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Wireless Project Advice/Guidance Please

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Adzmobile, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Adzmobile

    Adzmobile Nibble Poster

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    Hello Everyone,

    I recently got a position as a junior consultant and i have been just about keeping my head above water with the work load and the learning! I have recently got told that I will be meeting my first ever client! So this is really a big deal for me because for 1 thing im going on my own as the 'technical expert' and its in a area that im not 100%.

    So basically its a school that requries an enterprise wireless solution. They have a few access points which are from different vendors and require a secure system which will allow users to roam without getting cut off.

    I understand the basics of wireless technology and how it works so thats not really an issue and also i can do some digging around too..

    What I would like to know is, does anyone have any advice what type of questions i should really prepare myself for and what information i should really be gathering.

    I think some things are like, what level of security is required, how many users will be accessing, what is the internet connectivity speed.. but i was hoping if anyone has more experience as a consultant.. if they could provide some guidance.

    If i am unclear, i apologise, please let me know and I can try give more information.


    Thanks everyone, your help is always appreciated!
     
    Certifications: Commvault Administrator, CCNA, ITILv3, CCA for XenApp 6, CCAA for XenApp 6.5, CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for NetScaler 9.2, CCA for XenServer 6,VMware VCP5, VSTP 5, HP SMB Storage, Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE), EMCISA, VCAP-DCA
    WIP: DCUCI
  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    This is not the complete list of other questions to ask, but:

    1. What are the school's future growth plans? Eg the amount of wireless kit that the school will procure.

    2. Will the school be allowing pupils/staff to bring in their own wireless equipment? This is linked with the above, as well as knowing if a guest wireless network is needed (most modern day wireless systems will allow you to create one.

    3. What speeds do the current switches run at? If installing Wireless N (802.11n), the max output would be up to 600 Mbps (depending on certain things), if the switches in place are only 10/100 you're not going to get the best out of them.

    4. How old is your kit that is going to connect to the system (you're only considering the school bought kit here, not personal kit brought in)? This is due to some kit being so old that they do not support WPA2.

    5. The speed of their internet really has nothing to do with the wireless system.

    6. While you will do some sort of wireless survey, ask them if there is any areas of high metal or very thick walls.

    7. Ask for their opinions on any particular wireless kit that they have seen/heard of/had before. You want to engage the customer, then you can go away then either comfirm that the kit is good or make a comparison with another make/model with better features.

    8. Ask them if, apart from the school building, there are any other areas that need coverage? Eg play ground area, etc...

    At this time of the morning that's all I can currently think of. I'm off to play Skyrim now :)
     
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  3. Adzmobile

    Adzmobile Nibble Poster

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    wagnerk, thank you very much for the advice it is very helpful. I will prepare myself for those questions, some of which i did not think consider especially asking the customer about what they have already looked at.

    I guess i need to try and put myself into the customer shoes and see things from that perspective.

    very helpful, thanks
     
    Certifications: Commvault Administrator, CCNA, ITILv3, CCA for XenApp 6, CCAA for XenApp 6.5, CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for NetScaler 9.2, CCA for XenServer 6,VMware VCP5, VSTP 5, HP SMB Storage, Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE), EMCISA, VCAP-DCA
    WIP: DCUCI
  4. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    A couple more questions:

    - Do they require a splash screen for login for guests?
    - Do they require daily password changes for quests?
    - Do they require individual passwords for guests before accessing the internet?
    - Do they want to be able to charge guests for time browsing the internet?
    - Are they installing a separate internet line for wireless?
    - What amount of bandwidth do they want to guarantee for LAN and Guest Wireless? Is the firewall/wireless able to do this?
     
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  5. Adzmobile

    Adzmobile Nibble Poster

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    Thanks Craigie! Does consulting get easier?? LOL It seems like a new challenge everyday!

    OK so from looking at those questions i have thought about the following also, ill give a rough overview

    business requirements - why do they want it and what it is being used for, the budget of the project and time frame
    technical requirements - performance requirements, coverage, how many users and roaming, current network capacity
    security requirements - compliance, customer expectation and concerns, currently used security like WPA2, radius server
    application requirements - throughput and latency for applications


    As a first meeting with customers, I guess I'll really know when I'm there... but it seems to be an art learning where to draw the line in terms of depth, how many different areas to cover and speak about... how technically deep you should go into without making the customer feel silly..
     
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    WIP: DCUCI
  6. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Just listen to them and ask questions mate. The most important thing is to build rapport in the first meeting.

    You would then generally go away and prepare a initial proposal which you would then present based around your discussions, explaining pro's and con's of technologies used and how it will benefit the business.
     
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  7. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Some good advice so far.

    Plenty to consider with this type of project, the customer may want a public\private WLAN which could mean VLANs need to be configured.

    A site survey is an absolute must here; chances are your company has a set fee per network point and perhaps an extra cost for points that need to be installed in a difficult location.

    You may also want to mention support\monitoring of the final solution. For example you can have a basic ping test on all WAPs and configure alerts so that any failing WAPs can be identified.
     
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  8. Adzmobile

    Adzmobile Nibble Poster

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    Heloo! Thanks everyone for the advice, I went to the meeting and it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be lol

    It went pretty well actually.. so for the build up i ended up doing loads of research around wireless - its really a very complex and large subject which i didn't realise before - probably too much research but hey better to be prepared than seem like you dont know what you are talking about. I had a few ideas of solutions also from the knowledge the sales guys passed over to me.

    I asked questions around users, where they need wireless access.. blackspots, solutions they had looked at already, support of the system after implementation etc.. The manager didnt know much about wireless which kind of made things easier as i explained all the things involved i think it improved his confidence in me.

    I recommended a site survey - which is pretty much a must to move forward and they have sent the floor plans over so hopefully it materialised into something!

    But either way, it was a great experience and a good confidence builder.

    Very grateful for all the advice - It gave me direction how i should be thinking as i was really lost at the start.

    Cheers!
     
    Certifications: Commvault Administrator, CCNA, ITILv3, CCA for XenApp 6, CCAA for XenApp 6.5, CCA for XenDesktop 5, CCA for NetScaler 9.2, CCA for XenServer 6,VMware VCP5, VSTP 5, HP SMB Storage, Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE), EMCISA, VCAP-DCA
    WIP: DCUCI
  9. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    Nice one
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5

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