What is our primary use case?
We have two main objectives. One is to provide a secure access network, that's secure wireless access across the network to our customers. The other is to provide access to our guests. Now, with the new centrally managed solution, we are able to leverage the interaction with the product and the different security solutions in the market.
How has it helped my organization?
The tool has greatly improved the system interaction between employees. What I mean by that is with this wireless connectivity between networks, we have the ability to use mobile communication in remote and rural areas. Now we can leverage wireless work phones. This increased mobility has helped our organization. We can talk to one another from different locations and stay in constant contact with employees across the enterprise. Everyone has access to up-to-the-minute communications and all documents and applications on our network.
We can work together more effectively. Our customers who use the wireless LAN can roam around their office or to different floors without losing their connection. Similarly, using Voice over Wireless LAN technology, they can have roaming capabilities in their voice communications.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable features are the new centrally managed solution. The interaction of the product with the different security solutions in the market.
What needs improvement?
Improvements can be made in the wireless connectivity. Particularly, the wireless, rods and, microchips and other access point components. I think that Cisco can improve its product line.
Additionally, improvements can be made to the telemetry. The licensing gets in the way here. It makes it impossible to record the different flows across the wireless network.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is scalable. The scalability is interdependent and associated directly with our client's needs, budgeting constraints, and reach.
How was the initial setup?
The initial configuration and setup were very simple. On average it takes half an hour to build access points and deploy. After that, all that is left to do is register the access points.
For the Green Sheet Project Updates, we use the documentation to do the initial configuration of the access points and then deploy them as we need them. As for the physical controllers, this allows us to do things the way we like.
Our clients could have five to ten engineers working, but they could all be working with different solutions, they're not dedicated to the wireless box.
What about the implementation team?
We are the wireless solution integrator, so we deploy the projects. We undertake the integration as well as convert the existing access points to conserve energy.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
As far as pricing and licensing go it really depends. I think that it would be better to have more flexible licensing mostly for our clients because then we could commercialize those solutions and position them for a more broader market segment. The pricing depends on the size of the project and the support from the client side.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated other options for our client's needs. We evaluated solutions based on the client's budget and system requirements. In Nigeria, we need to take weather conditions into account. Our solution has to be temperature resistant. Cisco offers stable, portable, aerobics products.
What other advice do I have?
I would advise someone considering this solution to be prepared. Understand your needs. Undertake a very clear site survey to be in a position to present the best-adjusted solution. If you don't do your due diligence you can buy a very good product response, but it won't resolve the wireless coverage problem; the key is to deploy a strategic wireless solution and adjust the parameters as needed. As well as being able to scope access points.
I rate this solution an 8 out of 10. I give it an 8 because it's a general rating of the overall product. Cisco is a network and security technology provider. Their strength lies in the network and security solution. The wireless solution can be built better.