In today's business climate, deploying a WiFi solution in a retail, restaurant or service setting should be a snap. But is it?
The Pomegranate Restaurant and Gathering Place, a lively establishment in Troutville, Va. owned and operated by Diana Dixon, had tried several Wi-Fi solutions from different vendors that specialized in home and small business solutions, but none provided adequate coverage.
According to Dixon, "Any time we needed to make any changes, we had to engage a technician, so it was a hassle as well as expensive. And, none of them understood how to help us integrate Wi-Fi into social media, so we could do a better job of promoting the Pomegranate to patrons on Facebook or Foursquare on our Web site."
To help businesses such as Dixon's, Verizon Enterprise Solution is launching a new managed, cloud-based Wi-Fi for Business solution that is easy to deploy while enabling businesses to improve customer service, customer loyalty and business processes. This way, customers can now easily access their smartphones and tablets so they can make informed purchases in a day and age when Internet access is essential for all types of businesses.
Verizon's service provides reliable, secure connectivity for businesses with plug-and-play simplicity, while offering a complete package of analytics and reporting for all users. The solution delivers a range of benefits including:
- Flexible provisioning for rapid deployment
- Unified visibility and control of the entire network through a Web-based dashboard
- Continuous feature updates delivered from the cloud
- Easily scalable from small branches to large campuses
- Built-in multi-site network management tools
- Control of operational costs
Like Pomegranate, many businesses find managing in-store Wi-Fi networks can be expensive, complex and require continuous training and designated IT resources which can lead to unreliable and poor connections, poor application performance and a lack of data security for guest and employee devices. In addition, current solutions make it difficult, if not impossible, to manage bandwidth, track assets, filter content and track the apps customers use when on a guest network.
"The opportunities for helping our customers promote their businesses are endless," said Chris Kemmerer, director of business solutions for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Providing them with enterprise-grade Wi-Fi is the first step. The real business value with Verizon Wi-Fi for Business is how our clients can monetize the service based on the stream of analytics that is generated. It's a whole new approach to sales and marketing that is highly targeted and measurable."
Setting this solution apart is its Wi-Fi for Business Management portal that provides an array of different kinds of retailers, enterprises, and the hospitality industry to better understand their foot traffic and customer behavior to offer the most opportune opening items, and to fine tune marketing initiatives and staffing polices. The services' API enables retailers to integrate presence data with their customer relationship management (CRM) apps to push targeted customer offers to patrons when they visit the store or company site. Key features include:
- Statistics on capture rate (clients passing by versus visitors spending time), engagement and appeal
- Information to make decisions on staffing storefront design and employee "bring our own device" policies
- API for raw data output for integration with business intelligence and analytics system
- View apps used when on your Wi-Fi
- Asset tracking
- Identity-based filtering policies—supports blocking of websites
- Prioritized bandwidth usage by clients and apps between employees and customers
"We're very excited about the new Wi-Fi," says Dixon of the Pomegranate. "Now the focus is on improving our Web site to tie into the Facebook location functionality. And I'm looking forward to learning how to use the presence information together with the Facebook Business Web site tools to really reach out to our clientele and the surrounding community. It's a lot different from sending out flyers or placing print ads. We're anticipating a big return from the analytics, mobile advertising and social media."
"We're encouraging the restaurant's patrons to log on through their Facebook profile because many users post where they're eating dinner or listening to music and this can influence their friends," added Dixon.
For more information about Verizon's new Wi-Fi for Business, visit