In today's workspace, few of us want to be tied to a desk, with an aging PC plugged into the wall for both power and Internet access. There are just too many good alternatives that make life easier and work more effective-smartphones, tablets, even laptops with wireless Internet.
As the world goes wireless, think about your dealership and the network infrastructure you have in place. Picture your dealership five years down the road. Ten. It's easy to see how hard-wired desktop computers are becoming extinct. Wireless is certainly the future of dealerships, but mistakes could cost you.
And now, five of the most common mistakes dealers make when implementing wireless networks:
1. Powered WIRED network – The first common mistake is not implementing a business-grade powered wired network. The key to a successful wireless network is the wired network that fuels the wireless network. Without having power in your wired network, you will have to run electric to each one of your wireless access points, which can cost as much as $1200 per outlet—an avoidable cost if you implement a powered network.
2. Access point placement – Placing access points appropriately is a critical decision. Too far from where dealership employees use the Internet? Weak connection. Too close to your devices? It drains the battery. Every dealership is uniquely different, so a comprehensive site survey will surely pay off.
3. Configuration – Your OEMs are building wireless solutions to make your business better. And to run those solutions effectively, OEMs have recommended certain wireless configurations. CDK Global works with your OEM to help ensure that your wireless network meets OEM recommendations.
4. Access point type – Many dealerships wrongly believe that a consumer-grade wireless access point is good enough for the business. But consumer devices are designed for about four wireless devices. Once your employees and customers join your wireless network they will absorb the bandwidth, which will decrease the coverage area as well as slow down the network. So if three to four people are using one access point, you may have full coverage from device to device. But when eight people are using one access point, you will have dead spots with no wireless coverage. Business-grade wireless access points, on the other hand, will support as many as 500 simultaneous users.
5. Wireless controller – Finally, not linking the independent wireless access points with a wireless controller is a common mistake. When all access points are linked together, users can move throughout your dealership, and like a cell phone connection, seamlessly change access points as they move around, maintaining a strong wireless connection. Wireless controllers can also mitigate signal interference and maintain a separate guest network for your customers.