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We gathered select industry articles that may be of interest to you in your search for the best Wireless options. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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Fortinet Retail Wi-Fi Solutions
Transforming the retail store experience with Wi-Fi
Connect Your Store to Increase Revenue per Square Foot
Location: The New Battlefield for Business & Digital Innovation
Organizations today are focusing on the discipline of “digital innovation,” extending their interests to “social media” and “mobile innovation.” But the same market leaders must also start paying attention to a form of “location innovation.”
Brochure Retail Ruckus
Smarter Wi-Fi Enhances the Shopping Experience and supports store operations.
Presence Analytics Solution Brief
Fortinet Presence Analytics Solution – Using Wi-Fi to turn visitors into retail revenue
FortiPresence: Deploy. Enable. Secure. Scale.
Whether your company is a local independent bookstore, or a nationwide clothing chain with over 1,000 stores, Fortinet can secure your business. Provide complimentary Wi-Fi access to customers while ensuring that your POS and retail devices are up and running. And with FortiPresence, you can gain extraordinary insights into your shoppers’ behavior and even influence their purchases in real time.
Smart Zone Overview
David Baldwin, Product Line Management, introduces Ruckus Wireless’s new Virtual Smart Zone (vSZ) wireless controller and discusses how it can be used in pure virtual deployments as well as with SDN and other newer networking configurations. Recorded at Wireless Field Day 8 on September 30, 2015. For more information, please visit http://RuckusWireless.com/ or http://TechFieldDay.com/event/wfd8.
Making Simply Better Wireless: BeamFlex Explained
How and Why Ruckus BeamFlex Technology Works to Improve Range, reliability and Performance of Wi-Fi Networks and Services.————————————————-Connect with us!http://www.ruckuswireless.comhttp://www.facebook.com/ruckuswirelesshttp://twitter.com/ruckuswirelesshttp://instagram.com/ruckuswirelesswifi————————————————-
WEBINAR: Ruckus for K-12 Education
Smarter Wireless for a Mobile World
Ruckus Wireless Expands Wave 2 Portfolio
Ruckus Wireless™, Inc., now part of Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD), today launched two new wireless access points (APs) and upgraded management software that double Wi-Fi client density and data rates over previous generations, while improving the wireless experience for retail, hospitality, education, enterprise and service provider customers.The new APs are based on the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard featuring multiple user-multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, which can simultaneously transmit multiple client streams to different devices on the same RF channel. Ruckus was first-to-market with Wave 2 APs in April 2015, and will now have the industry’s broadest Wave 2 portfolio. All Ruckus Wave 2 APs combine MU-MIMO with Ruckus’ patented BeamFlex+™ adaptive antenna technology and ChannelFly™ predictive channel selection to deliver the highest performance Wi-Fi possible, optimizing signals for every client and transmission.The new products include:Ruckus ZoneFlex™ T710 access point – An outdoor version of the industry-first Wave 2 R710 AP delivering multi-gigabit Wi-Fi performance and unprecedented client capacity. The T710 includes four dual-band antennas—utilizing BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology—along with interfaces for Ethernet and fiber backhaul, plus built-in GPS for ease of location and inventory management, making it a flexible platform for enterprise and service provider outdoor deployments.Ruckus ZoneFlex R510 access point – A Wave 2 version of Ruckus’ most popular indoor AP (R500). The R510 is a competitively priced AP for mid-market customers, featuring two dual-band anntennas (also utilizing BeamFlex+ technology) that combine MU-MIMO to service more devices with the highest efficiency. Unlike competing products that require expensive switch upgrades to accommodate higher power requirements, the R510 can work with existing 802.3af-capable Ethernet switches.Both APs can be managed by Ruckus ZoneDirector™ and SmartZone™ controllers. ZoneDirector and SmartZone are software platforms for managing wireless networks, including user access controls, guest networking functions, advanced Wi-Fi security and traffic management. As part of today’s announcement, Ruckus is upgrading SmartZone to version 3.4 with new features for self-optimizing Wi-Fi networks, remote network management, simplified installation of new APs, and Amazon Web Services support. Ruckus is also upgrading ZoneDirector to version 9.13 to enable even better network installation and management. Both platforms also now provide built-in support for Ruckus’ Smart Positioning Technology (SPoT™) location-based service and Cloudpath™ certificate-based security management software, user onboarding and policy access management software.”Wave 2 is quickly becoming the high-performance Wi-Fi standard, especially when combined with patented Ruckus innovations like BeamFlex+ technology,” said Greg Beach, vice president of product management, Ruckus Wireless Business Unit at Brocade. “The early adopters across retail, hospitality and education are seeing tremendous benefits as they rely on Smart Wi-Fi™ to engage customers, deliver services and run their businesses. With today’s new indoor and outdoor access points, we’re excited to take Wave 2 mainstream for any enterprise or service provider deployment.””Ruckus’ new APs expand options for Wave 2 deployment across multiple industries,” said Mike Fratto, research director, Current Analysis. “Fast, reliable wireless is clearly becoming more business critical, and we expect Wave 2 systems will stimulate faster growth for Wi-Fi throughout 2016 and 2017.” Source: PR Newswire
To Wave 2 or not to Wave 2?
