News Column

American Fidelity Assurance Company Deploys All Wireless Headquarters With Aruba Networks

March 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Telecommunications Weekly -- American Fidelity has already standardized on Aruba's wireless LAN solutions across its 30 existing locations, using a mix of Aruba mobility controllers, 802.11n access points, Aruba switches, Aruba AirWave Network Management and ClearPass Access Management System - the latter to support mobile device onboarding and security, as well as guest access. The company also connects some of its smaller, remote offices using Aruba's Remote Access Points (RAPs). When it came to choosing the network infrastructure for the new headquarters, there was no question that Aruba would be the vendor of choice, but American Fidelity wanted to examine ways that it could begin moving to a completely mobile environment and, at the same time, reduce costs. The company used systems integrator and Aruba partner, Sigma Solutions of San Antonio, Texas, for the new installation.

The company determined that going all-wireless with Aruba's 802.11ac solution, was the best and most cost-effective approach for the new headquarters. With Aruba 802.11ac 220-Series Access Points and Aruba ClientMatchTM at its foundation, the 12-story building's new wireless network will eventually serve more than 1,000 employees.

"The key driver for us is mobility," said Henderson. "We want to be certain that our colleagues can collaborate whether they are in meeting rooms, on the road or working from home. We don't want them to be tied to their desks."

Further supporting American Fidelity's mobile vision, employees will be armed with laptops and iPads and will use Microsoft Lync for unified communications, so that all voice and video calls are conducted using laptops over the wireless network. Desktops have zero cabling; only a few, hard-wired phones were placed on the perimeter of each of ten floors for emergency use and to call the support center in case a laptop or iPad breaks.

In addition, the company foresees video becoming an increasingly important application - initially, for colleagues to communicate office-to-office, but eventually, to videoconference and video chat with customers as well. American Fidelity is also using a new device called AirMedia that allows employees to connect their laptops to conference room TVs and flat panel screens wirelessly to enable better, more efficient collaboration across the entire organization.

An important, added benefit of the new Aruba network for American Fidelity is the cost-savings they are estimating as a result of the all-wireless headquarters deployment. Rightsizing their network by eliminating the desktop cable pulls and their related costs, Henderson estimates that the company has saved more than $700,000.

American Fidelity expects the new headquarters facility to become a model for the entire organization, with other locations adopting the all-wireless approach. Henderson noted that the emergence of 802.11ac with its improved performance and bandwidth has helped users become more comfortable with the idea of no cables and wireless as the primary network.

"802.11ac is a key driver for organizations like American Fidelity to finally move to fully mobile environments," said John Jankowski, Area Vice President, Aruba Networks. "Strong adoption of 802.11ac, along with the increasing popularity of unified communications solutions like Microsoft Lync, is giving enterprises more reasons to eliminate cabling and use wireless as their primary network. Add to this, the capital and operational savings that this mobile model provides, and we're confident that we'll see more enterprises following in American Fidelity's footsteps." About American Fidelity Assurance Company American Fidelity Assurance Company is a third-generation, family owned organization providing insurance products and financial services to education employees, trade association members and companies throughout the United States and across the globe. Founded in 1960, it has grown to become one of the largest private, family-owned life and health insurance companies in the United States. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, American Fidelity has more than 1,500 employees in 26 locations across the nation. American Fidelity has been included on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" nine times. It was named to Computerworld magazine's list of the "Best Places to Work in IT," ranking number one in 2005. In addition, it has been ranked by Training Magazine as one of the Top 125 Companies in America for employee training. Since 1982, American Fidelity has been rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, one of the nation's leading insurance rating services. About Aruba Networks, Inc.Aruba Networks is a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company's Mobile Virtual Enterprise (MOVE) architecture unifies wired and wireless network infrastructures into one seamless access solution for corporate headquarters, mobile business professionals, remote workers and guests. This unified approach to access networks enables IT organizations and users to securely address the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, dramatically improving productivity and lowering capital and operational costs.

Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com. © 2014 Aruba Networks, Inc.Aruba Networks' trademarks include Aruba Networks®, Aruba The Mobile Edge Company® (stylized), Aruba Mobility Management System®, People Move Networks Must Follow®, Mobile Edge Architecture®, RFProtect®, Green Island®, ETips®, ClientMatchTM, Virtual Intranet AccessTM, ClearPass Access Management SystemsTM, Aruba InstantTM, ArubaOSTM, xSecTM, ServiceEdgeTM, Aruba ClearPass Access Management SystemTM, AirmeshTM, AirWaveTM, Aruba CentralTM, and "ARUBA@WORKTM. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140218005059/en/

Keywords for this news article include: Wireless Network, Aruba Networks Inc., Wireless Technology.

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Source: Telecommunications Weekly


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