Leveraging Aruba Instant On for simplifying outback connectivity.
iTech Frontier designs and deploys wireless solutions for individuals and businesses across regional New South Wales, bringing essential connectivity to some of Australia’s most iconic industries and locations. Based in Singleton, iTech Frontier developed out of founder Luke Boldery’s own experiences of wireless complexity and challenges after returning to the Hunter Valley in 2016. iTech Frontier now works with a range of businesses in the Hunter and beyond to take the pain out of wireless connectivity and literally give them the bandwidth to live and grow.
- Overwhelming network complexity for regional customers
- Poor user experiences with enterprise connectivity solutions
- Aruba Instant On for fast, user-friendly connectivity
- Simplified infrastructure designs based on Instant On
- Standardised and scalable approach to connectivity
- Simple user experience without excessive options
- Highly reliable support from Aruba and partners
Endemic network complexity that “no-one really had answers for”
“Wireless connectivity in regional Australia often comes with a range of pain points, ranging from excessive costs to unreliable bandwidth,” Luke says. “It’s a common experience whether you’re running a small business, big business, or household – but also an issue that no-one really seemed to have answers for.”
iTech Frontier’s mandate revolves around finding those answers: optimising carrier networks and creating a simple user experience that supports customers’ everyday needs. Luke and his team quickly discovered that both SMBs and larger businesses were struggling with extremely complicated infrastructure setups that they couldn’t learn or keep up with. As a result, businesses and individuals often found themselves saddled with expensive and ineffective technology that couldn’t deliver – such as the home network of one vineyard owner who approached iTech Frontier.
“The client’s house was designed with real flair to suit the wine country, but the network had been patched on afterwards,” Luke recalls. “They’d installed about 5 wireless boosters, 4 access points, 5 switches – significant outlay for a small business – but none of it was working, instead creating real challenges for how our client ran his business and supported his family.”
The issue often stems from a lack of human-centric design in wireless solutions and lack of hands-on technical support for many parts of regional Australia. “There’s a huge knowledge gap between most enterprise-grade network technology and the average businessperson, and no real way to bridge that gap,” says Luke. “In many cases we see so-called best-in-class technology that’s been brought in but fails to deliver value because it’s not mapped to the unique needs of our regional community.”
Aruba Instant On’s golden mean of quality and simplicity
Luke was introduced to Aruba’s Instant On wireless products through Dicker Data, one of Aruba’s business partners and now a key player in iTech Frontier’s own distribution ecosystem. “Dicker doesn’t just sell boxes,” Luke says of the relationship. “Like us, they’re all about what they can do for other people – solving real problems with empathy and compassion. That ethical alignment, along with the support they’re able to source from Aruba itself, is what drew us to them and also encouraged us to take a close look at Instant On.”
The Aruba access points, switches, and network management platform quickly became a central component of iTech Frontier’s solutions. “If you can provide quality at a reasonable price and it’s reliable, with a humane user experience, customers respond really well to that,” Luke explains. “That’s exactly what Instant On has enabled us to do for our customers who’ve tried seeking help from the major players like the telcos and haven’t really gotten through.”
iTech Frontier regularly strips down and replaces entire network infrastructures with Instant On hardware for immediate improvements to usability and availability. In the case of the vineyard client’s house, the firm tapped existing cabling but replaced all hardware with a series of AP-11D access points and five 8-port Instant On switches, giving the client consistent one-touch connectivity across the entire home. “We didn’t hear a single thing from him until our routine checkup some 3 weeks later – always a good sign that things are working out,” quips Luke.
Instant On’s broader capabilities also help iTech Frontier meet the growth ambitions of its customers. In the case of one cellar-door winemaker in the Hunter Valley, Luke’s team replaced the property’s ailing satellite connection and added AP-17 access points for comprehensive outdoor coverage, while also using Instant On’s inbuilt guest portal options to give visitors simpler access to on-vineyard WiFi. “The new owner wanted to make it easier for guests to share their experience on social media and stay connected whether they were tasting wines, dining al fresco, or enjoying the views by the poolside ,” Luke explains. “Instant On allowed us to give their guests that seamless experience in a highly variable outdoor environment. It’s been such a hit with guests that we ended up deploying Instant On for the cellar’s business network as well.”
Simplicity, scalability, support
Instant On is also helping iTech Frontier expand its market reach – giving the firm the technology to create a standardised, systematic approach to regional wireless connectivity. Support from Aruba, provided with Dicker Data’s help, has also proven invaluable to ensuring customers get full value from their investments. “There have been other vendors who’ve come out saying they can simplify things, but only end up creating more complexity over time,” Luke says.
“Instant On has given us a balance between high quality and simple user experience that lends itself to more scalable solutions across the regional community. It gives us and our customers what we need to make things work, without too many options that would confuse and overwhelm users.”
iTech Frontier is already pursuing even more ambitious plans. The firm is working with architects to create a standardised wireless infrastructure, based on Instant On, to embed high-quality WiFi into residential properties en masse. It’s also exploring ways to create new sources of end-user value with the user portals offered by Instant On. “I’ve always had a lot of ideas, but things like building certifications for WiFi or connectivity standards for power and utilities – we wouldn’t be able to explore these without the real capabilities that something like Instant On provides,” Luke says.
“There’s huge opportunity to build better connectivity for the many industries operating out of the Hunter and beyond. But Instant On has given us more than that – it’s empowered us to strengthen the communities of businesses and people in regional Australia with connectivity that they can understand and rely on all the time.”