With the firm’s growth trajectory in mind, their Lead Wireless Engineer could see this situation was untenable, and he set out to solve it. From his experiences in Healthcare IT he knew first hand just how hard it is to resolve client and AP issues with only the network-view of the world presented by typical network management tools. The Lead Wireless Engineer recognized any solution would need to provide a view into the wireless domain from the user’s perspective as well.
Since the firm is a Cisco shop, Cisco DNA was an obvious first choice. However, on closer inspection the solution imposed numerous dependencies and controls on the switching and routing infrastructure, WLAN controller, and associated APs. This had too many ramifications that were in conflict with other initiatives.
A different approach was needed. Being familiar with 7SIGNAL from a previous employer, requested a proof of concept (PoC) from integration partner, Teneo. With the firm’s growth trajectory in mind, He could see this situation was untenable, and he set out to solve it. From his experiences in Healthcare IT he knew first hand just how hard it is to resolve client and AP issues with only the network-view of the world presented by typical network management tools. He recognized any solution would need to provide a view into the wireless domain from the user’s perspective as well.
A big plus for 7SIGNAL was that it is vendor agnostic. The engineer realized this would be an advantage in cases where the Wi-Fi network of an acquired entity was not from Cisco. It could help his team improve the user experience and prolong the life of existing Wi-Fi gear, until it was time to rip-and-replace with their standard Cisco Wi-Fi setup.
"7SIGNAL lets us do proactive monitoring and address many problems before they affect the end user experience."
The firm has deployed 7SIGNAL’s Sapphire Eye sensors at its HQ campus, and five of its regional offices around the globe. Approximately 30% of their global workforce now benefits from faster more reliable Wi-Fi. In new offices requiring a brand new build, Wi-Fi performance management is now the standard. Eventually they hope to deploy wireless network monitoring as part of a larger initiative to upgrade and monitor the network environment at all sites.
A big differentiator from a VoIP perspective was the MOS Score feature. “Without visibility of real-time MOS values, troubleshooting voice related issues on Wi-Fi becomes very complex, ” said the Lead Wireless Engineer. Although it’s easy enough to run MOS tests from a client device, it ties up an engineer or a client’s time and resources. The 7SIGNAL solution is ideal for monitoring and troubleshooting these types of situations.
“The beauty of 7SIGNAL is I just set the performance thresholds I want, and the platform alerts me when performance dips below those thresholds. It even points to the probable cause and remedy, ” he added. “This lets us do proactive monitoring and address many problems before they affect the end user experience.”
Another advantage over Cisco’s DNA is the availability of agents for laptops and mobile devices. 7SIGNAL’s Mobile Eye agents can crowdsource Wi-Fi performance data at different locations by performing brief tests at pre-defined intervals in the background, as users move around. Collecting data directly from users’ mobile devices also exposes differences between different devices and driver versions, and lets users see for themselves whether the performance they are getting is on par.
In small offices this can eliminate the need for Wi-Fi sensors. For now however, the Lead Wireless Engineer favors using the Wi-Fi performance sensors, because they enable his team to achieve their objectives without forcing a review of desktop installed software standards and policies.
“We still have a lot of remote offices to upgrade, but already we have seen an 85% reduction in Wi-Fi related support calls. I know we are making a positive impact on the firms’ ability to achieve its market goals and deliver best in class solutions, ” concludes the Lead Wireless Engineer.