Creating WiFi for Employees' Mission-Critical Applications in Challenging Environments
Sloan Security is a nationwide provider of physical security systems. They serve all types of customers, from corporate clients to governmental entities. Often, Sloan Security will deploy construction crews to extremely remote places, such as the U.S. / Mexico border in the rural Southwest. Even though they are frequently far from any kind of DSL or broadband cable line, Sloan Security employees need fast Internet access in order to use their web-based, online project management solution. This solution helps them streamline operations and maximize the efficiency of their projects. In most situations, they’d use a laptop computer with an air card and broadband cellular access to access their online solution.
Employees had to share a single laptop with the air card, waiting their turn before they could go online to file their reports. At the end of the work day, when all of the supervisors needed to access the system at the same time, this caused inefficiency and slowdowns. Supervisors tried sharing cards between laptops, but they ran into compatibility and other issues. Too often, the cards wouldn’t work when swapped between laptops.
When CEO and owner Brice Sloan heard about Cradlepoint from a friend and how it would allow multiple crew members to share a single wireless connection by creating a WiFi hot spot, he said: “We have to get some of these.” Brice called Cradlepoint, bought a Cradlepoint router and then deployed it at one of their remotest construction sites. “It has been a great device for us,” say Brice.
“We put it in our construction trailer and the whole trailer becomes a WiFi zone for everyone. Our guys love it. It’s an innovative way of solving the problem of having more consumers of web access than sources of web access. Now, everyone logs onto the WiFi whenever they want to get their reports filed.”
Brice continues: “Right now, we use the Cradlepoint for our larger projects where we have multiple supervisors on site. As our company grows, we can see adding more Cradlepoint routers.”
The Cradlepoint solution is an easy, affordable way for construction crews and others working at remote sites to share a wireless connection.
Simple: “[The Cradlepoint] is easy to set up,” Brice notes. “It has to be. We’re a small company. I’m the CEO and the ‘IT’ guy. Plus we can’t ask our people out in the field to mess around with something complex.”
Reliable: “At two of our sites, it’s just rocks, dust and thorns,” reports Brice. “I’m impressed how [the Cradlepoint] has performed under hostile conditions. We’ve had zero problems.”
Fast: “You have to remember, a lot of our projects are out in the middle of nowhere,” Brice points out. “Cellular signal strength isn’t the same as being downtown in an urban area. Yet even in those circumstances, our guys still get fast page loads. Our online application is pretty light.”
Compact: “A small unit is a plus,” says Brice. “When you’ve got a bunch of guys working in one construction trailer, any space savings is good.” Brice’s final thoughts: “We’re looking at a Cradlepoint for our headquarters. You can plug your DSL or cable broadband modem into the Cradlepoint and it works just like a regular WiFi router. If the DSL or cable goes out, which happens sometimes in our office, the Cradlepoint automatically switches over to the wireless signal and you don’t lose your Internet. We’re also investigating switching to VoIP for our phone service, and I understand that Cradlepoint does that better than other routers. So it’s turning out to be a good tool with lots of applications.”