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Orb Information Systems

How can a company install a hotspot without getting burned? At Orb Information Systems, they’ve got a way with Wi-Fi.

There’s no doubt that Wi-Fi is growing strong, but how can a company install a hotspot without getting burned? Brandon Gaither, CEO of Atlanta-based Orb Information Systems thinks he has the answer. His company excels at putting wireless access in public areas as well as designing and securing in-building wireless networks. Gaither talks about Cisco, networks, and taking advantage of footprints.

What got you personally interested in doing this work?

I’ve been a networking professional for many years now and I first started working with wireless Ethernet about three years ago when it was pretty cutting-edge technology. All along I wanted to start my own business but never thought I had the right idea. Then Cisco came out with their Public Access Specialization.

What does that provide?

It’s a certification for companies that establishes their expertise in deploying and supporting network solutions that enable high speed wireless Internet connectivity in public areas. Their Public Access Specialization was the affirmation I needed in order to strike out on my own.

Why do you think there’s a need for your services?

There are several key components that are fueling the explosive growth of Wi-Fi while simultaneously increasing the value to the end user. Companies are starting to recognize the productivity benefits of employee mobility. As a result, laptops are outstripping desktops in sales. Over half of the laptops manufactured in 2003 will have an embedded Wi-Fi adapter. Hotspots are proliferating. VPN Solutions are mitigating public access security concerns. More wireless features are showing up in windows. Home usage of Wi-Fi is also picking up.

It’s safe to say Wi-Fi is poised to achieve incredible growth over the next few years. With that in mind, there will certainly be an increasing demand for integrators who can design, deploy, secure and support wireless network infrastructures.

How is the company unique in the marketplace?

Orb is different in that we have a laser-like focus on wireless networking.

Unlike most systems integrators that provide a buffet of products and services, we’ve decided to focus our time and energy on the wireless segment of networking.

How is the company faring in the current economic climate?

Despite the economic conditions we are very optimistic. The best products and services survive and even thrive in an economic downturn. On the bright side, IT spending is expected to increase in 2003 and smart companies realize that additional IT investments are essential to achieving and maintaining a competitive advantage.

What are the largest challenges that you see in providing your services?

One challenge we face is that it can be difficult to convince prospective clients that the Wi-Fi specialist will deliver a better solution over the established, larger Network consulting firms. It’s also challenging to win business when companies have outsourced their entire network to a single company. They simply don’t want to take on a second vendor.

Do you have anything in the works for the future?

We’re always asking, what’s the next big thing in wireless, what’s the next killer app that will drive Wi-Fi even further? One technology we’re evaluating that appears to have a lot of potential is wireless IP telephony. It’s like turning your desk phone into a cell phone. Imagine going anywhere within the Wi-Fi footprint and being able to take your direct line with you.

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