"In a matter of weeks, I had a proposal to increase the number of wireless access points from the eight that had been installed to the 22 that were required."
The cabling, reconfiguration of IT infrastructure and other implementation steps took about two months, and the WiFi network has been up and running for about 15 months, Pitcher said. "We've now got an integrated system that's doing what I need it to do."
Some problems remain, he said. "The WiFi network is adequate ... [but] the Motorola phones are still a little bit of an unknown to me." While the integration is sound, the Motorola phones are "not well supported in Australia."
Even so, Pitcher said he believes Bethsalem Care is "performing better as a result of having a decent IT infrastructure." There is "more efficiency, and that equals saving money."
Pitcher said he hopes others will learn from the Bethsalem Care experience.
"My advice to anyone who's trying to do a WiFi network is make sure you do your homework and make sure you establish a system that's going to meet your needs," he said.
"Get the experts in and don't try to do it on the fly, because that's what we did and it cost us two years, a lot of confidence and a lot of money."
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