The second wave of wireless networking gear based on the 802.11ac standard – collectively, “wave 2” – is the current cutting edge of Wi-Fi technology.Boasting multi-user MIMO (meaning that it can service multiple client devices using its multiple antennae), wider channels, and a number of other bells and whistles, wave 2 hardware offers more throughput and better handling of multiple connections.But is it really necessary? Generally, connection speeds are limited by other parts of the infrastructure, not the wireless connection. Cutting-edge gear, obviously, comes at a premium price. If the improvements over 802.11ac wave 1 aren’t crucially important to you, some argue, you might be better off skipping wave 2 and waiting for the next wireless standard – 802.11ax – to make it onto shelves.+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Android gets patches for serious flaws in hardware drivers and media server + How Intel plans to change servers as it breaks away from PCs Where 802.11ac wave 2 is a strong incremental upgrade, 802.11ax (which is expected to hit in 2019) is a leap forward – it can, potentially at least, reach 10Gbps speeds, and has the ability to subdivide channels for better multi-device performance. Ajay Malik, a veteran of Cisco, Meru and HP, wrote earlier this year that many companies should simply wait for gear built to the 802.11ax standard to appear, instead of upgrading to wave 2 and then upgrading again to ax.The type of generational improvement we’ll see between 802.11ac and ax fits the Wi-Fi upgrade pattern a lot better than the relatively smaller gap between ac wave 1 and wave 2, he said.“Historically Wi-Fi went from 2Mbps to 11Mbps to 54Mbps to 300Mbps and 1.3Gbps,” Malik said via email. “That’s what 11ax does, not wave 2. A generational leap is what we need.” (Malik is a Network World contributor, and wrote about this issue earlier this year.) The new standard is expected in 2019, and 802.11ax hardware should hit the market shortly thereafter.But Michael Dickman, vice president of product line management at HPE/Aruba, argued that avoiding wave 2 just because it’s a less impressive upgrade in terms of total throughput doesn’t make a lot of sense. “Do you really want to wait until 2019 to even consider a refresh?” he asked.Moreover, according to Dickman, it’s far from settled that the huge speed boosts promised by ax will even be required for consumer use. Endpoint manufacturers haven’t seen the demand for faster wireless.“The most urgent problem for that wireless network engineer is on network-level throughput and on application experience, and individual client throughput doesn’t seem to be the main challenge now,” he said.That means that client density – which wave 2 ac substantially improves with multi-user MIMO capabilities – is likely to be a bigger issue in the networks of today and tomorrow, suggesting that it’s a more important upgrade than some of its detractors imply.John Ciarlone is vice president of sales at Hummingbird Networks, a VAR that sells primarily Cisco/Meraki products. He said that even if the promised high speeds can be realized, limitations on the rest of the infrastructure could make them irrelevant.“First of all, you have very few devices that have wave 2 as it is,” Ciarlone said. “Most people’s infrastructure won’t support it.”Realistically, of course, the decision on whether to go with wave 2 or wait for ax is situational. Businesses that are still using a/b/g/n gear should probably upgrade sooner rather than later, but a company that just finished a move to wave 1 ac access points doesn’t need to rush right out and buy wave 2.
K-12 Wi-Fi: One AP Per Classroom, Is It Necessary?
