Archive for February, 2013

Hear how American Baptist Homes of the West replaced MPLS

We have a special healthcare webinar tomorrow with Chris Franks, Corporate Network Manager at American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW).

ABHOW includes 43 senior living communities across 4 states and supports 5000+ residents.  Chris originally deployed Meraki’s cloud-managed WiFi in 2010. Since then, Chris has also deployed cloud-managed security appliances with site-to-site VPN to replace MPLS, a move that will save ABHOW hundreds of thousands of dollars in the next three years. Besides the cost savings, Chris says cloud networking provides him with greater network visibility across the 10 senior living facilities he manages.

Register now for “A Case Study: ABHOW’s Path to Six-Figure Savings.”  Join us at 11 am PST tomorrow!

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Learn How to Enhance the Retail Experience with Dynamic Analytics

We’re excited to bring another special webinar to our retail customers on Tuesday 2/26 at 11 am PST.

Our interactive event will share how to drive store visits through targeted offers to mobile devices, integrate network sign-on with CRM, and much more with Meraki’s Retail Analytics.

With the analytics possible on a cloud managed network, it’s easy to take advantage of the increasing number of mobile devices that customers bring into stores. Create a smarter shopping experience for customers, increase conversion rates, promote brand awareness, and more:

  • Increase customer foot traffic and in-store time with targeted mobile offers
  • Identify peak shopping/buying times by analyzing network usage
  • Display ads on click-through splash pages that integrate with your CRM via Meraki’s APIs
  • Measure store presence by tracking the number and types of connected clients

Register now for “Enabling the Next Generation Retail Experience with Dynamic Analytics.” We look forward to a lively session at 11 am PST tomorrow!

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New features for your switches

Our customers who are running our MS-series of switches are getting some good news – we’re releasing an update that provides some new features to make their hardware even more useful. Included in the update are port schedules that allow administrators to enable and disable ports based on time of day (for example, shutting off connected PoE VoIP phones in the night to save energy), visibility into DHCP servers on a network for enhanced monitoring and debugging, and a new Live Tool for attempting to wake a client via Wake-on-Lan.

We’ll be blogging about these features in the coming days so stay tuned. Customers with switches will be receiving the update over the next few weeks as we roll the update out; as always, a quick call to Meraki support can get you upgraded immediately.

Meraki at Wireless Field Day 4

Did you miss the Meraki session during last week’s Wireless Field Day 4? Or have you been waiting to rewind your favorite parts of the livestream? You’re in luck: the Tech Field Day team has uploaded recorded videos of al the sponsor presentations over on their website, and we’ve embedded the Meraki videos below.

Here’s Meraki founder and CEO Sanjit Biswas giving an update on our integration with Cisco:


Meraki engineer Sean Rhea steals the show with a surprisingly riveting discussion of the technologies supporting our back-end infrastructure:

If you’re still hungry for more, the WFD4 delegates have started to upload their takeaways from the event. Blake Krone’s post and Keith Parson’s recap both highlight the Meraki presentation in particular. And here’s a short clip of all the delegates giving their early reactions:

This should keep you occupied until Wireless Field Day 5—only 6 months away!

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Startup Kit Spotlight: Breezy

Our latest Startup Kit Spotlight features Oakland-based startup Breezy.

Breezy describes itself as the world’s leading secure mobile printing platform. Its software lets users print to any printer from any device and can mobile-enable existing printer fleets in a matter of minutes. The Breezy Partner Network, with thousands of locations worldwide, is the world’s largest fully secured printing network, and the Breezy API, used in a growing number of popular productivity apps, can add secure printing capabilities to any app on any platform.

Prior to receiving the Meraki Startup Kit, the Breezy networking situation was stressful.

The Breezy folks told us, “our previous equipment and experience was driving us all a bit nutty do to its irregular performance.  We were regularly experiencing weak or dropped Wi-Fi signals within the office or loss of internet connection all together.  It became a daily ritual of having to reboot the system to regain performance and speed. ”

Breezy was one of the quickest companies to set up their network after receiving their Kit.

“Our new Meraki equipment has eliminated all the issues we were experiencing on a regular basis and the Startup Kit was a cinch to install – taking James and Mark just a matter of minutes to reconnect all the cables, configure the equipment and get the office up and running and back to work.”

Breezy CEO Jared Hansen tells us “[the Meraki gear] is just solidly reliable — not having to reboot even once since receiving it has been great for morale all around.”

Indeed it appears that now that the network isn’t causing any trouble, the Breezy guys have much more time for extracurricular activities.


A Collaborative and Mobile Learning Environment at Milpitas USD

Preparing students for the future is what every educator strives to do.  As society continues to innovate new ways to experience and understand the world around us, it is only natural that learning techniques change too.

