Although not obvious, there are substantial differences to Enterprise or Corporate-grade Wi-Fi to those systems for Home/SOHO use.
For a user, these differences can be transparent. For them it is business as usual: a password gets entered and their devices are able to connect to the Wi-Fi network. For a business, there are valid features in enterprise grade equipment that are of important, if not essential, operational use.
To many mid-size to large organisations, requirements are usually more demanding to those of the SOHO/SMB market. The most common needs for wireless services in a corporate environment typically include the following.
- Coverage, Capacity and Density – servicing many clients in a contained area or vice versa.
- Differentiated services experience – to support critical business applications, BYOD or Guest-only WiFi for visitors.
- Performance and reliability – an exemplary user experience regardless of numbers and loading on the network.
- Advanced security – leveraging centralised authentication and dynamic data encryption for users, plus network-wide protection through wireless intrusion detection systems.
- Network Integration – a seamless service across wired & wireless networks.
- Support – the supported environment is consistent with existing operations.
- Centralised Management and Reporting – global visibility from one portal; leveraging common toolsets, processes and metrics to produce business performance objectives.
Most of these deliverables can only be achieved with enterprise-grade wireless solutions. SOHO devices, as the name suggests, are otherwise perfect for a single instance of a small or home office, but do not have the ability to scale or to offer enterprise features.
In the end, its worth considering your business requirements from a different perspective. It’s possible that you may arrive at a solution that was not expected.