By: Phal Nanda, Director Product Line ManagementIs it even recommended? Better Wi-Fi depends on some key elements (1) static factors such as coverage area, materials used for constructions, and planning, (2) known dynamic factors such as typical devices per room (20 to 30 devices), apps used during classroom and online testing, as well as (3) unpredictable dynamic factors such as sticky clients, networking gear failures (a part of the network, APs, switches), recent configuration changes impacting service, etc. Let’s look at each of those parameters more closely and determine the reasoning behind whether or not one AP per classroom has merit.First of all, let’s look at cost. More APs per classroom means more APs of course, but there is more. More wiring – sometimes wiring cost is as high or more than cost of APs – more PoE switches (to power the APs), and more subscriptions in the cloud or more licenses for your Wi-Fi controller. There is cost everywhere, and these additional costs can add up.Alternatively, less APs usually require a pre-deployment RF planning (some cost) and smarter Wi-Fi technology that can handle both static and dynamic variability of the environment. K-12 class rooms are small – about 35ftx35ft (or 1,225 sq.ft.). Walls between classrooms can be anything from accordion room dividers to drywall to concrete – though most are wooden structures with studs and drywall separating linearly constructed U.S. elementary and middle school classrooms. Rooms themselves are quite open. RF propagation would have minimal impact in covering upwards of 60-90 feet or more. All of those without even considering the value some Wi-Fi vendors bring with their RF innovations (such as Beamflex, ChannelFly, etc.).In the classroom, kids are typically given one device each, for mobile learning as well as online testing, and we can expect to have 30 devices active per classroom at any time (not to mention connected devices in a backpack, purse or on a wrist.) The most taxing online traffic would likely be downloading video streaming services (between 2-5Mbps) during e-learning sessions.With the unpredictable network conditions , such as class time running late and more kids waiting outside who are now connected to the same APs. In addition, all APs are designed for classrooms; auditoriums and cafeterias require “stadium-like” client density handling.The overwhelming simplicity of cloud management has provided school’s IT teams with the dilemma: while some controller-based Wi-Fi technologies provide better RF, the simplicity of Cloud is a decent compromise.What if they had a choice? The best Wi-Fi and cloud management, would result in half the number of APs needed per school district, half the number of cloud subscriptions to buy and renew, half the number of PoE switch ports needed, and half the cost of cabling, half as many devices to fail… you get the idea. All of those, without compromising on cloud simplicity? Would you try it? What would your district do with a ‘Wi-Fi tax refund’ this year?
WiFi data – The new gold mine!
By: Udaya Padmanabhuni, Sr. Principal Product ManagerThe number one role of network data is to improve the operational performance of the network and ultimately drive business objectives. Data analytics provide insights on network functionality and user habits that network managers have never had before. With these insights, enterprises can make decisions network infrastructure, uncover answers for hard-to-solve problems and use IT resources more effectively.Let’s look at how service providers and enterprises are leveraging data and analytics to run and improve different aspects of their business.For Service Providers, Business Runs on WiFiWi-Fi has become critical element for Service Providers world-wide. Five 9’s availability is expected, along with sufficient speeds to support various business critical applications. The demand for Wi-Fi speed is ever increasing. Service Providers are expected to provide affordable Wi-Fi access to businesses and consumers, and to be profitable. Businesses rely on customer satisfaction and maintaining acceptable levels of service. Service Providers are using the data from Wi-Fi networks to monitor the health of the network, and measure the Wi-Fi KPIs and quality of service. If customers experience degraded service, their businesses are impacted immediately. Data from Wi-Fi networks is used as a feedback loop to ensure that Wi-Fi service is up and running and adequate network SLAs are maintained. Service Providers are also using Wi-Fi data to improve operational efficiency. Service Providers would like to deploy an optimal number of APs to ensure SLAs, but not over provision (or under provision) the network resources. By collecting the Wi-Fi data and analyzing user patterns and behaviors, traffic and volume of data, Service Providers are optimizing the deployment of Wi-Fi access points and other related network infrastructure. This data is also used to configure Tx power levels on access points to minimize the interference and improve the Wi-Fi performance.When data collection and analysis has to be done manually it is a huge challenge to service providers. While the market for service providers is robust, the Wi-Fi demand is growing, the number of access points is ever increasing, and new applications are being deployed.Enterprises Need Increased Efficiency and Reduced CostIT departments are tasked to ensure the health of Wi-Fi infrastructure, reduce the IT costs, and maintain the Wi-Fi service, among other things. Wi-Fi has become critical service to run the business. Data is collected from Wi-Fi networks to monitor, maintain health of the network and ensure the availability of Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi networks are ever growing, while IT staff and budgets are remaining constant or more often, being reduced.Enterprises are challenged to maintain the health of Wi-Fi infrastructure, while demand for higher SLAs is growing continuously. With fewer IT staff tasked with many projects, IT departments are under tremendous pressure to increase efficiency and reduce costs of Wi-Fi infrastructure. This is creating more and more challenges for IT department.Enter Ruckus SmartCell Insight (SCI)SCI is a reporting and analytics engine that provides visible insights into Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure. These insights will help drive key business decisions and improve operational efficiency of Ruckus Wi-Fi infrastructure. SCI enables decision makers to make informed and intelligent decisions about Wi-Fi infrastructure. When SCI is deployed in conjunction with Ruckus controllers and access points, businesses will be able to achieve operational efficiency of Wi-Fi infrastructure, reduce Wi-Fi costs and improve the overall profitability of business.Check it out for yourself. SCI comes with 90-day built-in trial. More information about can be found here.