On February 14th, Chin Song, Director of Technology at Milpitas USD, joined us to share how he created a custom wireless network from scratch and bolstered his existing wired network.  Spanning 14 schools in Silicon Valley with over a half million square feet of indoor classroom space, Milpitas USD has begun implementing numerous technology initiatives, including 1:1 with Chromebooks, iPads in the classrooms, and BYOD.

Deploying more than 600 Meraki access points and over 100 Meraki switches, Chin now has granular visibility into how 10,000 students and 800 faculty members are using the network, what devices they’re on, and the types of applications they’re using.  Cloud architecture gives Chin increased control over his network from anywhere with real-time management, for both wired and wireless, from a single web-based dashboard.

Milpitas USD Dashboard View

Interacting with guest speakers via live video streaming, collaborating with fellow students in another school, broadcasting district news on location instead of in a studio – these are just some of the ways that Milpitas USD is now embracing technology to promote a higher level of education.

Watch the video – See how Chin quickly deployed the Meraki solution, created a custom network for his district, manages and troubleshoots on the fly, and most importantly how he’s created a mobile and collaborative campus.

HTC One – First mainstream 802.11ac phone?

During the launch of the HTC One we noticed that buried in the spec sheet was “Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n”. Having just talked about 802.11ac client adoption, this was of natural interest to us. We’ll be watching keenly to see what chipset they’re using, what ac features have been implemented, and of course, what speed and battery life are like. Until then, kudos to HTC for being one of the first players to put ac on an announced mainstream smartphone.

Tomorrow: Wireless Field Day 4

It’s that time again: Wireless Field Day is almost here! This time around we’ll be joining our friends at Cisco to demonstrate Meraki’s products and technology to the Wireless Field Day delegates. As always, you’ll be able to join in the action through the live feed on the Tech Field Day site that we’ll also embed here on our blog tomorrow. Get a look at what’s in store from all of the companies presenting at  WFD4 in Stephen Foskett‘s introduction below. And don’t forget to follow @Meraki and the #WFD4 hashtag on twitter to keep up with the latest.


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K-12 Technology Initiatives at Milpitas Unified School District

This Thursday, February 14th at 9am PT, Chin Song, Director of Technology at Milpitas USD in Silicon Valley, will be joining us to share his experiences crafting a wireless network from scratch and bolstering the existing wired infrastructure.

Students at Milpitas USD are using technology for increased collaboration throughout the district.

With over 2,000 Chromebooks currently issued to students, and another 8,000 on the way, Chin is excited to prepare his district for 21st century learning and increased technology initiatives, like 1:1 deployments and BYOD.  Teachers can now work together and share ideas remotely, increasing the time they can spend teaching.  Students are collaborating via the Internet, sharing documents online and video conferencing, enabling them to expand their learning environment.

With the cloud architecture, Chin has granular visibility into how students and faculty are using the network on their devices and what types of applications they’re using.  Cloud-managed WiFi and switching is providing Chin increased network control in a number of ways:

  • Real-time management from a web-based dashboard, for both wired and wireless, for on-the-fly troubleshooting
  • CIPA-compliant, integrated traffic shaping and content filtering
  • Remote identification of switch port usage and testing of Ethernet cables, facilitating creation of new learning areas
  • Data-rich packet capturing and easy to implement QoS capabilities, ensuring flawless multimedia streaming and collaboration

Join us on Thursday to see Chin’s network in action!

An update on Startup Kits

AJ delivering to the CircleUp team

It’s been about three months since we announced the Meraki Startup Kit, and we wanted to give an update on how the program is going.

We’re thrilled to have been able to give something back to the startup community. We’ve received hundreds of applications, and we’ve gone through each one personally. One thing that struck us is the sheer diversity of ideas, business models, and technologies—evidence of a thriving ecosystem, both in the Bay Area and across the country.

This is especially gratifying because if you’re old enough to remember the bust, there was a lot of doomsaying talk about how the startup ecosystem was near death, college students were abandoning computer science in droves, etc. We think it’s fair to say that over the past five years—RIP Good Times period notwithstanding—we have seen a period that at least matches the golden era of the mid-to-late Nineties in many respects. And Meraki is happy to be a part of it.

We were overwhelmed with the response we got—looks like TechCrunching is the new Slashdotting—and have been going through applications as fast as we can, given that this is a 20% time project for a couple of us. To date, we’ve shipped nearly 50 kits, and we’re shipping out several a week. I know that this can seem agonizingly slow to those of you who are waiting patiently for the UPS driver to ring, but we have to throttle the orders so as not to overwhelm our heroic team doing fulfillment.

So far, we’ve sent kits to startups doing online education, security, local food, blueprints, crowdsourced investing, and even scooter rental. We love all of the startups who have applied and are trying to hook up as many as possible.

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