Updated: Jun 27, 2020
"Another day of cleaning up after other people's s#*tty work, Wendy." That's how my dad would sometimes describe his job. He was in construction. He was a "texture" guy, a true craftsman who did everything by hand and could finish plaster as smooth as silk. If the crews before him did a lousy job, it was on him to make the walls look professional.
To unwind from work he spent hours in the yard planting, watering and pruning and in the evenings, he would sit in his recliner and pour over books and magazines filled with plans hoping one day to build his dream house – even though he built the house he was sitting in, the home where I grew up.
Imagine your dream house. It's everything you want it to be. The game room, the study, a world-class kitchen, a four-car garage for all your toys…you get the idea. It's a beautiful, functional home. Building it is going to cost some money. To avoid going over budget, you decided to skip getting detailed plans from an architect. After all, it's not like you are going to build it yourself, you'll hire contractors for that.
You sketch out a floorplan based on everything you want your house to be. It clearly shows the layout of the rooms and gives a good idea of where everything goes. With the sketch in hand, it's time to build! The concrete guys show up to lay the foundation, but there are no actual dimensions, so they guess and pour the concrete. I mean, they do this for a living, right? The rest of the project can make adjustments if needed.
The carpenter arrives and frames the building based on where he thinks the walls, doors, and windows go. Things are "coming together" as the kitchen appliances and cabinets show up. Whoops. The appliances don't fit. The toilets and sink arrive, but because your sketch didn't show any plumbing, it didn't get done. Yikes!
Okay, perhaps a tad overdramatic, but I think you get the picture. Rarely are homes built this way, yet when it comes to deploying an enterprise wireless network, wireless engineers are often not brought in at the architectural design phase. Wireless network design is essential because a proper design is the foundation (pun intended) of a successful network.
Think of a wireless engineer no different from an architect building a house, or a civil engineer building a road. They all bring an incredible amount of detail and expertise to the job. Wireless networking is a specialty. In an enterprise setting, it can become complex very quickly. Yet many companies go it alone and often suffer from performance and connectivity issues leaving the door open for downtime, frustration, and unexpected costs.
It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the most significant benefits of using a wireless engineer is cost savings. A wireless engineer will ensure the project meets the requirements of the organization, using only the required type and amount of hardware to match the job specifications. For example, those who are in doubt tend to use too many wireless access points, driving up the cost and adding unnecessary complexity to the network.
With the use of specialized tools, software, and a wealth of experience, a wireless expert can design, configure, and deploy a network much more efficiently than even the most well-rounded IT staff. The labor savings alone will be substantial, not to mention that the byproduct is a high-performance wireless network. Do it right the first time.
When it's time to refresh your wireless network, be sure to hire a wireless network engineer. It will save you time and money, and you will have a fully functioning system that gives you the freedom to move your business forward. And when you're ready to build that dream house, don't skimp. Use true craftspeople; make it to last. My dad always said, "You get what you pay for."
Next, we will talk about why “free” designs will cost you more in the long run.