The Coming HotSpot 2.0 Revolution

Michael Vizard

Cisco is out trying to stir up a revolution concerning what users should come to expect in the way of wireless access that should have a profound effect on IT departments everywhere.

Speaking at the Interop 2011 conference in New York today, Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager for Cisco's Wireless Networking Business unit, said that end users should not expect a seamless wireless experience, but rather demand it.

That may not take the form of a formal sit-in, but what Hajela is eluding to is that people are shifting their business and corporate allegiance to the companies that provide them wireless access, especially in this age of bring your own technology (BTOT) to work.

From an IT perspective, Hajela says this means IT organizations need to embrace HotSpot 2.0 technologies that seamlessly integrate wireless networks deployed inside the enterprise with services provided by any number of carriers. That, of course, immediately raises security concerns, but Hajela says all those issues can be addressed via a vendor such as Cisco that enables the management of Wi-Fi and cellular networks on a scale that he says no other vendor can match.

Instead of thinking about various wireless network deployment scenarios, Hajela is arguing that IT organizations should take a more holistic approach to wireless networking that focuses on the management of applications and services, rather than simply just isolated pockets of wireless networking technologies.

Hajela concedes that it will take a while for many IT organizations to come around to this way of thinking. But the same issues that drove the adoption of the PC in the enterprise are driving the adoption of mobile computing devices and wireless networks in the enterprise. Given the productivity benefits of mobile computing, this means that the question is no longer whether a new approach to managing wireless networks will happen, but rather when?

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