MSP Today Expert Feature
June 27, 2013

ADTRAN Adds Managed Wi-Fi, Targets MSP Hotspot

ADTRAN (News - Alert) is rolling out its ProCloud managed services in phases, and the first phase will be music to the ears of those struggling to manage and secure Wi-Fi.

ProCloud Wi-Fi Services takes the tricky work of on-premises Wi-Fi and turns it all into a managed and hosted service. The service leverages ADTRAN’s Bluesocket (News - Alert) virtual WLAN

(vWLAN) technology.

Wi-Fi is almost everywhere, and where it’s not you’ll notice quick. Within the enterprise, there are precious few wireless dead zones, and customers, visitors and of course workers all expect a reliable, secure and hopefully fast Wi-Fi connection.

ProCloud aims to make Wi-Fi “always-on,” secure for employees as well as visitors, and managed by a dedicated, outsourced team of Wi-Fi experts.

ProCloud gives “ADTRAN partners the ability to offer an affordable, fully-managed, business-class Wi-Fi service that provides 24x7 monitoring and resolution of technical issues, including hardware upgrades and moves/adds/changes. ADTRAN ProCloud is staffed by ADTRAN-certified engineers that are responsible for all aspects of the service, and provides a guarantee of 99.99 percent infrastructure uptime,” the company said.

And because it is all based on Bluesocket vWLAN gears, customers can easily move their Wi-Fi management back in-house anytime they please.

There are two forms of the solution MSPs can work with. One is a private label program where the MSP imposes its own brand, but uses ADTRAN infrastructure. The other is reselling a turnkey managed service that has 99.99 percent uptime guarantees, 24x7 alerts and proactive monitoring, and fast hardware replacement.

“With the addition of ProCloud, partners can deliver best-in-class managed network services, and utilize our powerful ProStart and ProCare programs to ensure the network is installed and maintained for their customers’ specific organizational requirements. As a result, businesses spend less time and attention trouble shooting their IT challenges and remain focused on achieving core business goals,” said Todd Lattanzi (News - Alert), director of product management for ADTRAN’s Enterprise Networks Division, in a statement.

ADTRAN’s Todd Lattanzi

Wireless-as-a-Service Heating Up

Thanks to the efforts of MSPs, wireless is no longer a “roll your own” Wild West style market, but one with disciplined and varied offerings which can all fall under the general heading Wireless-as-a-Service (WaaS). 

While WaaS services vary greatly, the unifying notion is that a provider does the heavy lifting of developing and managing a service so IT doesn’t have to. Not only does the service work right out of the box, it should be better than a home grown service since the provider’s business requires it to be an expert in the areas it covers.

Some WaaS offerings include consulting. For instance, a provider could help a hospital find out what mobile devices are best for doctors, nurses, administrators and support staff. The provider can then set up a network that can support these devices, offering needed performance and determining the range of the Wi-Fi so all personnel are served.

A good WaaS should also provide predictable costs, and help the shop develop a plan for future expansion, such as might be needed if the company adopts a liberal bring your own device (BYOD) policy and now has to support a mix of smart phones and tablets. 

Edited by Jamie Epstein