Motorola Solutions has announced a new WLAN offering, WiNG Express, which leverages Motorola’s enterprise grade technology to provide a solution with the pricing and low complexity required for the SMB market.
The legacy technology Motorola had been using in this space originally came from its acquisition of Symbol, one of the pioneers of wireless LAN.
“In 2004 they invented an architecture which consolidated management into a controller, which has been in the market ever since,” said Gary Singh, Motorola Solutions’ head of product solutions and marketing for Enterprise Networking and Data Capture divisions. “The downsize of that architecture was that when it came to deployments of less than 10 access points, it was a heavy configuration. It was really better for larger deployments.
Singh said that as they continued to offer both controller-based and intelligent access point solutions, SMB and midmarket companies used the latter.
“The problem was that all the research money went into controllers and over time, the smaller companies got a more complex product, so that the same product we sold to the Fortune 500 was sold into the midmarket,” Singh said. “That meant more complexity and that was painful for the customer, and for the reseller, who had to do lots of training on the complex product.”
Two years ago, Motorola evolved this technology into a distributed hybrid architecture to remove the single point of failure at controller.
“That made life easier for SMBs, but you still needed a controller, and if you have a single site access point, you don’t need one, even if it’s a large location,” Singh said.
Enter WiNG Express, which requires no controller and which was designed to be extremely simple to use.
“The simplicity is at a home level,” Singh said. “The configuration and complexity are simple, with no single point of failure.”
The technology itself is not new, and comes from the enterprise product, with the improvement being that it no longer needs a standalone controller.
“The engine is from the enterprise, but the dashboard is newly designed and made to be simple,” Singh said. “We have leveraged our enterprise solution, and we took that code base and rewrote the user interface for it.”
That, Singh says, allows Motorola to offer an enterprise grade product that is simple to use even by SMB standards.
“The number one issue for customers is reliability, and this is enterprise grade security, simplified for the branch office or smaller company,” he said. “This makes it a good quality product.”
Singh said the sweet spot for customer size really depends on the number of access points.
“It’s good for any company that has a requirement per site of less than 25 APs, and that can be a fairly big area as a single site,” he said. “But if you have a business with 25 sites and each only needs a single AP, it works well for that too. If you have more than that, you should use controller architecture.”
The WiNG Express AP portfolio consists of two dual radio 802.11ac access points (AP 7502E and AP 7522E) and four 802.11n APs (AP 6511E, AP 6521E, AP 6522E and AP 6562E).
Singh said WiNG Express will be much more attractive to partners as well.
“We’ve taken it very seriously to make it simple to deploy, so the reseller isn’t spending hours doing that, and they won’t have to go back and reconfigure controllers now either,” he said.
The pricing also works to the reseller’s advantage, Singh added.
“It’s really aggressively priced when you consider it’s an enterprise grade product – and the customer doesn’t have to buy the controller,” he said. It means the resellers have a more profitable sale because they don’t have to discount as much.”
The WiNG Express AP portfolio is available now.