As companies grapple with the financial impact of COVID-19, many are looking for opportunities to save costs wherever possible. As the economy reopens, many will also be looking to minimize on-site staffing for the foreseeable future, to keep employees safe and comply with social distancing requirements. A straightforward way to reduce costs and minimize the need for on-site staff is in IT, where companies can switch to Wi-Fi as a subscription service.
Exploring a Cloud-Based Wi-Fi Infrastructure
Typically companies purchase their Wi-Fi infrastructure and networking as a large capital expenditure (CapEx). They also rely on in-house IT resources to support, maintain, update, and monitor their wireless networks.
However, instead of making a major up-front investment in hardware and then having to worry about having your own on-site resources to update, upgrade and manage your network, you can subscribe to Wi-Fi and shift everything to a monthly operating expense (OpEx).
You can also avoid having to rely on your own IT team to handle all the network management responsibilities, or you can avoid the cost of having to pay separately for monitoring, tech support, and service or repairs. Everything can be rolled into a single and affordable monthly payment, and you can rely on a third-party Wi-Fi service provider to take care of all your needs.
It’s a great option for companies with little to no IT support, but it’s also an excellent cost-saving strategy for companies that need to reduce their overall spending and minimize their IT budgets in the wake of COVID-19.
Subscription-based Wi-Fi is helpful for organizations with distributed offices or multiple locations, or when your needs are dynamic, and you need to plan ahead to scale up or scale down to meet changing Wi-Fi needs. Being able to lean on an outside partner to figure out your wireless networking strategy and manage it all is an ideal convenience. If you decide to move ahead with a subscription-based approach to Wi-Fi, there are a few key considerations. One is the fact that there are two options available: managed Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi as a service.
With managed Wi-Fi, you still purchase all necessary Wi-Fi and networking hardware as a CapEx. But all your network management, professional services, and software are handled by your third-party partner as a monthly OpEx subscription.
Wi-Fi as a Service
With Wi-Fi as a service, everything is rolled into a single monthly OpEx subscription, including all your hardware. There’s not necessarily a right or wrong choice between these, but if you’re looking to minimize your CapEx budget and spending, Wi-Fi as a service is the way to go.
When choosing a provider for your Wi-Fi subscription service, make sure it offers comprehensive services. This includes Wi-Fi assessments via site surveys and analysis, Wi-Fi heat mapping, installation, configuration, and on-site validation. The ideal provider should also offer full system support services for firewalls, switches, access points, and censors. There should be integrated IoT security, and network access (NAC) included as well.
Of course, you’ll also want to work with industry-certified experts who will provide performance monitoring, network refreshes and repairs, and all the support and services you’ll need to keep your Wi-Fi running optimally.
To learn more about Wi-Fi as a service and get started with a leading provider who offers all of these services and more, contact our team and ask them about Tidal. Tidal is a comprehensive, cloud-based solution that includes professional network design, enterprise-grade hardware, and state-of-the-art cloud management, all as a service.
We’ll be happy to answer your questions, help you determine if subscription-based Wi-Fi is right for your business, and help you take your next steps.