Bring in the professionals

Anybody that is responsible for a patch of grass, from the tiniest of patches, to the sprawling greens of a hotel, will know that they have two options: do-it-yourself (buy a lawn-mower and start greasing those elbows) OR get a gardening service to do it

for you. Each approach has its benefits and the choice taken ultimately depends on what you want to spend your time on, your core business or sweating it out in the little spare time you have. This analogy applies to hotspots, you can get a professional service provider to do it for you or you can do it yourself. In this post we investigate both options.

The first option, getting a professional service provider in to take care of your hotspot service provisioning, has obvious benefits. To start off with, if you thought getting out the manual to programme your VCR or television was painfull, getting to grips with the innards of Internet is no easier. The service provider should know all the gory details and moreover know how to keep the service operational reliably. This reliability comes from knowing which bandwidth technologies (e.g. ADSL, iBurst, 3G) and bandwidth suppliers to use in which areas. It also comes from having adequate network monitoring technologies in place so that they know when things go wrong before you do. Naturally professional expertise does not normally come free of charge, however in the long run you are likely to save money if you select the appropriate professionals. Finding the right company may require some effort, but it is likely to be less than time spent becoming the proverbial techie.

The second option, the do-it-yourself option, is one which you could consider and with enough time probably will accomplish. It would be difficult to match the breadth of expertise of the professional, but you could get your hotspot up and running. The problem comes in when things go wrong, and they will. These problems can be as simple as someone pulling the plug on the hotspot equipment while you are on holiday (and unable to do anything about it) or as complex as faults in the hotspot software itself. Another problem would come in when you start calculating how much it costs you to run the hotspot and how much you are actually getting out of it (we’ll address this topic in a future post).

Ultimately we believe that the do-it-yourself option is not the best route unless you have the time and patience to spent a significant amount of time on it. The same goes for mowing the lawn, you may be better off getting the professionals in. Knowing that mowing the lawn is technologically a simpler exercise and not a 24/7 operation, as a hotspot is, should be further reason to bring in the professionals.

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