Many companies begin to derive the benefits of wireless connectivity by enabling personal productivity applications such as e mail, PDA’s, and access to the corporate intranet. As their employees and processes become more efficient, organizations extend their wireless capabilities to include core business applications such as Customer Relationship Management, Automated Data Collection and Sales Force Automation. All along the way, more efficiency is realized and profitability metrics becomes easier to measure – even better!
Once you’ve achieved your inside wireless network objectives, the next step is to enable the company’s field force via a wireless network solution. As you facilitate wireless connectivity for your workforce outside of the office, there are new considerations IT Support and even greater productivity and cost efficiencies. However, as field engineer/delivery personnel applications are considered, the requirements and implementation become significantly more complex and a number of other requirements must be considered. These include:
o Existing business processes for field representatives
o Current application architectures and associated technologies (web, client/server etc.)
o The locations in which field workers will operate and the determination of the most reliable options for connectivity
o Capabilities of existing devices and selected networks for providing reliable communications
o Feasibility of Satellite Communications, Wireless LAN or some combination of both
o Application requirements for enabling organizations to determine the type, amount and frequency of the data to be transferred
o Value of using wireless versus batch uploading of data (real time data transfer)
When embarking on the mission to implement a wireless network for your company – whether inside your corporate walls or outside in the field — it is important to put together a plan of attack. That plan needs to consider all of your departments and employees. As a matter of fact, it pays to map out your entire strategy to consider your total environment. Using a project plan to facilitate this process is highly recommended and implementing your wireless network in a phased-approach will enhance your success rate and help to manage the budget for the entire project most efficiently.
When working with our clients in this area, we recommend starting with a wireless site survey to determine the wireless “net” that you need to construct. In addition, it is helpful to step back even further than that and begin with a Mobility Roadmap. This will allow you to build out the project approach outlined above, and give you a detailed project plan that will take into consideration your internal workers, your field workers and your entire corporate environment. It will also help you avoid pitfalls along the ways as it will consider other systems and applications that will be impacted by creating your wireless network.
So, start with a plan, and then execute on that plan while paying attention to the details of each piece of every project. We guarantee that this approach will result in a well designed, cost efficient wireless network for your company that will allow your company to be more efficient and utilize all of your resources to their fullest extent.