Last Thursday was our second annual Customer Advisory Council meeting. The council meets annually to provide feedback on our product roadmap. We had a good mix of customers, including a national hospital network, a local hospital network, a Fortune 500 global enterprise, and a global manufacturing and distribution company. We met at a beautiful venue in downtown Chicago thanks to our friends at Netrix, who were amazing and gracious hosts!
As an educational component to the meeting, we invited world renown Wi-Fi expert Keith Parsons to speak to our group. It was wonderful of Keith to bestow upon us some of his Wi-Fi wisdom. The biggest takeaway from
Keith’s talk was the critical importance of understanding client devices in the world of Wi-Fi. He told us how some manufacturers consider over 100 different factors in their devices’ roaming decisions, and that every manufacturer has their own proprietary algorithms for attaching to wireless networks and roaming.
His message dovetailed beautifully with our message of “living on the edge” of the network where devices live and where the client experience matters most. Our software reveals some of the most elusive wireless issues because it records Wi-Fi performance from the device’s point of view.
The second key takeaway (for me anyway) was Keith’s advice for improving the quality of Wi-Fi networks everywhere: Never rate limit – ever. Let every user go as fast as they can – all the time. According to Keith, it’s a paradox that doesn’t make sense to many network engineers because they don’t fully understand how the 802.11 protocol works where fast clients have to wait until slow clients are done before they can go fast. It would be much more efficient and a much better experience if we all went fast! It was a fascinating discussion.
Next, on the agenda was 7SIGNAL ROI. Our council members listed a few areas where ROI was evident.
Despite not having intimate knowledge of the inbound helpdesk process, all CAC members admitted to real savings being realized in the helpdesk area because our solution is able to shorten mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), as well as reduce or eliminate Wi-Fi related trouble tickets – all of which may be tied to hardcore savings. For example, imagine a call regarding the Wi-Fi experience entering the helpdesk. The technical specialist looks up their device. In plain English, our system indicates that the user’s device is sticking to an access point far away and that the remedy is to toggle the Wi-Fi so that the device roams to an AP overhead. The issue is resolved in less than 30 seconds. Many helpdesks closely track and measure cost per call. Therefore, this idea has the potential to achieve the greatest ROI of them all for our customers.
Finally was out product roadmap discussion – which was amazing. We talked about new and existing products that would bring the most value. Due to the sensitive nature of the discussion, unfortunately I cannot offer you any details. Bummer – I know. But if you are a customer who could not attend and you are genuinely interested, please contact us and we’d be happy to fill you in. All in all, the feedback from the CAC was excellent and we built some great relationships. We have a lot of work to do – but it’s very exciting work!