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Linksys Gives The Collection a Wave-2 Network Makeover



The Collection is a historic, renovated Art Deco office building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Built in 1913, it served as LA’s first indoor mall and the city’s first showroom, the Brack Shops. The building was formally named The Collection in the mid-1900s, and sat largely vacant between 1970 and 1990. Renewed interest in the space came in 2005, when downtown LA began revitalization efforts.

Today, The Collection is a bustling hub of activity, with creative tenants throughout the building. A brand-new, custom-built, state-of-the-art, high-tech coworking/flex space is located on the ninth floor.

The flex space at The Collection offers a unique opportunity for businesses and professionals looking to capitalize on a premium location without a long-term lease requirement. Totaling 7,500 square feet, the flex space includes daily, weekly, and monthly rentals of private offices, open area work desks, lounge areas, conference rooms, meeting spaces, cafés, bars, and event/pop-up spaces.

“I’d been hearing about spaces catering to mobile workforces and realized a flex space was the perfect complement to add to The Collection,” said Chris Ortman, co-founder. “This way we can offer the full array of office rentals—from traditional creative office spaces with long-term leases to short-term, membership-based rentals in the flex space, including a virtual office option. We customized the flexible workspace specifically for people to collaborate in a fluid environment that’s designed to meet their business needs while providing an architectural and technological superior experience, which demands a robust and reliable networking infrastructure.”

Due to the large number of members occupying the flex space and the growing number of IoT technologies incorporated in the overall experience at The Collection, it was vital that high-speed and high-density connectivity was available. The business owners turned to Linksys for a comprehensive solution that would guarantee the bandwidth required to support their clientele.

The Challenge

The flex space at The Collection was custom-designed to accommodate entrepreneurs, freelancers, and companies in need of a satellite office, as well as existing tenants in the building that needed to grow and contract their staff. Crucial to the success of the flex space was the ability of clientele to quickly and simultaneously perform tasks required in their industry, including but not limited to: videography, architecture and engineering drawings, interior design renders, and graphic design.

Because an estimated 50–100 members access the flex space network during regular business hours, a prime concern was the ability of users to stay connected without experiencing bandwidth issues.

Additionally, Linksys faced the challenge of accommodating the different needs of each member. The Collection’s member types vary day-by-day; the flex space supports visitors who rent by the day and by the month. Other days, the space hosts events that have up to a hundred random network users. Designing a flexible network that could cater to each of these users was a critical part of this project.

The Collection also needed a scalable network solution designed to support a network of shared and IoT devices (such as printers, smart TVs, lighting, etc.).

The Solution

To tackle this challenge, Linksys worked with Techmedics, a Los Angeles–based IT consulting and managed services firm specializing in strategic project management, development services, and support packages that align technology with business objectives. Techmedics identified an approach to developing a scalable wired and wireless network leveraging Linksys smart switches and MU-MIMO enabled access points that would provide robust bandwidth as well as network segmentation and security. Ease of management was also top of mind. Switches were easy to configure and manage using the Linksys management console, and Techmedics team members could configure, troubleshoot, and manage changes to the access points from one administrative screen thanks to the clustering capability of the LAPAC2600.

In the coworking space, members needed the ability to share the space’s features, including Internet, Wi-Fi, smart TVs, and conference rooms. However, protecting against unknown users accessing their systems while on the network proved crucial.

To facilitate this, Techmedics set up a private network for each user, as well as a separate one for the co-working space itself. This allowed users to share resources and enabled the coworking space to securely manage their lights, music, beverage dispensers, smart TVs, and other IoT devices.

“This was a fun but complex project,” said James Moon, founder of Techmedics. “We haven’t worked with Linksys in a while and were glad to be reintroduced to the company and its new small-business-focused products. We’re impressed with the range of features, especially clustering capabilities and the forward focus on MU-MIMO, which will have big implications in the future in business environments. Looking forward, we are excited that these access points are future-proofed and have MU-MIMO integrated. Once devices fully support the technology, we know that we will be able to provide a consistent level of bandwidth to each user as the membership at the co-working space grows.”

Conclusion

Linksys was able to address bandwidth concerns by updating the building’s infrastructure to support high-volume traffic. Through a complete network solution designed to increase performance and guarantee speed, Linksys helped The Collection eliminate connection issues and ensure a reliable, secure network for clientele.