Seattle International Film Festival Deploys WatchGuard APs to Ensure Robust, Secure Wi-Fi for Guests and Staff

SIFF’s new wireless network supports mobile Point of Sales systems, wireless film transfer between locations, and fast Wi-Fi for guests

SEATTLE – June 12, 2018WatchGuard® Technologies, a leader in advanced network security solutions, today announced that the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) has deployed WatchGuard’s AP320 secure access points (APs) with Wi-Fi Cloud services to provide safe, high-performing wireless Internet access for its customers and employees. SIFF needed a wireless network that could provide strong coverage across both its three year-round film screening facilities, and its annual multi-week film festival event. The Wi-Fi network facilitates mobile Point of Sales (POS) systems for ticket sales and concessions, supports wireless file transfer of films between locations, and provides fast guest Wi-Fi for moviegoers. WatchGuard’s AP320s offered a reliable solution for SIFF’s unique business challenges and limited IT resources.

Before deploying the WatchGuard APs, SIFF struggled to provide wireless Internet access for its staff, and had virtually no Wi-Fi access for guests. This was a significant pain point, since Internet-enabled reviews, sharing and social media posts are central to the cinematic experience today. Additionally, transferring movie files between SIFF’s multiple locations was difficult and wireless coverage was not reliable enough to support mobile POS systems.

“Prior to WatchGuard, we just weren’t able to get adequate wireless coverage in those spaces,” reflected Sarah Wilke, Executive Director at SIFF. “For us to transfer films between our locations, we really needed a robust network. In order for us to use point of sale through the wireless network we needed something reliable, and, particularly, something that was safe.”

SIFF had been using WatchGuard network security appliances to protect their wired network for seven years. So, when the team learned that WatchGuard had expanded its focus beyond Unified Threat Management appliances to wireless network security solutions, they asked how the new offerings could help solve their Wi-Fi issues. All WatchGuard products were donated to SIFF.

“The new wireless network has increased staff productivity and customer satisfaction across SIFF events and locations, while providing increased security. And with multiple facilities, our easy deployment and management features make life a whole lot easier for SIFF’s IT team,” said Ryan Orsi, director of product management at WatchGuard. “Not only will our APs continue to offer the highest levels of Wi-Fi service for SIFF’s operations, but their built-in Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) will defend the airspace 24/7 from wireless threats like unauthorized devices, man-in-the-middle attacks and rogue APs, with the lowest false-positive rate on the market.”

Following the successful deployment of its new Wi-Fi networks, SIFF plans to utilize custom guest Wi-Fi splash pages to inform people about upcoming events, offer tickets to new films and even collect donations to the organization. This is a service available for all WatchGuard APs with a Total Wi-Fi license, which offers increasingly streamlined management for Wi-Fi networks, and enables users to create engaging captive portals, connect with Wi-Fi users through social media, and share videos, targeted promotions and more.

WatchGuard’s AP320s offer up to 1.3 Gbps with 802.11ac Wave 1 and up to 450 Mbps for 802.11n and 3x3 MIMO with 3 spatial streams.

Read the full case study on WatchGuard’s partnership with SIFF here and watch a video interview with SIFF here. To learn more about WatchGuard’s complete line of secure Wi-Fi solutions, click here