Networking giant Cisco is reaching out to small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) looking to deploy WiFi networks with the launch of its Mobility Express Solution, designed to help SMB networks deliver enterprise-class wireless access to employees and customers.
Without the need for a dedicated controller appliance, it can be deployed in under 10 minutes, managing up to 25 Access Points (APs) and supporting up to 500 clients in a single cluster.
In addition, the Cisco Wireless Mobile App, available for Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems, can be used to configure and manage the solution.
The solution will ship with the company’s Aironet 1830 or 1850 Series 802.11ac Wave 2 APs, bringing benefits such as increased bandwidth for more applications and improved client density.
Businesses also have Cisco 802.11ac Wave 1 and 802.11n APs as part of the Mobility Express Cluster, and in addition to WiFi connectivity, Cisco is also advancing the analytic capabilities for their customers to gain business intelligence from the wireless infrastructure.
Connected Mobile Experiences provides a user-friendly tool to create captive portals that give a business’ mobile users access to the onsite WiFi.
Once customers connect to the network, businesses can use their loyalty applications and analytic insights to more effectively engage them.
The platform allows businesses to determine the most heavily trafficked locations to position advertisements, products, or services, or to correctly price lease and placement agreements, as well as adjust the venue layout to optimize traffic flow in periods of high use.
The platform also offers insights into staff service locations to accommodate visitor flows and time of day and lets users evaluate the impact of floor-plan adjustments.
A recent Cisco survey found 57 percent of business leaders are using mobility to change the way employees work, while 54 percent of business leaders agree that mobility is changing the way businesses engage with customers.
More than two-thirds (67 percent) believe mobility will affect their business as much as the web, with 85 percent of midsized organizations surveyed worldwide currently deploying or planning to deploy gigabit technology.
Eighty percent of midsize business leaders agree that mobility enables employees to work anytime, anywhere on any device, while 71 percent of respondents said that mobility provides new revenue streams by offering customers value-added access and services.
In addition, nearly half (49 percent) of midsize organizations believe customer mobility initiatives increase customer satisfaction, and 61 percent of business leaders say they will support both wired and wireless access networks for the foreseeable future.
Cisco isn’t the only vendor pitching WiFi to small businesses—ZyXEL recently announced its 3-in-1 unified access gateway, the UAG50, which functions as an integrated hotspot gateway router, wireless access point and point of sale thermal printer.
Different billing terms also can be set based on access time per minute, hour or day, offering business owners full control over their WiFi networks.