We have a few questions for you:
- How big is your company’s IT department? Do you even have a department, or are all IT tasks delegated to the most tech-savvy employee?
- How much of your business is reliant on a reliable wireless network?
- What happens to your business if the WiFi is down, or other issues cause less than optimal network performance?
While answers will differ, we feel confident that your answer to the last question is “nothing good.” It’s no surprise. These days there are hardly any businesses that aren’t dependent on a wireless network. Everything from taking customer payments to sending invoices and newsletters requires the WiFi. If there’s a problem with the network, it can irritate employees and customers, result in a slump in business, or worse. If you don’t have an official IT department, any WiFi errors require an employee to be pulled away from other work to try and fix the problem. Also not good.
Whether you run a restaurant, a chiropractic practice, a nail salon, a realtor’s agency, or any other small business, your SME has a critical need for consistent and reliable WiFi that won’t break the bank.
What’s the solution? Using an AI-based WiFi analytics solution to provide WiFi Assurance.
What’s WiFi Assurance?
WiFi Assurance simply means that the wireless ecosystem operates at peak level, no questions asked, 24/7. It means that employees never have to worry about WiFi-connected devices not working – at least, not because of a problem with the network. It’s a sense of confidence that the foundation to many business resources is ready for action at all times.
How Do WiFi Analytics Work?
Analytics provide detailed information on device behavior and network performance. Some solutions only collect data from devices connected to the WiFi, while others gather data from anything in the entire radio frequency (RF) environment. This is the environment in which the entire network operates and it consists of more than just the devices connected to your network. RF interference from nearby networks or non-WiFi devices like microwaves can affect your wireless network’s performance. This is why collecting analytics from the entire environment is the only way to gain full visibility into network performance and provide WiFi Assurance.
The collected analytics reveal information about network health that includes data on:
- Client device capabilities
- Network throughput
- Server performance
- Possible Access Point congestion
- Network security
So, you can see why having access to these analytics is necessary for protecting your SME’s wireless network and overall business performance. If something goes wrong with the network, the resolution is going to be found with these analytics.
Does It Need to be AI-based?
It is possible to manually collect analytics, but this isn’t the most effective solution. For one, absolute WiFi Assurance is only attained with 24/7 monitoring. For another, there are tens of thousands of data packets that must be gathered and analyzed every day, even if data is only gathered during business hours. This is an incredibly time-consuming process. Rather than assigning the tech to an employee, the better bet is to use an analytics solution with AI-technology.
Powered by artificial intelligence, these solutions will do more than gather data. They can identify normal network performance and proactively provide alerts if that performance changes in any way. This proactive approach is the secret to real WiFi Assurance. It enables whoever is responsible for IT to address potential issues before they affect end-users. Essentially, with the right solution, you can say goodbye to WiFi problem tickets and complaints.
What to Look For in a Solution
As you start researching the best technology for your business, keep in mind the following capabilities:
Whatever analytics solution you use should be hard at work 24/7. The RF environment is dynamic, so there is always a chance that something is going to change and affect your network performance. Problem resolution can’t happen without root cause identification, and constant monitoring is the only way to ensure that no pertinent information is missed by the solution. With AI-technology, solutions will also use constant monitoring to learn normal network behavior, enabling them to send an alert if that behavior changes in any way.
This is also where we recommend using a multi-radio solution – i.e. one that can monitor the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums at the same time. You don’t want a solution that has to switch back-and-forth as that will result in lost data.
This is another proactive feature that can help save time and money when it comes to heading off network issues. With consistent, scheduled network testing the solution is always investigating network infrastructure for anything that doesn’t perform at the expected level. Tests should be run at least once a month, and can be scheduled to run as frequently as every hour.
Even when businesses aren’t temporarily closed because of a global pandemic, it still pays to have an analytics solution that is remote capable. Whether someone can’t get to work, or whether there’s a problem outside normal business hours, the solution should still enable employees to monitor the network and resolve any reported issues.
Real-time and Historical Analytics
It’s important to know what’s happening on the network in real-time so that problems can be resolved before they affect end users. Without an AI-based solution, issues are sometimes reported hours after the fact, which makes discovering the root cause and resolving them even more difficult. In the meantime, the potential for end users to be affected only grows.
It’s equally as important though to have access to historical analytics. On the one hand, these saved analytics give the ability to review past network health and resolve issues that occurred during off-hours. On the other hand, by gathering analytics consistently over time, the AI-solution can identify trends in network health and performance. These historical analytics reveal important information that can be used for budget-efficient capacity planning. For example, if infrastructure health is slowly degrading, or if client utilization is increasing, that information will be revealed. The network can then be upgraded in whatever way is necessary for your specific network’s optimization rather than by simply responding to market trends.
Automatic Alerts and Suggested Resolutions
This might go without saying, but the analytics solution used should absolutely send automatic alerts whenever it identifies an existing or suspected issue. It should also send alerts if any network test fails or falls outside of expected parameters. Finally, any issue notification should also include the identified root cause of the issue and actionable suggestions for resolution. These details support resolving the issue as quickly as possible.
Wyebot’s Wireless Intelligence Platform
The Wireless Intelligence Platform (WIP) was designed to be a network-engineer-in-a-box. It is vendor agnostic, working with existing infrastructure, and connects to the network in minutes. Once connected it immediately begins analyzing the entire RF environment. Businesses that use WIP see:
- 90% decrease in time spent resolving issues
- 50% decrease in WiFi problem tickets
- 80% decrease in remote site visits
- Complete WiFi ecosystem visibility
- A remote network test suite
- Historical device forensics
- Security breach detection
- A multi-radio solution that monitors the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, while also being able to run network tests