In the latest podcast from our sister publication Tech Decisions, Editor-in-Chief Tom LeBlanc interviews Jason Hintersteiner of EnGenius, a company that has provided wireless communications and radio frequency (RF) technology for over 18 years.
The two discuss why network upgrading can be a low priority for IT departments (even when it shouldn’t be) and how important it is for the network to be able to handle the burden of new applications and devices.
The company‘s portfolio of networking solutions includes managed and unmanaged wireless solutions, Gigabit switches, and IP-based surveillance systems that deliver long-range connectivity, robust feature sets, and versatility for class-leading price/performance value.
If I’m putting in a new network, I’m not really designing for today: I really need to design something to be usable four or five years from now. Think of it as, ‘I’m designing for the iPhone 10,’ by putting in some excess capacity while not over-designing. As you start working on larger networks, you have to worry about capacity, and so it is key for the integrator to have a partnership with the vendor they’re using to know how to configure it and be up-to-date with best practices.
Tom and Jason begin by establishing that, in today’s industry, a company whose wifi network is outdated will face some serious troubles.
“In most small to medium business environments, IT departments tend to be considered overhead — they’re small and responsible for everything,” says Hintersteiner, who has managed small- and medium-sized networks in numerous vertical markets. “The performance of devices will only be as good as its infrastructure.”
Hintersteiner compared the problem to owning a sports car but not having access to smooth, wide, unobstructed roads: tech decision makers can order technology of the highest caliber, but if the network is not built to suit it, nothing will work properly.
Technology, he points out, arrives sooner than most institutions’ network overhauls. Integrators may find themselves explaining to IT heads that their network installed five years ago was not designed for the applications of today.
In turn, IT departments seek integrators and consultants who have installed similar networks and who ask the right questions during the bidding process. Hintersteiner says these directors seek integrators who will first determine the constraints of their networks, business requirements of the networks, and which applications are must-haves.
Hintersteiner mentions that the typical WiFi network remains in place for at least five years in most departments.