In May 2011 Meraki – as it was then – opened its first overseas office as it expanded its fast-growing business into Europe, locating itself right in the heart of London’s Tech City. This burgeoning melting pot of digital businesses and trendy coffee bars is widely considered the home of tech startups in the big city, so a perfect fit for Meraki at the time.
To begin with, Meraki Europe operated from a single room on the third floor of a large 1930s building with Art Deco features and a roof terrace, housing no fewer than 48 startups! Initially only a handful of sales employees worked at the office, running their entire IP telephony needs remotely over VPN through a single MR12 Access Point! Here’s how it looked…
The team has some fond memories of life in this building, including its susceptibility to power cuts, one of which occurred 5 minutes before a webinar was scheduled to begin. One team member found life in this cramped little office so noisy that he had to sit under the table to answer calls! The office frequently became uncomfortably hot due to an absence of air conditioning, and happened to be right across the street from a night club which began its happy hour at 4.30pm, sending waves of thumping bass in through the open windows. Those were the days.
With the team growing rapidly a new home was urgently required, and so in September 2012 Meraki London relocated a couple of Underground stops away to Farringdon, close to the site of the new Crossrail hub station. The new office came equipped with luxuries like a kitchen, meeting rooms – one with enough space to house the first European CMNA courses – and even a Fussball table. Oh, plus the all-important air conditioning!
Creating appealing workspaces has always been a priority for Meraki, consistent with its work-hard-play-hard startup culture. The Farringdon office was no exception, designed by the wife of a team member who just happens to be a specialist in graphic design and branding.
Following a year of tremendous expansion in 2013, particularly in the sales and support teams, we’re excited that the London office begins the new year by doubling its size, and design work for the new space is now well underway. We can’t help wondering how long it’ll be before that floor fills up as well!
With Cisco Meraki continuing to grow into new territories, it’s only a matter of time before there’s an office in every region of the globe. Care to join us?