According to the Dell’Oro Group the global market opportunity for selling Wi-Fi equipment to small businesses will double from £447million last year to £894 million by 2018. The reason for this is simply because the Wi-Fi currently being used by small businesses just doesn’t deliver and they are looking for superior solutions.
Perceptions have changed in the last few years, Wi-Fi is now seen as a basic workplace utility. It’s a standard requirement rather than a privilege. With increases in wireless-only devices, growing user sophistication and knowledge; and mobile business applications needing both higher capacity and more reliable Wi-Fi access, small businesses desperately want enhanced Wi-Fi solutions.
Historically, providing Wi-Fi solutions within the small businesses market has been poorly served and largely overlooked, however it’s about to become one of the fastest growing sectors in the global enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) market.
Until recently, the majority of small businesses (<100 employees) have been limited to consumer grade Wi-Fi equipment to meet their wireless needs. Typically they install routers in areas requiring coverage and, as their workforce grows, more of this type of low-cost consumer devices are added. However, with this approach, there are challenges with both reliability and performance, as well as overall management becoming a burden. Typically standard consumer grade Wi-Fi solutions lack the functionality and fundamental features necessary to truly meet the growing demand of small businesses for high quality wireless connectivity. The alternative to date has been an enterprise-class WLAN systems. While offering a vast range of features, these solutions are simply overkill for a typical small business; being too expensive and technically daunting for these small organisations, who more often than not do not have the specialist in-house IT skills to deploy and maximise these sophisticated systems. What the small business market is crying out for is a solution which bridges this growing gap – Wi-Fi with enterprise-class reliability and flexible performance, but is simple to deploy and manage; and available at a price similar to consumer led solutions. Above all, it must be easy to use. Solutions meeting these needs are now available, and can put Wi-Fi management directly into the user’s hand, significantly simplifying configuration and monitoring of Wi-Fi networks. These new solutions provide not only mobile connectivity but also the benefits of integrating the phone system to use a wireless solution resulting in improved mobility around a customer site rather than relying on cheap and limited DECT Cordless or expensive DECT Cordless equipment.