A CIO Checklist: 8 Questions to Ask Before Deploying WiFi Analytics at Multiple Locations
CIOs at enterprises who plan to invest in an at-location wifi analytics platform need to be aware of the risks and challenges involved in such a global undertaking.
Multi-site deployments are by default complex projects and have known to fail time and again. Speaking of reasons for failure, there are quite a few – from ineffective RFPs to inexperienced project managers to poorly drafted service level agreements (SLAs). All these essentially boil down to one primary reason – choice of service provider. A good service provider is one who can deftly configure, monitor and manage the deployment of a WiFi analytics platform across 1000s of locations, without putting any additional strain on the customer’s resources.
Based on our history of successful deployments at scale, we have prepared a checklist of some questions that ought to be asked while planning the installation of a WiFi analytics solution at multiple locations globally.
1. Is your Platform Provider Able to Manage Spikes in Demand?
Large venues such as stadiums, shopping malls and airports are likely to experience a high volume of footfall during special events or holiday seasons. It is not uncommon for users at such instances to experience connectivity and loading issues. Is the WiFi analytics solution provider able to offer a product that is scalable, configurable and multi-tenant efficient?
2. Is your WiFi Analytics Platform Compliant with Security Regulations Across Various Geographies?
Since enterprises house a lot of sensitive information, data privacy remains a leading concern among them. To avoid security leaks and data breach, different geographies have put in place various security regulations. And non-compliance may result in financial and reputation damage. Can your solution address security concerns related to user identity, data privacy, data ownership and security compliance?
3. Can your Platform Provider Ensure that their Service is Up and Running at All Times?
For a product to keep functioning optimally at all times, it is necessary to constantly monitor the health of the solution and log faults or the absence of them. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you take corrective action only after the occurrence of a serious eventuality or when customer brings it to your notice. Does your platform provider use enterprise monitoring tools that have the ability to detect problems and automatically react to them?
4. Does your WiFi Analytics Platform Provide a Centralized View of all your WiFi Network Infrastructure Across Multiple Locations?
As more locations get added to your network, can your solution provider scale your dashboard organization and provide you with a location hierarchy™ of your enterprise? An enterprise with a global presence will have multiple networks. And as the enterprise expands, new networks will be created or new access points will be added to existing networks. The platform provider should be able to automatically detect such updates and immediately deploy the WiFi analytics solution on these new networks.
5. Can your WiFi Analytics Provider Support Multiple Authentication Options?
Can your captive portal support multiple authentication options? Organizations with sensitive information such as banks may even require 2 factor authentication. It then becomes very important to be able to provide a host of authentication options including social network login using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Google apps authentication, Self registration, etc.
6. Can your Platform Provider Integrate with Multiple Hardware?
If you have a Cisco WiFi infrastructure in one location and a Meraki infrastructure in another, can your platform integrate with both? The chosen service provider should be able to deploy the analytics platform over any network hardware and should not be locked-in with a single network vendor. Is your platform provider vendor agnostic and can integrate with a variety of WiFi hardware including Cisco, Meraki, Ruckus, Motorola, Aruba and Aerohive?
7. Can your Platform Provider Support Numerous Mobile Devices?
The challenge of being able to render the captive portal correctly on different devices types is bigger than it appears. With multiple hardwares, models, operating systems and versions, it can be difficult to provide a great user experience to all customers. Can your platform provider deal with the complexity of device fragmentation?
8. Does your Platform Provider have a Proven Track Record of Successful Deployments?
In the IT world, it’s easy for a vendor to promise the moon, but when it comes to the actual execution, they are unable to walk the talk. It’s recommended that you ask your shortlisted vendors for customer references, read their case studies and schedule a demo before you sign up. Does your platform provider have a successful track record of global deployments?
Proximity MX: Recognized as a Representative Vendor in Gartner’s 2017 ‘Market Guide for Indoor Location Application Platforms’
The true business value of any new technology can only be realized if there is no gap between its real potential and the solution provider’s ability to implement it. At a time when competition is an at an all time high, the ability to deliver what is promised can make all the difference. We have successfully deployed Proximity MX, our WiFi location insights and engagement platform over 1000s of locations and in the process we have identified key implementation challenges and devised ways to overcome them. If you want to know more, read our case study or ask for a free product demo by clicking the button below.