The Cisco Meraki dashboard has a little magic happening: on every dashboard page, there’s a small box where customers can make a wish for additional features or functionality on that page. We’ve covered wishes before in other blog posts, but want to highlight here how these wishes are turned into real dashboard tools.
What actually happens
When customers make wishes, those wishes are sent directly to our entire development team. Sometimes, an engineer sees a wish that intrigues her but she needs more context to understand what the submitter wants; other times, she may decide she loves the wish idea and want to develop it. In the former case, the engineer will reach out to the wish submitter for some additional insight or a conversation about the wish; in the latter case, the engineer may conceivably start working on the wish immediately—or schedule time to develop it.
Building a wish feature will often take at least a day or two. Then, the feature will have to undergo a code review by a team of engineers—and this can take as little as 3 days, depending on complexity. But several wishes are granted within a week or two of an engineer seeing the request.
Additionally, wishes get sent to our product team, who notice when specific wishes are requested several times. The product team will often use wishes to guide roadmap development, and so may reach out to engineers if there’s a critical mass of interest in a given feature.
Wishes do come true
As an example, here are three wishes that became real features of the Meraki dashboard.
1. Color-blind mode for the dashboard. Enabling a color-blind assist mode for viewing dashboard reports is a great example of the power of wishes. This feature, while important, is one that would likely not have been built based on sales traction alone. But after a wish, it became a reality. In fact, a few Meraki employees who are color-blind themselves make heavy use of this feature—so we’ve benefitted directly from the wish system ourselves!
What typical Meraki dashboard alerting looks like to those with normal vision.
What Meraki dashboard alerting looks like to those who are color-blind and who use the assist mode.
2. DHCP lease usage by VLAN. This is a slick feature in the MX Security Appliance’s local health and status page (Monitor > Appliance status). If you’re using the MX as a DHCP server, you can now gain visibility into IP address pool exhaustion on a per-VLAN basis.
3. Device configuration status. All Meraki gear receives seamless updates throughout the year for firmware and feature enhancements. Network administrators have always been able to schedule dates and times for these updates, and one wish that’s now in production is the ability to manually deploy updates directly from the local status page of any Meraki device.
So Meraki wishes really do come true, and they are an important part of our product development cycle! Wishes help us ensure we’re spending time building out features that matter to you, our customers, and they are a way for us to get critical feedback. So if you have a wish, make a wish—we’re listening!