Moore Consulting Group was founded in 1994 as a one-person marketing business located in a one-room office. During the past 14 years, the company has expanded to a 20-person staff that now occupies an 8,000 square foot office building in Tallahassee, Fla. Richard Moore, chief operating officer of the business, tells IncTechnology.com how setting up a wireless office has helped the firm service customers.
Elizabeth Wasserman: Why did you decide to go wireless in your office?
Richard Moore: We’re not totally wireless yet. We are a combination of hardwire and wireless. As we continue to move from towers to laptops, we’ve become more wireless as we go along. Part of the need to go wireless is that clients come in and want to use their laptops. We give them a source to tap into the Internet and then into their servers by way of a 3Com switch. We use it primarily to have something for our clients to be able to use when they came in. What we’re finding is that because of the strength of the wireless switch it allows us to have more freedom over where we can work – not only within the office but even outside of the office. Adjacent to the building, we built a covered back deck for when it’s nice out and people need a break. They can take their laptop out there. It’s a nice little wooded area and the wireless reaches all the way out there. We also have some of our children who come in. For instance, my son will come in after high school and will want to work out of the backroom. He has a notebook that can wirelessly tap into our server. And for our clients who come into our conference room and need that service, too. It started out meeting that need and now it’s kind of warped into meeting many needs.
Wasserman: How did you go about setting it up?
Moore: Two years ago, the way we really started is we tried to initially set up our own wireless network with retail type devices. We went to Circuit City, CompUSA, and tried three or four brands. It was not very satisfactory at all. They were not very strong. They’re not designed for commercial use and certainly not designed for an 8,000 square foot building. We needed something that was more robust than we could get from retail side. At that time, our outside tech support came in and recommended we use a 3Com switch. We used them to install it. It was pretty quick. I don’t think we realized any noticeable downtime at all. It installed very quickly, very easily. They set up the wireless side with security passwords and all late one afternoon when basically everyone was ready to go home and we were up and running the next day.
Wasserman: What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do before?
Moore: We’ve had several results. One of the things that really limited us was the graphic design we had being produced in the office. These are very big files. They used to totally jam up when ever someone wanted to e-mail those files around. The 1GB switch has allowed us to send those files very fast. We are finding we are using the wireless portion of it more and more. We’re looking to be more mobile. In the equipment we now purchase, we’re looking at laptops because we do a lot of traveling. The clients love it. Our conference room is in high demand from several of our clients. They can come in here with their boards and everyone has a laptop and everyone can connect. One of the things we have is the ability to have guests sign on from one password and staff signs on with another password. So we still maintain that security for our staff and our guests using it also through our server. It will also enable us to do voice over internet protocol. We’re not doing this now but it may be something we want to grow into.