Wireless Communications


Wireless Communications Implementation Checklist

This checklist will help you implement wireless communications in your business. To keep track of your progress, tick off each area as you work through it.

1. Research and Analyse

Check availability

Set Targets

  • Set goals for wireless communication, for example greater flexibility and employee satisfaction.
  • Agree specific, measurable objectives for what you want to achieve, such as cost savings and increased efficiency.

Research

  • Consider what sort of wireless solution you need.
  • Talk to other businesses that have implemented wireless solutions.
  • Think carefully about the security issues of implementing a wireless communication solution.

Cost-benefit Analysis

  • Compare the costs of wireless communication such as software, installation and maintenance.

2. Consult

If you lack the skills in-house, contact your Business Link adviser (or equivalent in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales) for help on how best to:

  • outline your requirements
  • establish how much you can afford to pay
  • scope the project
  • plan implementation
  • receive training and software support.

With customers and business partners:

  • Think through what your business partners/customers want and, in the case of close partners, examine the business systems that they have in place.
  • Businesses use a range of wireless standards. If you are aiming to work wirelessly with partners, an your business processes cost-effectively support all the wireless standards used by partners/customers or will you be limiting your range by targeting only certain wireless users?
  • Is it possible to adapt your wireless network to work with your partner’ networks?

3. Plan & Test

Evaluate Options

  • Consider your three main options:
    • Local wireless solutions – which free up space with wireless networks, but may not have sufficient speed for an office network.
    • Wireless network solutions – which can provide shared internet, extranet or intranet access, or connect several non-cabled office spaces. They are also a good option if you want to offer convenient network access to visiting employees.
    • Mobile phone networks or WAN technologies – which can help mobile sales staff stay in touch.

Plan The Rollout Phase

  • Look at training implications – what will the cost be?
  • Decide which staff will require training and allow time for them to adjust to the new system.
  • Consider the cultural impact: how will you feel if none of your employees are sitting at their desks, or are not present in the office at all?
  • Can your business environment adapt to this kind of working pattern?
  • Ensure your technical infrastructure can cope.
  • You’ll need to adapt your fixed and wireless networks to work together.
  • Be aware that it can be difficult to monitor wireless devices, for example an employee’s PDA accessing your network.
  • Aim to standardise solutions and hardware and to enforce robust security standards.
  • Are your other systems, for example telephones, as flexible?
  • Do you have the expertise and the resources to manage a WLAN and to train staff?
  • Are you ready for the additional volume of communication that may be generated?

4. Act

Implement Wireless Communications

  • Rollout any necessary training.
  • Encourage staff involvement and feedback. This will help smooth implementation, as staff buy-in can make or break a technology project.
  • Consider setting up a cross-departmental taskforce to manage the implementation process -it will help with staff buy-in and ensure that implementation works company-wide.

Evaluate

  • Monitor and review the impact on your business against your objectives.
  • Get feedback from staff, customers and suppliers on the changes.
  • Evaluate the impact after 6 months and 1 year. Have you achieved your objectives? – Establish how you could improve things further.

Wireless Communications business advice article: Crown Copyright © 2004-2013

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