Your mom and dad are on Facebook, your Grandma has a cell phone and your Uncle Oscar reads the morning paper on his tablet. If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s not just young people who are connected to their devices anymore. Erickson Living—one of the United State’s largest operators of continuing-care retirement communities—knows this fact only too well.

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“There’s nothing new about the need to remain connected,” said Hans Keller, Vice President, IT Operations, Erickson Living. “It’s just that our residents have moved way past traditional family phone calls. They’re active in social media and part of the new wave of connectivity.”

When Erickson Living needed to improve their wireless network at their 18 resort-style retirement communities, they looked to Cisco for help.

The improvement need started when Erickson Living’s IT department noticed that the residents were having issues with their network services. Whether it was their phones, their wireless Internet or their televisions, seniors were experiencing everything from activation delays to service disruptions and they weren’t pleased.

A solution made up of Cisco Aironet 3600 Access Points, Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and Cisco 8500 Series Wireless Controllers—among other Cisco devices—allowed Erickson  IT to provide residents and staff with a brand new wireless network. This led to better centralized IT support, rapid additions and changes, as well campus wide mobile access to a variety of resources and information.

While the new network has made things easier on the people using the services, the tech staff has seen an improvement too. Support calls are down, firewall management is easy and new IT project rollouts are simpler than ever.

Now Grandma has no hurdles when it comes to posting your most embarrassing baby pictures to Instagram.

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Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing