Using Apple’s Lemons to Make Lemonade

Using Apple’s Lemons to Make Lemonade

By CWNP On 06/11/2010 - 8 Comments

This WWDC Wi-Fi fiasco has gotten far more traction in the press than I would have ever expected. So, with a modicum of jest and a modicum of sincerity, here’s more fuel for the fire.

Isn’t it funny how every company is poised to pounce on an opportunity with a marketing message and a sales pitch? WLAN infrastructure vendors are running with the WWDC Wi-Fi story and saying “this wouldn’t have happened if you’d deployed our solution!!” Then companies with network planning, surveying, or auditing products come along and say “this wouldn’t have happened if you’d planned the network with our products!” It’s no different when new security vulnerabilities are announced publicly and the WIPS vendors saddle up with webinars and press releases saying “that’s why you should buy our stuff.”

Then, jumping on the industry bandwagon with other companies who plead for customers when they smell an opportunity, vendor-neutral WLAN training companies come along and say things like this: “If your networking folks were trained with our materials and/or by our instructors, and then passed our exams to demonstrate proficiency, this wouldn’t have happened. People are the most important tool for avoiding costly Wi-Fi mistakes because, if we’re being honest with ourselves, a different infrastructure wouldn’t have changed anything unless that infrastructure had been deployed by different people. No infrastructure solution is so self-sufficient that you can just turn it on and let it sort through all the problems and fix the nitty-gritty contention issues that make big wigs look bad. You need a human being to select the right product for the situation, to deploy the chosen solution properly, and to ensure that the configuration is managed and tuned properly.”

“The same goes for site assessment and survey tools. Even the best ones can’t do everything for you. The person utilizing the tools has to know how the tools work, what they can and can’t tell you about the network environment, and how to analyze the data once it’s been collected. Braindead WLAN automation is about as near at hand as my Porsche 911 GT2 RS purchase (never going to happen). You could provide an uninformed engineer with all the best tools and the result will still be a network that doesn’t work. A well-trained engineer will avoid crises before they occur.”

“I don’t say this as an offense to the WWDC WLAN folks or the Apple WLAN folks because I don’t know who bears the responsibility here. But, I do know that somewhere along the lines, an educated engineer could have prevented this problem. If they had bought and utilized our products, this problem wouldn't have happened.”

That’s what they say, those WLAN certification & training companies. I must admit, they make a good point. The people, not the products, are often the weak link. Proper training is the real answer, so buy our stuff.  :)

Tagged with: Apple, Wi-Fi training

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