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Why do I need wireless LAN? How does it help my business?

Thanks in large part to the “Centrino Effect” and the ubiquity of wireless networking in their personal lives, end-users are increasingly demanding wireless access within the enterprise for the pure convenience of not needing to be at their desks in order to have access to their applications, data, and means of communication (IM, email, etc.). Aside from keeping users happy, enterprises are increasingly becoming aware of the superior productivity, availability, and customer satisfaction that result from having employees being able to access the network from anywhere on the corporate premises, and being reachable at the same time.

Why would I choose Siemens to do this when I have a different vendor supplying my wired network infrastructure who can also supply me with a WLAN? The relevance of the “wired-wireless integration” argument used by some vendors is often overstated. HiPath Wireless has a highly flexible architecture and a number of features that make it extremely easy to overlay on top of virtually any wired network infrastructure. What makes Siemens a sound choice over competitors that base their offerings on wired network integration is that Siemens uses the WLAN as more than a simple extension of the network: it is really a means of driving business value through mobile business process solutions. Siemens delivers industry-leading VoWLAN capabilities and unparalleled expertise in mobile vertical industry solutions; as a result, nobody else can help enterprises take advantage of WLAN mobility to drive business value the way HiPath Wireless can.

The TCO of implementing a wireless LAN is higher than that of a wired network. How do I justify this? The value of wireless LANs must be evaluated in its entirety. WLANs deliver a greater return in terms of mobile user convenience, productivity, and availability. Furthermore, with the help of Siemens experts, it is possible to deploy a number of new mobile solutions on the same wireless LAN infrastructure, which can in turn make existing business processes faster and more efficient, leading to increasingly greater ROI each time a new solution is deployed.

Our users are constantly pushing for WLAN access to the network, but we’re worried about the management and security headaches that this will bring. Is there a way to deploy WLAN without compromising these things? It is a common misconception that because information is travelling through the air, it is inherently less secure. HiPath Wireless includes a number of sophisticated security mechanisms including 802.11i, 802.1X, and WIPS that can be implemented transparently to the end-user, and actually make wireless traffic and users more secure than their wired counterparts in many ways.

Similarly, there are concerns that by having to manage a broader coverage area and a greater number of devices, the complexity of management will become a problem. However, HiPath Wireless provides a suite of management tools that makes it easy to have visibility over every device and user that is on the network. Additionally, HiPath Wireless is able to integrate with wired network management applications via SNMP and RADIUS.