Five Signs You Can Benefit From Wireless Technology

by Jamie McAfee

Your employees need to be free.
Employees should be focused on their jobs, not tied to the office. “I spent at least an hour everyday on the phone going over schedule changes,” says Laura McLean of Lynwood, Wash.-based Glover Homes. Now superintendents dial into the network via cell phone to sync their PDAs for updates. “They are spending their time in the field now instead of on the phone.”

Your mobile workers are second-class citizens.
Mobile workers often have a hard time finding a place to plug in on those days they must be in the office. Wireless networks can reduce frustration and inefficiency. “I can take my laptop anywhere and have access to the Internet, e-mail, and all my applications without having to shutdown, go to another room, plug in, and log back on,” says Jesse Shade, president of DVS Consulting in Richfield, Va. “It’s really convenient.”

Network management is a nightmare.
When doctors at Carolina Bone and Joint investigated options for accessing patient medical records from handheld devices, infrastructure management issues topped their list of concerns. Wireless proved to be the easiest and most cost-effective solution. “You can relocate workstations without dragging cables across rooms and down hallways,” says Chason Hayes, a surgeon at the Charlotte, N.C., center for orthopedics and rheumatology. “And there’s [no need] to track down the phone guy and schedule him to come in to run cables.”

You’re not planning on sticking around.
“Relocation was possible in the next six months, and we didn’t want to wire the building and [then just] walk away from it all,” says John Hyland, president and CEO of Morristown Financial Group in Morristown, N.J. “A wireless network was appealing because we could simply unplug in one location, move, and plug it back in another location, and be up and running without any issues or downtime.”

You’re getting too big for your network.
“We are definitely in a growing business, in a growing company,” adds MFG’s Hyland, who not only had to worry about the possibility of moving, but of vast expansion, too. “We are expanding this summer. The need to consistently add computers to the system is a big part of what we do, and the wireless network seems to work really well there.”

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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