What the Next Generation of WiFi Means for MSPs and Their Clients
In today’s “always on, always connected” business environment, managed service providers (MSPs) are tasked with the responsibility to keep networks connected 24/7. Traditionally, MSPs achieve uptime for the SMBs they serve via an IT closet packed with modems, routers, firewalls, switches, servers, etc. They use cloud services to monitor security, networks and backups, and to deliver SaaS applications.
Combined, all the hardware and software MSPs rely on helps them solve problems that arise in user devices (such as PCs, desktop phones and mobile devices) and services (such as WiFi, cameras and building access control systems). As more and more devices and applications make entry into the world of “connected things,” pressure is applied to the network keeping these technologies available, secure and communicating efficiently. When that pressure is applied, MSPs feel it, too.
User behavior has long been a driver for changes in the types of services MSPs offer. Take, for example, the migration to SaaS, or cloud applications. As vendors developed more robust cloud-based applications, end users rapidly moved from desktop to SaaS applications. MSPs were on the front lines of managing this rapid shift from on-premises to cloud-based technology. SaaS applications lit the way for a new workforce–a workforce that has access to data at their fingertips. All they need to access that data is a reliable network connection.
As user needs continue to evolve, we can expect the “always connected” attitude of today’s businesses to hold strong. It’s important for MSPs to stay informed about new trends and technologies, and to guide their clients through these changes. The MSPs who succeed in supporting their clients’ needs will take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to change.
One of the major changes coming to fruition is the newest iteration of WiFi. 802.11ax, or “WiFi 6,” will deliver the fastest throughput ever and enable more device capacity, a key update to keep pace with the growing number of end user and IoT devices in the market. With this newer, more advanced WiFi standard, we can expect new innovations and technologies to follow and continue to push the boundaries of performance.
For SMBs, the need to comply with a new WiFi standard may feel overwhelming–new access points, new devices, new standards. When 802.11ac was released, most devices didn’t support it at the onset, and SMBs who weren’t sure about upgrading turned to IT professionals for guidance. The adoption of WiFi 6 will be much the same, and today’s SMBs will likely find themselves in that same position, unsure of how to embrace the new technology. This will be an opportunity for MSPs to step in and take the lead, preparing their clients for the next generation of WiFi.
To help the MSP community better prepare themselves and the SMBs they serve for WiFi 6 and other upcoming trends in networking, we’re hosting a webinar on Feb. 20 where we’ll take a deep dive into everything that comes with the new WiFi standard. You can reserve your seat for our MSP of the Future webinar on networking technologies here.
John Tippett is Vice President of Datto Networking, Datto Inc.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.