In this post: Discover to prepare your team to effectively conduct a wireless survey.

Written by Andy Thompson, Senior Solutions Architect at ADAPTURE

When you hear the phrase “wireless assessment ” a few thoughts immediately spring to mind: daunting, time consuming, labor intensive, and—worst of all—potential for mistakes.

You probably have a good idea of which areas you had troubles with in the past when it comes to your wireless projects. Whether the issues have been dead areas, drops, slowdowns or even complete disconnects, you have collected the helpdesk tickets, and you probably have repeat offenders on the list of “must fix.”

So, let’s break this down one step at a time to determine which type of wireless survey is required and what you can expect overall.

Whether this is your company’s first deployment or fifth, you are going to have to choose a vendor, and there are many to choose from. Determining the appropriate vendor means evaluating which is right for you, which satisfies all your requirements, and—most importantly—how much of a learning curve your staff will face. Decisions like these are not easy, but with the help of experienced wireless architects, these points are easily addressed, and a solid wireless solution will follow.

How do I start?

First, determine the required services that will need to be supported across the wireless network. Do you want to carry data traffic only? Or do you also need to carry VoIP? Possibly even video? These are very important points to consider. The creation of the infrastructure design will be critical based upon these answers.

Ask yourself: will wireless be vital in our environment? To what extent? Can the company handle an outage of 30 minutes, or an hour, or a whole day? These are all critical factors needed for the network design. And just from my own personal experience of architecting wireless designs and performing installations for more than a decade, I can tell you that most networks start out as “a nice to have for employees.” Within weeks, this becomes “required for our employees.” So determine if this is the case beforehand, as it’s much easier to architect fault tolerance in the beginning.

Next, ask yourself: Do we have the skillsets available on staff that can handle this type of workforce mobilization? We’re 10+ years into the wireless occupation of the workforce, and most people have at least some experience with the management and installation of access points and wireless solutions. But wireless, like any other technology, is leaping forward at a tremendous rate. Does your staff have the time to investigate all the different options available? If you have that talent, then yes, you can attempt this effort on your own. There are free products out there for doing surveys and planning. But, as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. And in the wireless field, software for these types of projects are not cheap. You will need to carefully evaluate this expense. Making this purchase is a decision based on your confidence in the longevity of your technology investment and the budget you have available.

Hiring an expert consultant whose job it is to tackle these issues will come into balance at the end of the equation, as this resource will likely save you money in the long run and will certainly save you valuable time.

Contact the team at ADAPTURE today to discuss your wireless challenges.

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