Rene HeijnenCompanies are providing wireless network access to make end users more productive. This has become especially important and evident in the healthcare space where there are lives at stake. Nothing is more critical than being able to do what you need to do to save lives.

This use case inspired RES Software to give IT the ability to identify an employee’s precise location to provide dynamic services, even if they are working wireless. You can serve these mobile users better with the new wireless zone rules.

Configuring Zones
You may already be aware of how to configure a zone in RES Workspace Manager, but in case you’re not, I am going to explain it shortly. We use zones to define the context of the user session when the session begins. Context aware means that we know who is the end user, on what device type he or she is working, and when. You can configure this with dynamic, easy to manage zone rules such as

  1. Active Directory sites
  2. IP-addresses
  3. Operating system versions
  4. And more

For example with zones, you can recognize if an employee is working remotely, which is very helpful when managing critical or sensitive applications, which shouldn’t be accessed outside of the office.

workspace manager dynamic access screens shot

So How Does It Actually Work?
You can use zones it in two different ways:

  1. You can enter the SSID of known access points and make sure that the user has access to one of them. To make it even more efficient you can also select ‘nearest access point’ so the user has access to their nearest connection. This will provide a user with the strongest connection. Think about it, how often have you moved from one room to another one only to have the access point you’re connected to be weaker than a closer one? This results in service desk calls where the wireless connection has to be switched to the stronger signal manually. This is avoidable.
  2. You can also have more granular security with the ‘view trusted access points’ functionality. This is most useful when you have access points in your area you do not manage. This prevents clients connecting to an unknown wireless access point. This is a very common situation nowadays. An example is a student setting up his own access point from his mobile phone. It could be the case that this phone has the strongest signal strength so the laptop would automatically connect to that unsecured access point, which is not preferred.

Another great example of how you can use this new zone rule is to use it in conjunction with assigning a printer. It is already possible to assign a printer based on your physical network location (LAN), but now you can also do it based on your wireless access point. So depending where you are in your building, the printer located nearest to you will automatically be selected as your default printer. (This is another great benefit for hospital employees in particular.)

Looking for More Information on Zones?
Visit us online to see all of the functionality of RES Workspace Manager as well as download a trial. Already have RES Workspace Manager and want to know how to set this up? Check out our whitepaper “How to Implement Locations and Devices Based on Wireless Networks” which is located in the RES Software Customer Portal. It describes in more detail how this technology works, security considerations, tips and more examples.