The Cross-Cloud Approach: Driving the Digital Workspace
In this third of a four-part video series, Richard Munro, global cloud strategy director at VMware, discusses the importance and benefits of taking a Cross-Cloud approach to help all lines of the business drive innovation and deliver on their strategic IT priorities. He also considers the key questions businesses should be asking when it comes to continuing their cloud journey.Efficiency Depends on FreedomMobile technology has changed the way in which businesses operate and employees work. From the way in which customers interact with organisations today to the potential productivity and workplace satisfaction, there is no doubt that mobility is a key driver of digital transformation. Recent VMware research highlighted this, citing that the return on investment (ROI) achieved after successfully executing on digital workspace initiatives was driven by a combination of factors, including increased end-user effectiveness in EMEA (28 percent).When it comes to mobility, end users in the mobile workforce have one common aim—to be able to do their jobs as efficiently as possible. Their efficiency is largely dependent on their freedom to choose their mobile device as well as their mode of access. They want choice and they want simplicity so that they can effectively get their job done, which includes avoiding highly complex and time-consuming authentication processes at all costs.Munro explains how this strive for freedom has often been restricted by IT departments that want and need to exert some control over the actions of their workforce in order to ensure security and governance, amongst other factors.With freedom and control having traditionally been naturally opposing forces, Munro discusses how VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture™ is finally building this bridge, by allowing IT to regulate the environment without alienating the people they are trying to help. This is putting an end to the ongoing battle by providing IT departments with the security, control, and protection over the user environments they have always wanted, while also ensuring end users are being given the freedom they need to make informed decisions on what will maximise their efficiency.This video explores how VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture is building the bridge between cloud freedom and control. Categories: Cloud, Executive, Perspectives, Technology Trends Tags: EMEA
6 Cool Ways to Drive Conversions with Heat Maps
Flip on the nightly news and you’ll likely catch a story about the latest retail giant closing stores.Nine retailers, including Wet Seal and Limited Stores, have already declared bankruptcy in the first three months of this year. And mall darlings, such as Macy’s, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Payless ShoeSource are closing stores at an alarming pace.The challenges to brick-and-mortar retailers in an increasingly digital business world are undeniable. Just look at the stratospheric growth of Amazon—between 2010 and 2016, Amazon’s sales in North America have grown from $16 billion to $80 billion.But smart brick-and-mortar stores are using wi-fi technologies, such as heat maps, to convert customers and increase profits. By implementing new strategies, traditional stores can regain traction and successfully compete against the e-commerce juggernaut.Don’t Count Out Brick-and-MortarThere’s still potential for growth—even for classic retailers. It’s all about creating the best user experience for customers. Retailers can figure out what customers want by using information collected from something nearly everyone has tucked in their pocket or purse when they enter a store—their smartphone. Read: How to Win Shopper Loyalty and Influence Buying BehaviorCustomers are constantly gathering and sharing information on their phones while wandering through store aisles. Retailers can collect this data through Wi-Fi and then use it for consumer engagement.Smartphone technology can help retailers pump up customer loyalty and brand recognition by using personalization and real-time customization. Retailers can use wi-fi location-based services to target specific areas with promotions and sales, use push notifications and offer app downloads and targeted search results.How Retailers Can Use Heat MapsAnother way retailers can use Wi-Fi is to generate heat maps, which can help improve customers’ overall experience and entice shoppers to make purchases. Benefits include:In-store marketing improvements. Are customers breezing past displays and lingering at others? By seeing how long shoppers spend in certain areas of your stores, you can improve in-store marketing.Space optimization.Perhaps it’s time to upgrade your signage and product descriptions. By seeing what areas of the store are neglected by patrons, you don’t waste precious space on unwanted merchandise.Product suggestions and incentives. Heat maps can help retailers anticipate what customers are looking for. Why not send a coupon directly to their phone?Smarter staffing. Maybe it’s time to open another register, or perhaps