April 21, 2014

Interactive Analysis Tools (calculators)

Originally produced for the October 1999 Microsoft Enterprise site.

Wireless LANs-boon or boondoggle?

Here's a rough estimator of whether wireless LANs are right for your organization.

Retail stores, warehouses, factories and other specific-task-oriented workplaces have been the typical locations where a wireless LAN was an appropriate solution to some vexing connectivity challenge. But not any more. Thanks to improved technologies at lower cost, wireless LANs are now a logical consideration for most general office networking.

Logical, but not a slam dunk. Client and workgroup transceiver costs still exceed the cost of a wired implementation, at least when it comes to the initial expenditure for hardware. However, the cost equation may tip in the other direction once you include the costs of installing the cabling. . .and reinstalling it each time a remove, add or change order is issued.

To help CIOs determine whether their organizations can profit from wireless LANs, the Enterprise polled vendors, users and consultants, then converted their observations into a series of questions. By taking the test on the following screens, you will be able to determine if wireless LANs are likely to be highly cost-effective, merely useful or a waste of time and money for your business operation.

The questionnaire and formulas on the following screens were developed with extensive input from vendors, users and consultants. The Enterprise would like to thank Mack Sullivan of the Wireless LAN Alliance, Greg Naderi of Frost & Sullivan and Stan Schatt of the Giga Information Group for their contributions.

In particular, the Wireless LAN Alliance's Web site provided useful insights. For more information about the opportunities and challenges of wireless LANs, check out the Alliance's Web site, www.wlana.com.

Interested in learning more about our portfolio or have a specific custom content project? Contact Larry Marion at: lmarion@triangle-publishing.com