London based law firm Fladgate has enhanced its digital business with a new high-performance enterprise wireless solution from WiFi experts Redway Networks.  The new solution provides fast, reliable WiFi connectivity with four levels of network access for users, which Fladgate says has improved flexibility and collaboration for staff and the visitor experience for clients.  

Fladgate is a UK top 100 law firm that specialises in advising international corporate, institutional and private clients throughout their business cycle and personal life. Chris Stedman, head of IT at Fladgate says: “Our existing wireless network was less than satisfactory with dropouts in parts of the office.  Our firm is committed to supporting agile working and ensuring a high-quality client experience so an upgrade to a more superior wireless network was an investment to support both commitments.”    

Fladgate initially got in touch with Redway Networks to conduct an onsite wireless survey. Stedman says: “I had heard really good reports about Redway so booked one of their Ekahau certified engineers for an on-site survey to find out what could be done to improve our WiFi.”

After conducting the survey, Redway identified several issues with the firms existing WiFi including a poor initial design with substandard channel planning, overlapping coverage and too few access points broadcasting too loud and on the wrong frequency.  Stedman says: “We had a whole mish mash of issues compounded by the fact that because of our location, we have interfering WiFi above, below and all around our offices.”

Wireless that supports collaborative working

Fladgate’s staff use collaboration zones with the office with laptops and other mobile devices connected to the network and Redway also identified that these areas had the weakest WiFi coverage which didn’t support the firm’s flexible working strategy. 

Stedman said: “Once Redway had identified these issues it was obvious that our existing wireless couldn’t support collaborative working for staff or the user experience for clients, so we decided to replace our existing WiFi straightaway.”  

After a full product consultation from Redway, a new ExtremeCloud IQ WiFi 6 solution was selected as it offered high-efficiency WiFi with the highest levels of wireless encryption and could be managed remotely.  Stedman comments: “Extreme met all our requirements and I especially liked the fact that Extreme Networks has the ISO/27011 technology platform certification, which is a code of practice for security and vital to us.”    

The new network

Redway Networks supplied the new wireless network, which included 40 Extreme AP650 access points.  Despite the fact it was a high-density deployment with Fladgate’s office having five floors, large collaborative working spaces and interference from neighbouring properties, the WiFi was installed successfully over a weekend.

Stedman says:   We encountered a few issues during the weekend of the install but Redway’s engineer wasn’t fazed at all, he just did the job and I got the feeling he would do everything in his power to get the new wireless working 100% before our office opened on Monday.”

High-density WiFi 6 for the firm

Fladgate now has a high-efficiency wireless network which includes four levels of access for users – a corporate network for staff, a bring your own device (BYOD) network, a corporately owned mobile device network and a robust guest network for clients.  The new wireless solution provides fast speeds, improved capacity, better coverage and reduced network congestion, with the highest level of security for monitoring devices and users.

Stedman said: “Our new network has enabled us to improve collaborative working for staff as they now have seamless roaming with a consistent speed.  We’ve also improved client service as we can now offer regular returning clients a bespoke WiFi experience”.

The new WiFi 6 solution provides high levels of transparency and Stedman can see exactly what is happening on the firm’s network through ExtremeCloud IQ which provides granular policy control from the network edge to the datacentre.  He says: “Security is paramount for us as we hold lots of sensitive business data and our new wireless network gives us complete control of users and devices across our network. I can see exactly which device is on which network and dive into the granular visibility of usage, security and rogue access points which can all be seen on the access panel and addressed remotely.”