In my job, I interact with customers in many professions and industries. I get to see how their company creates, markets, and/or sells their product. From diapers to automobiles to educated minds, every company, program, or school has their own way of doing things and getting their product to market.

As an inquisitive mind, this is far and away the most favorite part of my job. A close second is seeing how these same customers use our products in innovative ways to solve their day to day problems and do those jobs better. A good example of this came up a few years ago when I was visiting a local private school and got to experience, first hand, how my customer utilized Aerohive’s mapping and RTLS services to solve a problem, save money, and short circuit bullying all in one swoop.

It’s a great story of using a feature in innovative ways.

I was still fairly new to my job at Aerohive at the time, and was making the circuit meeting Aerohive’s existing customers in my territory. I was invited to speak on behalf of Aerohive at a local school to a gathering of local school IT managers.

I arrived a bit early to familiarize myself with the environment and to introduce myself to the host, a long time Aerohive customer (who we will call Mr. K for this story). While we were hanging out in the back of the auditorium discussing his installation and his 1-to-1 iPad deployment, three fifth-grade boys came into the room. The first was nearly running and close to tears. The other two followed a bit behind and were hiding smiles and laughs behind hands. The first boy explained to Mr. K that he couldn’t find his iPad and went on about getting in trouble at school and at home and having to pay for it. It was obvious the young boy was quite distraught.

Mr K calmed the boy down and sat down at the computer at the back of the room. He logged into HiveManager Online and asked the boy his name while he navigated to the Active Clients list. Because Mr. K had implemented Aerohive’s PPSK authentication method he was able to look the student up by his name and find the “missing” iPad on the network. He then clicked the link to locate the iPad and showed the student the area that Aerohive’s built-in location services said that the iPad was likely to be.If traditional triangulation algorithms cannot be used to provide a precise location (the tri in triangulation means 3 APs need to be seen, commonly at -65 RSSI or better) Aerohive uses RSSI to provide a proximity on the map to where a wireless device is likely to be.

The student was surprised and told Mr. K that the circle corresponded to his home room, where his book bag was but he was certain he had last used his iPad down the hall in a different room. As the first boy raced up the stairs to that classroom the other two boys followed, looking a bit more glum. The first student returned within five minutes, quite ebullient with his iPad in hand. He told Mr. K that it was in his book bag and thanked Mr. K for helping him find it. It turns out the two other boys had hidden the first student’s iPad in the back of his own school bag as a prank.

This seems like a simple story of lost and found, but think about the implications if this tool was unavailable to Mr. K:

The boy would have continued to look in the wrong classroom and not found his iPad.
Once his next class started he would have been unable to participate due to not having his iPad.
This could have led to the beginnings of disciplinary actions at the school and/or his parents being contacted.
It could even have gone so far as the parents starting to figure out how to pay to replace the missing iPad.
Yes, the student would have eventually found his iPad in his backpack, but this process was significantly short circuited through the use of Aerohive’s mapping service in HiveManager Online.

In the end, this fifth-grade student could have gotten into plenty of trouble due to a prank by a couple of fellow students. All of this was avoided due to a few simple clicks and some really cool technology, designed for a different industry completely, but utilized in an innovative manner.

I love my job!