SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company (NYSE:HPE), today announced that New York City’s Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, an educational and cultural non-profit institution centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid, has deployed an Aruba wireless infrastructure to streamline operations, improve sales and personalize engagement with its one million annual guests.
The Museum will rely on the Wi-Fi network during its public events surrounding Fleet Week New York, beginning May 26, 2016 – including a Gala event – to improve ticket-purchasing, check in and security operations. In addition, the Museum is piloting Aruba’s Mobile Engagement solution to enhance its visitors’ experience with wayfinding, notifications and other valuable on-site information.
The Intrepid Museum offers a unique experience for visitors, as much of the more than 250,000 square foot complex is housed on the Intrepid itself. The complex includes a Welcome Center, the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. The Museum “fulfills its mission to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth by connecting them to history through hands-on exploration while bridging the future by inspiring innovation.”
Intrepid Museum’s Vice President of Information Technology, Vincent Forino, knew that having a solid wireless infrastructure to provide museum guests with Wi-Fi connectivity was a vital component in achieving the Museum’s overall goals.
“Visitors expect reliable, free Wi-Fi,” said Forino. “They come to the museum with multiple devices and want to use them for social media, email and communication of all types. We want to provide them with a great experience, while leveraging the infrastructure for our own employees to connect and for marketing and sales initiatives.”
For its hosted events, including the annual Salute to Freedom Gala during Fleet Week, the Intrepid Museum is counting on the Wi-Fi to streamline the ticketing and check-in processes, as well as improve the efficiency of security operations. The Museum will use mobile tablets for check-in during the Gala dinner and for “line busting” during other events, allowing guests to purchase tickets while in line from museum employees armed with the tablets. The Museum will also use the Wi-Fi-connected tablets to sell memberships and tickets to future events and will provide security personnel with the tablets so they can enter information about a security issue as it happens and from wherever they are located.
Previously, the Museum had two different Wi-Fi networks – one for public use and one for internal museum operations – but they needed a more cost-effective network solution that would allow them to use the same infrastructure for both purposes. Working with partner, Comm Solutions of Malvern, PA., the Intrepid Museum designed their new Aruba WLAN so that the same access points are used for both the public Wi-Fi and a more secure, internal wireless network. The museum is using a mix of 802.11ac indoor and outdoor access points to blanket the entire pier, Aruba Mobility Controllers and AirWave for network management.
“With the Aruba network, I can now take my laptop from my office to the board room and share confidential files and documents without worrying about a museum visitor using the Wi-Fi and accessing that secure information,” said Forino.
According to Forino, ensuring pervasive Wi-Fi coverage that can handle, for example, 500 people on the Intrepid’s hangar deck all accessing the network simultaneously, was the Museum’s first priority. The next step is building applications for the network that can deliver additional value to visitors while expanding marketing and sales opportunities for the Museum. The Intrepid Museum has purchased Aruba Beacons and is using a pilot application based on the Meridian Mobile App Platform to determine how best to use mobile engagement.
Forino noted, “This is an aircraft carrier, so most people are not familiar with how to get from one location to another. I’m excited about using wayfinding to help our visitors optimize their time and see as much as they can during their visit. We want them to enjoy their experience so much that they’re anxious to return.”
The Museum is also looking at the Aruba Mobile Engagement Solution to enhance their exhibit experience so that when a visitor comes within proximity of a specific exhibit, additional information, details or history about it can be sent to the visitor’s device. In addition, the Museum is interested in using push notifications to alert visitors to future events or activities at the Museum such as their Astronomy Night, notify visitors of special discounts and promotions, and gather survey information so that the museum can better address visitors’ interests and ensure repeat visits.
Although the Museum evaluated several vendors’ solutions including those from Cisco and Juniper, Forino believes that selecting Aruba was the right decision.
“This was not a casual undertaking,” he said. “Aruba has a reputation as an innovative technology company and had the support team, relationships with business partners, vision and product depth. I believe we made a wise choice.”
About Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, is a leading provider of next-generation networking solutions for enterprises of all sizes worldwide. The company delivers IT solutions that empower organizations to serve the latest generation of mobile-savvy users who rely on cloud-based business apps for every aspect of their work and personal lives.
To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter and Facebook, and for the latest technical discussions on mobility and Aruba products visit Airheads Social at http://community.arubanetworks.com.
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