When Cisco conducted an industry survey a few months back, the research revealed that 61% of employees believe they don’t need to be in an office to be productive – and two-thirds of employees place a higher value on workplace flexibility than salary. Attitudes toward working remotely have certainly shifted over recent years, as working from home is no longer seen as a privilege – it’s expected.
But for just about any employee who has ever needed to work from home, getting a home office wireless network up and running can be time consuming, even if you already have an existing home network. By the time you change network profiles, start VPN clients, and deal with security concerns, not to mention time spent on the phone with the corporate IT helpdesk, you can easily spend a good chunk of your day setting up and configuring your wireless network.
But once again, Cisco can help.
Cisco announced today new OfficeExtend wireless solutions designed toward making the whole teleworking process painless for both the remote worker and the IT manager back at the corporate office. With the new OfficeExtend wireless solutions from Cisco, not only can you have home network profiles for personal use, but as an additional feature, the very same corporate WLAN profiles and security that you using at the office can now be replicated at home. And better yet, the new wireless solutions require no intervention from end users by allowing IT departments to remotely manage home access points alongside the rest of their corporate infrastructure. And we’re introducing an industry-first, no less. The new Cisco Aironet 600 Series OfficeExtend Access Points incorporate an 802.11n dual-radio design that supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz radio bands along with four Ethernet connections, marking the first dual band wired and wireless access point specifically designed for teleworkers. The 600 Series APs act an extension of the corporate network for remote workers, and allow IT departments to manage these remote access points along with other APs through a wireless controller back in the corporate office, helping to lowering support costs.
The Cisco 600 Series access points also address the issue of wireless congestion in the home caused by devices on the 2.4GHz band from cordless handsets, personal home laptops, baby monitors, video game systems and microwave ovens. These new access points avoid “personal” wireless impact in the home by allowing access to the least congested and highest performance bands available. Additionally, the access point allows segmenting of private traffic from corporate traffic through personal SSIDs, which supports home network activity and corporate activity simultaneously, while protecting the corporate environment from potential virus infiltration. The performance of the wireless network remains the same as if you were working back in the office – and if not for the kids making noise in the other room, the dog scratching at the door, or the neighbor working on his hot rod next door, you’d never even know you’re working from home!
Overall, these new wireless solutions are a win for everybody – the teleworker gets the same secure network performance as if working back in corporate headquarters, and for the IT department, safely and cost-effectively managing a large remote workforce gets a whole lot simpler.