Support tickets are an inescapable burden that many IT departments wish they could reduce. Resolving technical issues is a vital function of any IT department, but they amount to a net negative for all parties involved. Particularly at the beginning of an academic year, IT should be focused on maintaining network stability, but instead they must assist long lines of students with connection troubles. Institutions that seek strategies to improve efficiency and reduce cost should see long lines of students as an opportunity for improvement.
IT departments are dedicated to addressing technical issues that students experience, but it forces them to divert attention away from value-add tasks. This can lead to putting off important improvements or the general upkeep of the network. For students, the prospect of wasting time in a long line when they should be preparing for classes is frustrating. Unfortunately, wireless connection is not a negotiable commodity, so their connection issues must be resolved. The final party involved, the institution itself, should be the most motivated to reduce support tickets. Overflowing tickets cause a substantial loss in productivity and represent a sunk cost because the activity adds no monetary value. If the problem gets severely out of hand, overtime hours may be required, or even hiring temporary help. These inevitable choices lead to increase costs and an inefficient IT department that may be underprepared a for critical event.
For those in search of a solution to wireless connection related support tickets, the answer lies in an effective onboarding software. A solution that configures students’ devices for wireless access saves them the hassle of having to self-configure, which commonly leads to support tickets. In addition, if a user misconfigures their device, it negates all the security benefits of WPA2-Enterprise. With an effective onboarding solution, it takes mere minutes for users to self-configure by following a few simple steps. It’s recommended that the software configure devices for an EAP-TLS WPA2-Enterprise network utilizing certificate-based authentication because of the many benefits of certificates. The most visible improvement after switching is the elimination of credentials. Without credentials, users avoid password-related disconnects and expiration policies. A common cause of support tickets, expiration policies periodically disconnect every user on the network. If everyone is kicked off at the same time, it’s inevitable that many people are going to experience issues reconnecting. By switching to certificates, users remain connected for the life of the certificate and avoid password-related disconnects entirely.
Even with sophisticated onboarding software, a few users will experience issues in the enrollment process. Luckily for these select few, SecureW2’s improvements in network visibility allow IT to remotely monitor the onboarding process of every user. If they recognize someone having trouble connecting, IT can remotely diagnose the issue and take steps to remedy the problem. It can detect things such as outdated drivers that impede proper 802.1X device configuration. This can help the user connect to the network and avoid having to submit a support ticket. Once enrolled, the user will stay connected if administrators configured the certificate to be active. Certificate-based, EAP-TLS authentication confirms the identity of the device, user, and the network, so no credentials are required to slow down the reconnection process.
Given that effective onboarding software that utilizes certificates is a time-saving solution for IT departments, why hasn’t it been employed across all universities? Before onboarding software had been developed, organizations that used certificates had to individually configure each device for WPA2-Enterprise and had to manually distribute certificates. Without the current level of automation that comes with onboarding clients, it is not feasible to use certificates. An IT admin would look at the hundreds, or even thousands, of new devices that would have to be configured and the task would appear insurmountable. The process of configuring a device for certificates is too technical for many users and would result in an increase in support tickets. SecureW2 set out to correct this difficulty for IT admins everywhere and developed an onboarding software that accurately configures for WPA2-Enterprise.
When it comes to your wireless network, the goal of any institution should be to host a network that is secure and intuitive for users. Convenience is a highly valued feature for any new software, and students with a full schedule expect to seamlessly connect. By introducing a system that features a quick and painless onboarding process, the organization will benefit from fewer tickets and more time focused on valuable tasks.