Written by Kevin Volz.
Reliable Wi-Fi is crucial to the success of a modern business. When your Wi-Fi connection fails, you end up with frustrated customers and complaints. Many companies rely on off-site IT firms to fix these kinds of issues, but this can be a lengthy process that prolongs outages. Akron, Ohio’s, 7signal helps businesses determine what is causing their connectivity issues in real time, so they can resolve them as soon as they happen and before they cause problems for employees and customers.
7signal continuously monitors for network issues using sensors placed in strategic locations around a business. These sensors measure the Wi-Fi performance for users in those areas. Businesses can also track the Wi-Fi signal using the 7signal app on employees’ smart devices. Using these sensors and the app, companies can receive 24/7 Wi-Fi status updates, ensuring problems won’t go unnoticed for long.
“Our software is looking at the network and taking measurements all the time, allowing business to take a proactive approach to providing high-quality Wi-Fi,” said 7signal CEO Jeff Reedy. “It saves our clients from getting in a plane or car and driving out to a remote facility to fix these issues.”
As a former engineering manager at Nokia, 7signal founder Veli-Pekka Ketonen realized that regarding performance monitoring, mobile technology was miles ahead of Wi-Fi.
“He realized that Wi-Fi customers were starting to expect the same strong, reliable connections that came with today’s cellular network,” said Reedy. “So he started 7signal and applied the knowledge he had in the mobile industry to the Wi-Fi industry.”
7signal received its initial funding from the Ohio TechAngels Fund and the North Coast Angel Fund, both northeast Ohio partners of Ohio Third Frontier. The company was also awarded a $600,000 Innovation Ohio Loan, which helped with the development of the second generation of its Wi-Fi software and system.
Ketonen founded 7signal in Finland but says he moved the company to Ohio because of the state’s talent pool and the capital available for new entrepreneurs thanks to Ohio Third Frontier.
“Companies that have about 1,000 or more employees seem to be where our system makes the most sense,” said Reedy. “If their Wi-Fi doesn’t work, employees and customers get upset and it costs them money.”
7signal currently employs 20 people, with nine people in Akron, and plans to increase this number in 2016. Reedy is also working to expand the company’s client base.
“We have a number of customers in the Ohio area, and they are all willing to give young local technology companies a chance,” said Reedy. “They’re looking for cutting edge, and that’s what we are, so we’ve been very appreciative of the hospitals, universities and businesses that have supported us.”