, we’ll look at what a managed WiFi provider can do for your business, and why managed services might be preferable to an in-house IT solution.
A Managed WiFi Network Installation You Can Trust
When you use managed WiFi, a service partner is in charge of your network’s equipment (both its configuration and deployment). The managed service provider also monitors the network to ensure it stays secure and stable. They determine the optimal placement for your routers and more.
As Kevin Robinson, VP of Marketing at nonprofit, WiFi Alliance, told Consumer Reports, “router or access point is key.” A managed WiFi service provider will know exactly what factors influence network connectivity and how to account for them. They can tell you how much equipment you need, what type of setup will work best, and, how to plan for the future.
If anything comes up, whether it’s a technical problem or change in needs, your service provider can assist.
The Security Challenges of Public WiFi
The main reason that a consumer network (home set up) is relatively easy to set up is that you know who’s going to be using it. A business network, however, needs to have completely different standards for both security and connectivity. With 24/7 network monitoring, your managed service provider keeps you protected. They will monitor for any threats that come your way and respond in real-time.
WiFi Is Key to a Good Customer Experience
Consumers have an expectation that your business will deliver fast WiFi, with as little hassle as possible. When providing WiFi to customers, think about it from their point of view.
The first thing a visitor needs to do is locate your WiFi network from among a crowded list of all the networks nearby. Make the name of your network something easy to identify. Your goal is to get them online in as few steps as possible. Making customers hunt for a password or having to ask someone for it is inconvenient. Especially if they have already spent time trying to locate the network.
Jetblue, a brand for which customer experience is a top priority, invested in free WiFi for all passengers. This clearly differentiates Jetblue from the rest of the market. JetBlue’s WiFi decision frees passengers from having to enter a credit card, password, and other information. On competing airlines, even passengers who don’t mind the cost, are deterred by the challenges of the payment process.
A managed WiFi service provider can help create a smooth experience for customers while making sure your network is secure.
They can also do things like limit bandwidth to ensure the connection is fast for everyone who needs it, and not just that one customer in the corner downloading huge files.
Why Your Equipment Is Key to Network Security
Because your managed WiFi provider is in charge of both your equipment and your network security, you can be sure that any new vulnerability will be patched quickly. Additionally, they will keep things up to date by replacing outdated equipment and software.
According to a report by the American Consumer Institute, 83% of home and office routers have vulnerabilities that could be exploited. As equipment gets older and firmware goes unpatched, your chance of the network being compromised skyrockets. Managing technology is a big job, but it’s just one to-do on a long list of responsibilities for your tech team. A managed WiFi provider, however, can update or replace network components the moment they become an issue.
Maintenance and new equipment costs are part of the managed WiFi agreement. This helps you to budget technology expenses throughout the year and can also free up you and your IT team to focus on key business priorities, instead of putting out the fires.
What You Can Do Right Now
Fast, reliable, and secure WiFi is key to running a successful business in today’s economy. You need a dependable network for your customers that also reserves the majority of your bandwidth for your business. On the other hand, security is paramount—and harder than ever to maintain.
A managed WiFi service provider can help with the following tasks:
- Get your network installation right to make sure you have the best connectivity possible.
- Tackle the security challenges of offering public-facing WiFi.
- Make your WiFi customer experience as smooth and seamless as possible.
- Patch or upgrade essential devices to address vulnerabilities in your network before hackers find them.
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