Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Cisco Wireless WAN.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
The solution is very expensive, and I think the price should be more competitive, like with Aruba, Meraki, and other products. The price model is very high but the manageability is simple.
The cloud interoperability needs improvement.
With the WMM there are a few bits and pieces missing that some of the other vendors have. Cisco has a bad habit, although they'd probably see it as a good habit, of not applying extras. I want more managing features. Cisco would love you to go and buy Cisco Prime, which is very expensive, especially if you want to get reports active for the SME market. They generally don't add to existing products and are actually outpricing themselves. Cisco needs to realize that if they want to reach a global market, there are many markets within that. They need a price point that allies a smaller market and sometimes a specific country. I work in Northern Ireland and Ireland, which is very much SMB, and Cisco has priced themselves out of that market. From a management perspective, if I want to get good reports and good troubleshooting capabilities, I have to go and buy an additional product, Prime or another product that they facilitate. Aerohive products and the like have that under the hood and are a cheaper product. Cisco needs to be paralleling what the other vendors' devices are doing and giving what could be other markets the ability to use the product. For now, they've priced themselves out in some locations. In terms of additional features, they need to look at the market and need to look at whether or not it includes more management features under the hood and more layers to functional troubleshooting which other vendor devices do, that would be a big improvement. But they need to be built into the product that you buy, and you shouldn't have to go and pay thousands of pounds for an additional management platform. There should be a level of management solution purchased through the standard WLAN, Cisco's WLAN solution. There isn't enough.
Improvement could be made in the planning - WiFi survey and planning, and WiFi key mapping - should both be included in high-end devices. You would expect them to be included in such a product. When we bought it, 5508 was a high-end device. Some aspects could be achieved automatically by the wireless controller. For example, if there is a single access point deployed in a densely populated area, there will be many users and all those users bring down the speed. I think an option where the range of the access points is determined by the signal strength of the end-users would be good. There should be a mechanism mitigating that because when a user with a low WiFi signal connects, he basically crashes the experience for everyone else. Some automation on their part would be good. A neat feature that some of the other vendors have is that of informing, where I can tell the access point to narrow down its signal and focus it in a specific direction. That is very handy, for example, in long corridors where you don't want the access point to spread its signal everywhere but rather focus it to a narrow field of vision, so to speak. That's a feature I would like to see. Vendors like Aruba have things like tracking mobile devices. That would also be a handy feature because it allows you to pinpoint areas that have low WiFi coverage. Another feature would be a dynamically generated heat map. Let's say you can see on a heat map where the user has been and can follow his WiFi experience in terms of signal to noise ratio, signal strength and the like as well as interference by other machines detected in that path, how the access points see each other and the strength of signal they're producing. The only thing missing is the piece of software that could show you that graphically. I would like to see a centralized management where I don't need to log on to every controller and then proceed from there. Also, a centralized management for multiple wireless control deployments and, of course, features such as user tracking so I can pinpoint the user, all the way down to the wireless control access point and switch that the access point is connected to.
The reporting feature needs improvement, especially adding information with regards to availability uptime. Currently, we have to calculate this on our own by using a performance tool and then customize the reports to display it. This information is a major concern for us because we need to know how much uptime is available to our customers.
The solution has all the features we need, but it is very expensive.
The integration support technology should be improved. We have more sites to the technology itself and before we only had to connect the access points to a controller. Now we use most of the pieces of what the wireless as a concept can provide. So more integration and support will be great.
The worst thing about the Cisco controllers is that they only have two ports. The design of having only two physical ports is very bad.
The pricing could be improved in future releases. It's quite expensive.
We're in the phase of deploying a new system, so I can't speak to what might be lacking in the solution just yet. I'm curious to see how Wi-Fi 6 will function. You have access points supporting Wi-Fi 6, but no clients know about it really. Pricing is very high with Cisco products. It's something that many people complain about. They should work to make it more affordable.