Jan 10 2022

How the Right Network Equipment Can Boost Business Operations Overnight

With Wi-Fi 6 equipment from Cisco Meraki, Hansel Auto Group speeds away from the frustration of spotty connections.

As consumers return to stores and other public spaces and events, one thing that’s clear is that high-quality Wi-Fi access is a necessity for any business. Employees require good, strong network access to perform their jobs, and customers demand it wherever they go.

For businesses, that means building resilient wireless networks that can accommodate plenty of simultaneous users — notwithstanding potential physical limitations, such as a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces, walls or other obstructions.

“Wi-Fi has gotten to a point where we think of it as a public resource,” says J. Gerry Purdy, principal analyst at Mobilocity. “If people go to a shopping center, airport or sports stadium, they expect to open up their mobile devices and find Wi-Fi at their destinations.”

The same is true of an automobile dealership. Employees and customers alike at Hansel Auto Group had been frustrated by slow, spotty wireless connections at its dealerships in Santa Rosa and Petaluma, Calif., before the company deployed Wi-Fi 6 equipment throughout from Cisco Meraki.

Click the banner below to read Hansel's full Wi-Fi journey.

Why Good Wi-Fi Is Critical for Business Operations

“Most commonly, what we would experience is just a dropping connection to the network,” explains Wayne Shuster, service manager at Hansel Ford. That’s a big problem for automobile service technicians because modern cars are sophisticated, requiring network-connected diagnostic equipment to pinpoint and fix problems.

“We need that network in order to communicate with vehicles and then connect to Ford through that wireless network,” Shuster says. “We also use tablets around the shop, and those tablets are used to record vehicle specifications during routine maintenance.”

Mikayla Lopez, a consumer experience manager for Hansel Auto Group, said she often had to use her cellphone as a wireless hotspot while shooting videos for Hansel’s social media accounts and to perform other aspects of her job.

“It was pretty frustrating to get kicked off the network or just have that really slow lag time,” Lopez says. “It was really difficult.”

The problem was compounded by the fact that Hansel had a mix of different vendors’ networking technologies installed at different locations — and by the fact that some of that equipment was managed by a third party while other parts were managed by in-house staff, led by IT Manager Joshua Demitro.

MORE WI-FI: How to get flawless connectivity from anywhere.

Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi 6 Equipment Delivers a Major Upgrade

Demitro decided to deploy Cisco Meraki networking technology and Wi-Fi 6 access points throughout Hansel’s locations. That decision allowed the company to move on from its third-party vendor and easily manage the network in-house.

“We were really confident in the tools that the Cisco Meraki platform provided for us,” Demitro says. “It gave us all the tools that we needed to feel confident in managing it on our own without having to go through too much complexity. Built into the product were all the tools that we really needed to troubleshoot issues and to maintain the security of the infrastructure.”

Wi-Fi 6 technology allows for much faster connection speeds and up to 75 percent less latency. Thanks to the introduction within Wi-Fi 6 of orthogonal frequency-division multiple access, which allows for the transmission of signals from routers and access points to multiple endpoints at the same time, Wi-Fi 6 communicates better with multiple devices than previous generations of Wi-Fi technology.

For Hansel, the results were immediate.

“It’s a lot better,” Lopez says. “I can actually use the Wi-Fi, so that’s great for somebody that handles the social media accounts. I don’t hear many complaints from our customers anymore, and our salespeople are very appreciative of it.”

YakobchukOlena/Getty Images

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