"Before we started using Ruckus, our users experienced very poor reliability and we constantly had customer complaints about our Wi-Fi, which was based on Cisco equipment," says Rob Davis, the company's vice president of information technology.
He approached six service providers to implement an alternative solution for Atlantic Aviation, and all six recommended using Ruckus equipment, he says.
Once the company stripped out all the old Cisco gear and implemented a similar number of Ruckus access points, Davis says that the change in Wi-Fi performance was enormous. "The Ruckus equipment we have is fairly inexpensive--significantly cheaper than what we had before--but it gives us better performance and better coverage at all our sites. Wi-Fi is now no longer a topic of conversation or a source of complaints from our customers--they now just assume that it will always work."
Guy DePuy, an analyst at Dell'Oro Group, says smart Wi-Fi technology such as Ruckus' and Aruba's does appear to work well, providing high performance WLAN connectivity.
DePuy's one reservation for enterprises is not the technology itself, but rather how practical it is to manage it in an enterprise environment. For example, Ruckus offers a management system for its ZoneFlex equipment called FlexMaster, but DePuy doubts that this will appeal to enterprises that already have a management system for their wired LAN. "Enterprises have to worry about how they manage access to their WLAN. If they have to manage two networks--wired and wireless--with two control systems, it is going to be difficult, more expensive and less secure."
But smart Wi-Fi is clearly attractive to many organizations: Ruckus, for example, has been steadily winning market share, according to Dell'Oro research, and is now one of the top enterprise WLAN vendors. If poor Wi-Fi performance in a busy office environment is a problem in your organization, smart Wi-Fi may be worth investigating.
Read more about mobile/wireless in CIO's Mobile/Wireless Drilldown.