Deciding whether or not to upgrade your wireless network can take months.
Planning and designing a new wireless network can take months.
Once you’ve decided to take action, implementing a new wireless network can take months.
It is important, and often necessary, to plan months in advance when it comes to upgrading a network’s infrastructure.
In this post, we discuss the different phases and stages of upgrading a wireless network. While every individual WiFi project will differ in time and effort, each of the following sections is a period of time that needs to be factored into your timeline.
|Requirements Gathering||10||(1 - 14 days) Size of the area, number of buildings / floor impact this time|
|Design Phase||14||Predictive / APaoS, 1 million+ square feet will take longer|
|Budget Process Time||30|
|Implementation Lead Time||7|
|Material Lead Time||30||Depends on supplier timeline and logistics of shipping|
|Implementation Time||60||(30 - 180 days) Size of the area, number of buildings / floor impact this time. Change management delays.|
|Post Install / Systems Integration Time||14||(1 - 14 days) Complexity and extent of system|
|Admin / Operations Training||7||May vary based on course material needed|
|Acceptance Testing / Sign Off||7||Depends on the project's scope|
In this case project time is 180 days from start to finish.
Requirements Gathering Phase
During this phase, we work with you to understand WiFi use cases, collect floor plans, and review any existing equipment as needed. We work to understand the entire scope of the project, be it a new implementation, a remediation project, or an expansion of an existing network. While the number of buildings and floors can impact duration, this phase, for a typical office environment, usually takes 7-14 days to collect all necessary floor plans and to provide feedback.
Armed with requirements information, the design phase is a combination of using modeling tools and engineering know-how to design access point placement and site visits to confirm the modeled design. Depending on the scope of the project, design time usually takes 14 days, with larger projects (1 million+ sq. ft.) requiring a longer design phase.
Budget Process Phase
Most organizations have a budget process that must be followed to allocate funds. In some cases, these project funds are allocated on a yearly cycle and customers must plan ahead to make sure they have submitted the requests in a timely manner. We typically allot 30 days for this phase and help by providing cost estimates for the following items:
- Labor costs for our services and any help we would need from internal team members.
- Material costs for WLAN equipment, software, maintenance, and accessories.
- Travel costs for project as separate line item if needed. This can help with planning travel for client team members that may need to travel to locations with us for project work.
- Other direct costs that include equipment rentals and equipment storage facility.
Implementation Lead Time
To maintain an efficient workforce, any new project start time must be scheduled in advance. While we do our best to meet customer deadlines, we typically require 14 days of lead time before starting any project after the purchase order is received.
Material Lead Time
We utilize several suppliers for WLAN equipment as part of our supply chain management process. This allows us to secure required materials in a timely manner. Even with proper supply change management, 30 days of lead time is needed to order equipment.
Implementation will vary based on project size and scope. Smaller projects (under 10,000 sq. ft.) can be completed within a month, while larger projects with multiple locations (1+ million sq. ft.) can take up to six months to complete. As part of this phase, we conduct a post installation validation survey to ensure design requirements are met.
Post-Install / Systems Integration Phase
A fully functional solution is more than just WiFi equipment. Integrating your existing systems, such as authentication systems, with core network services (DNS, DHCP, NTP, Directory Services) is not a trivial task and up to two weeks of project time must be allocated for this phase.
Admin / Operations Training
We can manage the network system for you or train your team members to manage the system. While the amount of time allocated for training can vary based on course material needed, it typically takes two days to complete training.
Acceptance Testing / Sign Off
We allocate time for network testing and formal sign off. Depending on the scope of work, this phase typically takes two days.