Need grows for wireless support
Channel partners have been seek- Wi-Fi access points that provide passage to the
ing service offerings that satisfy two Internet, and any use is strictly provided on a
pressing needs. The first is that the ser- caveat emptor basis.
vice be something customers actually It is in the case of tightly coupled wireless envi-
want and need. The second, of course, ronments that management of things such as secu-
is that the service be suf- rity becomes a significant concern,
ficiently high-margin to MIKE JUDE
and it is an area where enterprises
make it worthwhile to offer. usually lack expertise. In fact, security
One domain that has been largely is so hard to control when wireless is
overlooked by solution providers introduced into the corporate network
is wireless. This consists primarily that many enterprises are refusing to
of Wi-Fi 802.11x technology imple- implement it for fear of compromising
mentation and support, although critical company data.
the increasing availability of WiMax This doesn’t solve the problem,
technology using the 802.16 standard though, since Wi-Fi access points are
is likely to begin finding a significant generally available and many employ-
presence in the enterprise as well. ees just install them themselves to
Enterprises have been wrestling with wireless support their own work. So, even for enterprises
for some time and have only reluctantly devoted that don’t think they have a wireless network, there
resources to this technology. Now, with the explo- may be a need to manage the wireless domain.
sion of wireless in the consumer market and VARs that can provide remote monitoring of
the resulting wide availability of such technol- wireless security are offering a valuable adjunct
ogy, enterprise companies are finding they must to the enterprise IT operations department that
address it in a more robust way. In many cases, likely will not meet resistance from the IT rank
they are turning to and file. Such wireless management services
As wireless quickly solution providers for can include intrusion detection, rogue access
expertise in this area. point isolation and neutralization, and the
expands, enterprises While it’s true that management of access control processes.
vendors and carriers Another area where wireless support is
are turning to have largely domi- appreciated by the enterprise is professional
nated this space, the services associated with planning implementa-
providers for help. evolving integration tions. The good news here is that most wire-
of wireless into enter- less infrastructure vendors have training and
prise networks is gen- support available to master these skills.
erating an unfulfilled demand for services to So, for those solution providers looking for an
manage the new, more complex network infra- emerging and potentially lucrative area to provide
structure. services, wireless could become the new frontier,
Wireless networks can be added to exist- as more enterprises deploy such technology. The
ing enterprise networks in two ways: either key is to ensure that you understand the techno-
as an overlay to the existing network, where logical issues and have the expertise to backstop
there is no cross-domain traffic, or through an enterprise IT operations. ´
approach in which the wireless access points
are tightly coupled to internal data transport. Mike Jude is an analyst with Nemertes Research.
In the case of the former, the company places He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.