Do you find yourself smiling when you enter a restaurant, coffee shop or office and see a prominent “we’ve got Wi-Fi” information sign? I sure do! Nothing better than being able to get a solid connection with “excellent connectivity” so I can email quickly, reliably skype into meetings and perhaps peek at Instagram. Today we live and work in a world that has become dependent on our mobile devices for access to both personal and business applications in a safe and productive manner. This connectivity requirement crosses boundaries of business size, so whether you are a large multi-national enterprise, a branch office or a small to midsize business (SMB), the need to connect is there.
SMBs using the network as a business enabler
The combination of mobile devices and cloud-based applications is changing the way SMBs operate and how their employees engage with customers and interact with business processes. The network is evolving from an IT resource to a strategic business enabler. To support employee productivity—whether working from home, in meeting rooms, or at client offices – SMBs need a simple and reliable network infrastructure that can be supported by limited IT resources.
Here are some of the mobile device growth trends creating requirements for this network:
- 67% of small to midsized businesses view mobile solutions and services as critical to the business.1
- 7 in 10 businesses get user complaints about poor Wi-Fi, but 6 in 10 SMB customers do not have on-staff networking expertise.2
- 78% of U.S. small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing by 2020 – more than doubling the current 37%.2
A Mobile-First Network creates a solid foundation
It is clear in that today employees are choosing mobile access and that no matter the size, a business must have an affordable, high-performance and secure Wi-Fi infrastructure that can support the growing number of mobile devices and cloud-based applications. This network also must deliver the quality experience that users expect along with the level of security controls that your business processes will demand.
Here are important considerations when choosing a Mobile-First solution:
- Screaming fast connections - While wireless is the primary means by which employees will access the network, you need an end-to-end integrated wireless and wired infrastructure that is easy to deploy, offers built-in security and high connection speeds, along with the tools to collect and analyze network performance data.
- Security - With the arrival of digital workplaces comes added security threats. You will need integrated and automated security controls to help protect your business data from malware and unauthorized users. Wireless intrusion detection and prevention can safeguard your infrastructure from wireless threats, rogue access points and clients.
- Network and application visibility - With the increasing number of devices connecting to the network, you may need more insight into users, devices, and applications running on the network as well as ensuring that the network is running smoothly. You need a flexible and easy-to-use network management solution that can grow with your business – from free built-in network management to full-feature enterprise management.
- Room to Grow - Your business is constantly evolving, and so should your network. You need a solution that can grow as you grow. It should provide you the flexibility to build out your network to suit your business needs. Whether you start with a controller-less Wi-Fi solution, and then add a controller to scale – or use built-in management interfaces, then add cloud-based or software-based options later – your network should evolve with your business and allow you to protect your existing investments.
Aruba Mobile-First Solution
Aruba Instant Access Points and Aruba Switch Series
Aruba, a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise company, provides an integrated wired and wireless access portfolio with simplified network management and security solutions that delivers reliable Wi-Fi connections while minimizing disruptions. The Aruba solution is comprised of Aruba Instant 802.11ac access points that feature fast set-up, enterprise-grade security, a built-in management dashboard and gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. With wireless connections hitting gigabit speeds, the performance of your wired switches needs to keep up. The Aruba 2930F and Aruba 3810 Switch Series provide the power, convenience and value to deliver the right-size network access for your mobile campus. Together, the Aruba Instant wireless access points and Aruba switches provide your business with a powerful end-to-end secure network infrastructure that grows with your business.
Aruba Central Network Management in the Cloud
Aruba Central cloud management platform offers IT administrators a simple, secure and cost-effective way to manage their Instant WLANs as well as integrated capabilities such as guest Wi-Fi and application analytics. It also comes with automatic firmware and maintenance management and PCI compliance reporting.
1 Source: Source: Aruba Networks survey of 4,000 solution providers working with SMEs in the Americas conducted over 2015
2 Source: Louis Columbus, “Roundup of Small & Medium Business Cloud Computing Forecasts and Market Estimates, Forbes/Tech, May 4, 2015
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