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Clients Find The IDEAL Way - page 2

It's All In The Name

  • July 8, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

The IEEE 802 Standards Group is characterized by Jacobs as the "hardest client on the planet."

You may recognize the IEEE 802 Group as the one that sets the wired and wireless standards for the whole networking industry. IDEAL contracts to deploy and run the wireless network for their six or so conferences that the Group puts on every year. The venues have been challenging because of power differences and unknown building layouts. Jacobs downplayed the challenges by subtly mentioning that some of the conferences were in Singapore, Canada, and the US.

Microsoft had been a sponsor of the conferences, providing free hardware and software. As is typical with most conferences, the IEEE relied on volunteers to configure and run the wireless networks during the event. That wasn't working out very well because in several cases the volunteers weren't able to keep the network running until the middle of the conference. Make no mistake, the IEEE has some pretty sharp volunteers. It was just tough trying to manage a major wireless network while also attending to other conference activities.

Contrast that to the IDEAL approach, where the network team would show up, unbox the hardware, then have everything running in a few hours. That included VPNs, security, access point placement and so on, for a typical 1500-user conference. The IDEAL team would also monitor and log the network activity to head off any problems, such as bandwidth hogs and viruses. The fact that the IEEE group has put their wireless conference networks in the hands of the IDEAL team says quite a bit about IDEAL's expertise.

Jacobs said that even though they don't advertise, clients are now calling about projects. The IEEE success has really boosted credibility.

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