Ten Tips on Going

By Frank Derfler  |  Posted 05-01-2001 Print Email

Ten Tips on Going Wireless

01. Find the best application to unwire.

Don't force a good fit. Identify the management or sales process that can be helped best by wireless access. Also, don't try to force too much data into a limited channel.

02. Plan security to meet the threat.

Sure, security is important, but it's a bit like insurance. How much you buy is a business decision. Some apps need encryption from the end device to your firewall, but many do not. Don't overdo it.

03. Negotiate everything.

Most wireless service companies are just getting off the ground, and they'll trade revenue for market share, so don't risk a lot of money up front. Pay a fair price at the back end of the process.

04. Include the gateway company in your planning.

You're not going to get a sweet smell from a mushroom. Include the service or software company in your corporate planning sessions, and don't keep them in the dark very long.

05. Let another company host the service.

Running the gateway software in somebody else's data center lets you avoid access hassles. Also, when problems occur, you know where to point the finger.

06. Don't make a move unless you involve the line managers and end-users.

They'll help you to avoid mistakes and justify the budget.

07. Don't lock into a PDA operating system or wireless carrier.

Some offerings will be more appealing than others, but you don't need to standardize at that level. New offerings from Qualcomm and Microsoft are just around the corner, but let your gateway company worry about them.

08. Lock into XML.

Don't wait any longer. Do it or die. If you don't use XML, you won't be effective in e-commerce or wireless.

09. Check out your partners' partners.

For example, if you use Computer Associates' customer relationship management products, then you should probably look at Motorola's WAP gateway products. The companies have a tie-in that can benefit you, and so do others.

10. Plan to upgrade.

The wireless system you install next month is only the first step. As carriers offer more bandwidth and device-makers add more capabilities, you'll want to extend more apps over the wireless link. You're building, not replacing. —F.D.


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