Wi-Fi as a cloud-based subscription service is making moves to grab enterprise networking. The premise is that Wi-Fi is now so crucial to business and employees that companies have to ensure quality of service—even if that means bypassing the traditional networking and IT folks already on payroll and running networks.
“A growing number of companies are deciding that Wi-Fi is too important not to be handled by experts, and for that reason they are outsourcing it,” said RCR Wireless News, which has been writing about managed service provider (MSP) vendor KodaCloud. KodaCloud published a press release this week saying major staffing firm EmployBridge had just bought its subscription Wi-Fi service.
Offering enterprise customers a “Cloud Service Wi-Fi powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI)” is KodaCloud’s plan, it explained in a press release announcing its emergence from stealth. (VC investments include Comcast Ventures, Celtic House and Voyager Capital.)
The company then explained that it manages over 500 Wi-Fi access points and had signed up 100 MSPs to market its subscription access point service. MSPs supply Wi-Fi networks to large customers, such as hotels. They often don’t charge the customer for capital-intensive equipment—their business is based on fees. KodaCloud claims to do it all cheaper through centrally managed AI and IT in the cloud.
“KodaCloud is speeding up the industry’s move from buy, own and manage to a network as a service (NaaS) model for enterprise customers,” KodaCloud CEO Bernard Herscovici said in one of the company’s press releases.
Troubleshooting and network monitoring are two items KodaCloud said it can automate. It said it’s going to be “redefining organizational IT” because of that. In other words, it will be getting rid of any need for “dedicated IT teams,” who would usually perform the roles.
Network traffic monitoring and external interference troubleshooting are areas that traditionally absorb human resources. KodaCloud plans to perform the job through machine learning AI.
Additionally, it said it can save businesses money by shipping access points directly to the respective places of business. The customer simply plugs the devices in. The company pays a monthly fee for the scalable all-in service. KodaCloud claims automatically provisioning networks can be “installed in minutes.”
That kind of self-fixing, self-running, as-a-service business model can also be attractive for an organization that wants to concentrate on its core business—selling its products, say—rather than infrastructure.
It’s also scalable and conceivably good for operations that have vast numbers of physical outlets, such as stores or employment offices, as is the case with employment services company EmployBridge. That company has hundreds of branch offices, none of which have an IT professional on staff, the RCR Wireless article explained.
RCR Wireless amusingly caught a potential downside to KodaCloud’s business, though. It quoted an EmployBridge executive explaining that one of the reasons he’s buying KodaCloud’s service is for reliability.
“I bought a Wi-Fi system, and it better work,” the executive said.
One can thus assume that traditional troublesome enterprise Wi-Fi will clearly not be tolerated when paying by the month.
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