an employee should be stationed near the sports equipment aisle where customers are congregating.More accurate targeting. Do most customers come from around the corner or an adjacent city? You can use this information to offer customers location-based deals.Store comparisons. Use collected data to run A/B testing about store performance. This data can help you tweak the placement of merchandise, or ditch a product altogether.Advantages of the Fortinet SolutionSmartphones are always scanning for wireless access points — emitting all kinds of information. Fortinet’s wi-fi, location-based services can help retailers collect this valuable data to increase shopper loyalty and influence purchasing behavior.FortiPresence is a cloud-based product that offers retailers social wi-fi and valuable analytics, with high-performance security. You’ll find out things like real-time location trends, conversion and bounce rates, the number of visitors, the time they’ve spent in the store, contact information and comparisons across stores.Fortinet processes this information and displays it in a dashboard, making it easy for you to readily see total visitor traffic, track marketing campaign success and generate real-time animated heat maps for increased customer engagement and business performance.As a partner of Fortinet and a provider of Fortinet’s FortiPresence, Xiologix can help brick-and-mortar retailers use best-of-breed wi-fi location services technology to convert customers and increase revenue. Contact us to learn more.
How to Win Shopper Loyalty and Influence Buying Behavior
We’ve all seen the headlines screaming that the retail apocalypse is here, and retail stores as we know them are in their death throes.Some of the hysteria is warranted. Competition from e-commerce is fierce. A whopping 3,500 stores are expected to shutter their doors in the next couple months. Major retailers like JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears are all closing stores—turning malls into ghost towns.The challenges are real, but don’t give up on brick-and-mortar just yet. With a change in mindset and new strategies, traditional stores can turn it around by using the very thing that gave e-commerce its swift rise—technology.A Challenging Climate for Brick-and-Mortar RetailersThe changing retail landscape presents big challenges to brick-and-mortar retailers looking to compete with e-commerce.A recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 80% of Americans are online shoppers—with 15% making weekly online purchases. This may sound discouraging, but there’s still hope for brick-and-mortar stores that use technology to their advantage.There’s something to be said for physically seeing an item in a store and asking a salesperson questions, face-to-face. In fact, this same Pew survey found that 64% of Americans said they would prefer to buy from a physical location.Of course, merely getting someone into the store doesn’t guarantee a sale. The trick is capturing shoppers’ attention and giving them a reason to buy while they’re in your store.You just need to give your customers an incentive and make them feel special. Make it a pleasant shopping experience with small details like free WiFi; for example, and offer them exclusive, relevant in-house deals.Technology Isn’t Just for E-CommerceThis is where technology comes in. It can help brick-and-mortar retailers go head-to-head with online storefronts by making it easier to acquire, analyze and leverage valuable customer data to boost customer engagement and enable real-time customization.You can target specific locations with promotions and sales by using push notifications, app downloads, and targeted search results to spread the word.But where is all of this valuable information coming from? How can you directly communicate with shoppers perusing your aisles? The answer is simple—smartphones.Retail Analytics Can Provide Retailers with a SolutionPeople are seldom without their phones, and nearly half admit to checking online reviews and comparing prices while they’re in a store. Technology will help you take advantage of this behavior to capture the sale.Even if a smartphone is tucked away in a pocket and not connected to WiFi, the phone is constantly emitting a WiFi probe signal. By harnessing this data, you can amass a treasure trove of valuable retail intelligence. For example, FortiPresence can help you gather this powerful information to increase in-store sales. It’s a cloud-based service, so you don’t have to bother with acquiring expensive new software. In addition to offering social WiFi, FortiPresence provides essential customer data.With retail analytics, retailers will see things like conversion and bounce rates, real-time location trends, total visitor numbers, time spent in a store and comparisons with other stores. Best of all, you can use this data to target someone browsing in your physical storefront with real-time ad generation.Xiologix can help brick-and-mortar retailers use retail analytics to win back customers from e-commerce. Read: 6 Cool Ways to Drive Conversions with Heat Maps. Contact us to learn more.