How to Choose Wireless Services

By Dani Magestro
Updated: May 15, 2012

How to Choose Wireless Services

Everything is wireless these days so as an IT professional how do you decide what service to choose? The wireless services you invest in depend on what hardware meets your business needs. To find this out ask yourself where will your staff be working and what do they need to access? You can then compare those needs to your budget so you can begin working on the second research phase of your project.

Knowing what hardware to choose is half the battle but how do you determine which vendor to go with? If you do this based on internet reviews alone you may not end up with the best outcome. Internet reviews are great but they often come from varying environments such as personal technology users and businesses of all size. So how do you compare your particular scenario with others? There are a few ways you can do this and accomplish results.

One is to determine which vendors meet your hardware criteria requirements and express interest in their products. Chances are they will want to meet and provide you with the sales pitch of the century. Once you get face to face with the vendors you will need to ask them for a few things. The first is to tell them that you need equipment loaned to you for testing purposes. This is highly important and you should never just rely on their testimony alone in finding out if their solution will work in your case. Having hardware in hand so you can have a trusted end user test it out is priceless. If more IT departments would do this they would save themselves the headache and hassle that comes along with signing contracts that won’t fulfill their needs.

The second thing you need to ask the potential vendor for is references from other businesses in similar sizes. It is preferable that you speak with someone with a technology background if possible, not just one of their end users. You will need to ask them very specific questions in regards to how their rollout went and what improvements could be made if they were to do it all over again. In addition, you will want to ask about the after affects and see how happy they are with the solution they chose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as how has customer service and tech support been as well as how do they feel about the investment costs overall, was it what they expected?

The third thing you should delve into when interviewing prospective vendors is allow them to review your current IT structure and discuss their plan for managing your needs. This is where cost will come into play because most vendors have many solutions they can offer you. Do they recommend the top of the line service with all the bells and whistles or do they simply feel they can meet your needs with their standard service? You should also ask them what their plans are in terms of the future. Will they offer this service and will they be able to still meet your needs in two to three years? Don’t forget to also explain your growth expectancy when discussing this.

After you gather all this info, you could also look at internet sources for public comments on how this company has handled issues. Just be wary of personal opinions and things that won’t apply in your situation. It’s also a good idea to Google the name of the vendor with phrases like terrible service, outages and horrible experience. This sometimes brings up a wealth of information you may not have found on your own.

Next, you will need to analyze your results along with your company’s needs for performance, budget expectations and data availability. Do any of the vendors you chose meet your needs at this time? If so, great, if not then start all over again! When you do find a vendor that meets these needs you will need to then look internally for any challenges you may face when implementing the mobile solution. Deploying a mobile solution means you will need to have security and access mapped out as well as any apps that need to be developed in order for the mobile solution to actually work.

Accessibility to the internet and networks are only part of the process. You have to choose the right hardware and service to ensure you have a solution that will work. When choosing wireless services remember that it’s not only the hardware and cost that helps you make this decision, it’s also the experience and trust you have in the vendor that matters.

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