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Build or Refresh the Wireless LAN

Right-size your WLAN to support your ever-evolving business needs.

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Contributors

  • Michael Morgan, Senior Information Technology Manager, OASBO/ Waterloo Region District School Board

Your Challenge

  • As a company in a society where technological demands are ever-changing and always increasing, you need to be adaptable to ensure customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
  • Your end users are embracing wireless and you can’t afford to live in the past. They’re demanding faster and more reliable wireless networks as they push the limits of your network’s capacity with a growing number of devices per person.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Supply your stakeholders with historical network usage and capacity data when making the case for a Wireless LAN (WLAN) build or refresh in order to provide a benchmark and gain buy-in for the project.
  • Define your technical WLAN requirements based on your business context and requirements.
  • If you design your WLAN for capacity, density and coverage will follow.

Impact and Result

  • Gain stakeholder buy-in by making a solid business case for your WLAN build or refresh project by understanding the value it provides to the business.
  • Define the business context surrounding the WLAN build or refresh and make sure your technical requirements can satisfy your business requirements.
  • Develop a comprehensive request for proposal based on your technical requirements and score your responses using a standard methodology.
  • Craft a well-designed network implementation and monitoring process.

Research & Tools

1. Define the WLAN state

List the business requirements and determine the corresponding set of technical requirements.

2. Build the business case

Assess the project financials, build a high-level timeline, and define your metrics for success.

3. Select the WLAN solution

Develop the RFP, hand it out to vendors, score it, and select a vendor.

4. Design the network and deployment plan

Design the network and build the detailed implementation timeline.

5. Deploy the network and monitor success

Assess the success of the initial WLAN build or refresh and establish a process for ongoing monitoring.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Call #1 - Define the WLAN state

Conduct a scoping call; understand your business context; determine your technical requirements.

Call #2 - Build the business case

Conduct a scoping call; review your project financials; review your business case.

Call #3 - Select the WLAN solution

Conduct a scoping call; review the RFP; review the RFP responses and contract.

Call #4 - Design the network and deployment plan

Conduct a scoping call; develop the implementation plan; finalize the plan.

Call #5 - Deploy the network and monitor success

Conduct a scoping call; review the initial project implementation; monitor the WLAN.

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define Your Wireless LAN (WLAN)

The Purpose

  • In order to move the WLAN build or refresh forwards, it’s necessary to understand the base requirements from both a business and technical perspective.
  • Initial stage of developing a network outline. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Full assessment and analysis of the current WLAN situation within the organization.
  • Understanding of the business requirements driving the WLAN build or refresh.
  • Complete list of the technical requirements driving the WLAN build or refresh forwards. 

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Assess your current network challenges and project drivers.

  • Full assessment of current state of organization’s WLAN
1.2

Document your goals for the WLAN build or refresh.

  • Identification of strategic objectives
1.3

Assess your business context and requirements.

1.4

Assess your current state to decide whether to proceed with the WLAN build or refresh.

1.5

Determine your technical requirements.

  • Complete list of technical requirements to complement the business strategy for the WLAN build or refresh

Module 2: Build the Business Case

The Purpose

  • To obtain stakeholder buy-in for the WLAN build or refresh project.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • High-level project timeline surrounding the WLAN build or refresh.
  • Approximate cost for the WLAN build or refresh.
  • Collectively informed group of project stakeholders.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Put it all together; build the business case document.

  • Business Case

Module 3: Select Your WLAN Solution

The Purpose

  • Select a vendor based on technical qualifying factors, as well as its strategic fit with your organization.
  • Review the contract prior to signing in order to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership moving forwards.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Full assessment of the vendor marketplace and analysis of which vendor(s) fit best with your organization from a strategic perspective.
  • Final vendor selected for WLAN build or refresh.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Create your initial vendor shortlist.

  • RFP
3.2

Develop the RFP.

  • RFP Scoring Tool
3.3

Score the RFP.

  • Selection of a vendor

Module 4: Design the Network and Deployment Plan

The Purpose

  • This phase moves into the tactical aspect of the WLAN build or refresh project by working through the physical design of the network.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • During this phase, the project timeline is fully developed in order to further break down each of the individual WLAN activity tasks.
  • A physical outline and structure for the WLAN is developed.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Design your network.

  • Network design
  • Site survey (optional)
4.2

Estimate and mitigate downtime involved in the WLAN build or refresh.

  • Mitigation plan surrounding reduction of overall network downtime
4.3

Build your WLAN implementation timeline.

  • Wireless LAN Acceptable Use Policy
  • Wireless LAN Implementation Plan
  • Wireless LAN Task Monitoring Tool

Module 5: Implement and Measure Success

The Purpose

  • Analyze how successful the initial implementation of the WLAN has been.
  • Identify areas for improvement.
  • Initiate a plan for continuous improvement.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of areas of strength and areas of weakness with respect to the initial launch of the WLAN build or refresh.
  • Established process to ensure continuous improvement.
  • Set of standard performance metrics for WLAN monitoring purposes. 

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Assess coverage using heat maps.

5.2

Plan and initiate staffing role transitions to take place.

5.3

Develop a plan for ongoing monitoring of WLAN.

  • Plan for ongoing monitoring using pre-defined set of success metrics

Search Code: 77215
Published: March 26, 2015
Last Revised: March 26, 2015