Through technologies from its Mist company, partners will help enterprises protect workers from COVID-19
Juniper Networks’ Mist Systems this week became the latest company to offer tools designed to help businesses safely bring employees and customers back into the office as coronavirus-driven lockdown orders are slowly lifted.
The Lowdown: As states and countries move to reopen businesses, tech vendors increasingly are shifting some of their focus from helping customers manage suddenly remote workforces to enabling them to transition back to a more traditional business model.
The Details: Mist is bringing to the table its expertise in such areas as Wi-Fi solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, virtual Bluetooth LE (vBLE), and analytics, as well as access points and cloud services. Technology partners can incorporate Mist’s technology into comprehensive solutions for enterprises, such as wearable Bluetooth badges, real-time notification systems, and indoor location capabilities for a range of use cases, including:
> Proximity tracing: If someone tests positive for COVID-19 or shows symptoms, organizations can quickly identify and notify employees, customers, or guests who may have come in close proximity to that person.
> Journey mapping: Enterprises can see historical traffic patterns and dwell times of employees who test positive for the coronavirus from the moment they come into a facility to when they leave, enabling them to find hot zones and take safety measures, including reconfiguring workspaces and cleaning areas as needed.
> Hot zone alerting: With the real-time, location-based alerts, businesses can see the number of devices and locations in specific areas at a given time and disperse them or divert traffic from congested areas. They also can use the data to find areas that may need proactive measures.
The Impact: As businesses reopen, a key to success is ensuring employees and visitors that they are relatively safe in the workplace and that processes and policies are place. Tech vendors like ServiceNow and Salesforce are rolling out solutions and services designed to gauge how prepared enterprises and workers are to return to the office.
Background: Juniper bought Mist last year for $409 million, with the goal of incorporating its AI-driven network analytics capabilities into Juniper’s growing software-defined solution portfolio and multicloud efforts.
The Buzz: “Employee health and wellness have always been a key part of business continuity planning, but now more than ever enterprises are looking to IT for help complying with OSHA, ADA, CDC, and other guidelines,” said Sudheer Matta, vice president of products at Mist. “The Mist architecture provides unique value by combining Wi-Fi with patented virtual BLE technology, supported by a 16-antenna array that is bi-directional and minimizes the need for extra infrastructure hardware like battery-powered beacons. In addition, Mist recently launched a premium analytics service that provides unique insight from a variety of data sources to optimize end-user [and] client experiences and identify trends that can assist customers with workplace safety.”
“Before COVID-19, the principal driver for adoption of public cloud was the desire for greater business agility and flexibility in support of digital transformation,” IDC analysts Brad Casemore and Rohit Mehra wrote in a recent report. “That driver has not gone away, of course, but now it is reinforced by an unprecedented impetus to achieve a greater degree of business and application resilience, including addressing scenarios for application and business continuity and disaster recovery.”
“Pandemic planning is more important than ever in today’s enterprise,” said Chris DePuy, technology analyst and co-founder of the 650 Group. “We are seeing more enterprises prioritize and allocate budget to this initiative and it makes perfect sense for them to turn to readily available technologies from proven vendors like Juniper Mist to address current and future requirements.”
“With the return to the office imminent for many organizations, it is critical for us to quickly offer our customers proven solutions that assist with workplace health and wellness,” said David Raftery, chief customer officer at Integration Partners. “The Mist solution not only solves a real need within our user base, but is built on the same Wi-Fi, vBLE, and cloud services we have been using for years, which makes it easier for us to deploy and manage with confidence.”