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No Wi-Fi? No thanks!

Posted by Raquel Acuna on Nov 9, 2016 9:08:00 AM
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Recently, I have made an effort to visit restaurants or venues that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, both for me and for my little one. Yes, my six-year-old daughter will not go anywhere without her electronic gadgets, and as much as I ask her not to bring any along, either the iPad or her cell phone are always close.

How many of us go to places like Starbucks or Panera for more than just a cup of coffee or a sandwich? The reality is that we visit these places to work as well. Even though we enjoy being present at our desks, there is nothing more comforting than enjoying a meal or drink while finishing up a report, analyzing data or even writing a blog as I am now. 
More and more businesses want to be able to meet the demand of offering free Wi-Fi services to their customers, and they will rely on technology partners to help them achieve this outcome. Hint, hint!
One of the greatest benefits offered by free Wi-Fi is the increased time customers spend at the location. I actually have a friend that works for hours at a coffee shop while she enjoys at least three cups each working session.
Customers are more likely to stay longer if they can remain connected. In a survey conducted by Small Biz Trends, 62 percent of businesses pointed out that customers spend more time at their facility or shop if Wi-Fi is offered. Around 50 percent of customers spend more money (this is me)!
There is no doubt that the goal of each business is different, and while some may provide Wi-Fi to offer a better customer experience, others do it to attract more. Consumers are now accustomed to free Wi-Fi access, which is creating a big demand and expectation for those that don’t have this service yet. Businesses that do not offer free Wi-Fi must embrace this trend and allow customers to remain connected to the online world. Failure to do so could negatively impact business.
Quality and price were two traditional ways businesses differentiated themselves in a competitive market. However, technology is forcing companies to rethink this approach. We live in the age of smartphones, so providing free Wi-Fi can offer a significant advantage over others.
Offering free Wi-Fi does not just benefit your customers. As a partner, you can control the network connection or multiple network locations to take advantage of recurring revenue through a managed services offering. Partners serve as a consultant and showcase how customer data can help accomplish your goals by targeting ads directly to devices. This will increase customer awareness of add-ons, specials and other services.
Cool, huh?
The availability of Wi-Fi is no longer an innovation that is limited to big retail chains. Today, even small businesses are offering this service for both customers as well as employees. Why not continue to expand and help every business connect, while also helping them to increase sales and attract more customers?
Enterprise solutions like Cisco Meraki are available to any partner, whether you are small, medium or large. Whether you are new to Cisco, or you are Cisco-savvy, give Meraki a try!
Cisco Meraki is the leader in cloud networking and delivers out-of-the-box security, scalability and management to enterprise networks. From wireless LAN, switching and communication to cloud managed security cameras; Meraki has the end-to-end solution that your customers need.
The Meraki dashboard grants partners the opportunity to deliver Cisco Meraki cloud-managed networking as a service without the infrastructure build out required by traditional solutions. This dashboard allows you to manage, configure and monitor the Cisco Meraki network in this intuitive interface.
Is Cisco Meraki the right choice for your customers?
  • Distributed sites: Customer employees leverage mobile devices in a number of different remote locations. Cisco Meraki can provide centralized management, easy provisioning and deployment. It gives visibility to the company’s entire network and allows them to monitor, troubleshoot and update devices anytime from an internet-connected device. This eliminates the need for IT staff at remote locations.
  • Cost objections: Meraki is offered through a subscription licensing model with no hidden fees, which addresses customer concerns over hardware, licensing and costs. It is a great solution for small or mid-size businesses with limited budget capabilities.
  • Growth in the future: For businesses that need to upgrade their wireless solutions now, but have potential growth in the future of new members, new devices or new applications, Meraki is the best option. The solution scales easily, and new devices or sites can be added in minutes. It can also support thousands of access points!
Interested in offering Cisco Meraki solutions but need a hand?
Tech Data Cisco’s Meraki enablement team can help build your cloud networking practice so you can be more profitable and successful. Our offering can guide partners through every step of building an account plan and specialization roadmap, as well as providing sales and technical enablement trainings, so you and your team are successful in managing these solutions. However, we don’t just stop there. Our dedicated support team provides deal registration guidance and professional services that can help you scale and win more opportunities.
I have no doubt that leveraging Cisco Meraki through Tech Data will help you develop a profitable networking practice. To learn more about Tech Data Cisco Meraki and building your practice, please contact me at raquel.acuna@techdata.com.
Raquel Acuna is a Tech Data Cisco Solutions Consultant at Tech Data Corporation.  She has been working in the channel for over 8 years and has held various roles within the organization such as sales, operations, training and marketing.  

Tags: Security, Cloud