Archive for November, 2016

Video on the Go

During the months prior to launching Meraki MV, our extensive user experience testing for the new product spanned everything from the layout on the dashboard to physical installation of the security cameras. In doing so, we realized just how difficult it is to stand at the top of a tall ladder while holding a laptop (often the unfortunate reality of IP camera setup). That’s why we’re excited to announce that the Meraki mobile app for iOS and Android now supports MV security cameras.

MV-android

The Meraki app makes it easier and quicker than ever to set up your cameras. View live video feeds and adjust focus, zoom, and aperture, all from a smartphone. Simply download the Meraki dashboard app on your phone, login with your standard dashboard credentials, and then navigate to your cameras in the left-hand navigation menu. Click on the camera you want to view, and then click “Live” in the lower right hand corner. The live video feed will automatically start to stream, and, if needed, you can make any necessary camera adjustments. For video walls and enhanced video monitoring functionality, MV also works with mobile browsers in Android.

MV-iphone

Kiss the days of climbing onto a ladder with a laptop goodbye, and say hello to security camera configuration and management from your phone! Whether onsite or halfway around the world, the mobile app will help to keep tabs on what’s important to you and your organization.

As always, our engineers are keeping their ears open for requests through our Make a Wish tool. It’s hard to believe MV just launched a couple of months ago, and MV engineers have already added full disk encryption and support for the mobile app since then. Just imagine what could be coming next!

To learn more about MV, sign up for a webinar or get in touch with a sales rep.

Support Employee Spotlight: Working Parents

Written by Tom Eldridge

Meraki strives to provide a flexible work environment for working parents. On the Technical Support team, shifts can be arranged to help cater to working parents’ needs, and dialogue between individual contributors and managers is encouraged. Our management teams take the time to understand individual personal situations.

Deepti Padhye and Ana Voilo-Bolos, two key members of our US and UK Tech Support teams respectively, took time out of their busy schedules to discuss themselves, their reasons for choosing a Network Support role with Meraki, and how they manage their day-to-day responsibilities as working parents.

Our Support Engineer Subjects

Photo L-R: Deepti Padhye, US Network Support Engineer, and Ana Voilo-Bolos, UK Network Support Engineer

Tell us a little about yourself!

Deepti: I came to the U.S. 9 years ago, primarily for my Master’s in Telecom. I returned to India for a short while, and then came back to the U.S. and got married! I pursued my CCNA, and got a job in Houston, where I spent 4 years. I then received this job opportunity! My son and my family are here with me, and it’s been a month and a half since we relocated from Houston. I don’t drive now, and don’t need to use my car anymore! It’s a different life, and I am liking it.

Ana: I am from Lithuania, and received my degree in IT there. I then went directly to the Czech Republic, as there was a new IBM Global Delivery Center that opened up. I worked mainly on Windows platforms, but I then switched to networking which made more sense for me. In University, I was studying a Cisco Academy course and it was very useful. I spent some time in the Czech Republic at AT&T and IBM, and then moved to the U.K. as a NOC Engineer at a small MSP Company, where I provided support for Windows and networking. Prior to my move, I married and had a son, and decided to move to London, as my sister lives here. Initially, I struggled to find a role that gave me the opportunity to have a flexible work schedule like Meraki provides.

Why did you choose Meraki?

Deepti: A lot of reasons really! I worked in Houston at a service provider, and I worked with lots of products. When Katelynn (Support recruiter) connected with me, I gave it a shot. I really wanted to be closer to my family. I read really good reviews of Meraki on Glassdoor!

Ana: I spoke with many Merakians during the hiring process, which made me feel comfortable and inspired to work with joyful and smart people. I also loved the concept of Meraki and the company values. Meraki was very flexible in providing me the kind of shift that worked for my personal life, too. Managers can be approached freely and are very understanding of personal situations.

How do you balance your personal life with your working commitments?

Deepti: Where I worked before, I was on-call every few months, and I didn’t like it. I worked a lot of maintenance after-hour windows, and it took away from my personal life/family time. This was one of the main reasons that prompted me to take this role. Balancing work and life commitments can be challenging, but Meraki provides good flexibility for working hours; and here we are supporting the product, which doesn’t have maintenance windows like I was required to do in my previous company. On weekends, I dedicate 100% of me to my family!

Ana: When I am out of the office, I cherish time with my family. It’s good that I have weekends free to spend time with family, and if there are any problems, my manager is always understanding of what comes up for me. We have a lot of offsite events at Meraki too, which is good for interacting with our team here!

Do you have a role model in your life?

Deepti:  I met Amanda (a recent Network Support Engineer new hire) who has a 4-month old son, and she is working. I look at all working parents as good role models, they are working hard and giving their best—if they can make it work, I can too!

Ana: My sister is a good role model for me, and I look up to her. She has been a great support for me in my life and she also combines her family/work commitments well, even with two kids. It can be hard to manage a career and family life, but essentially, compromise is important. My current environment and surroundings enable me to work efficiently.

Thanks to Deepti and Ana for sharing their personal stories.

Browse open positions at meraki.com/jobs and apply today!

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One-to-one and Shared iPad: Support to the Rescue

The fine people at Cisco Meraki are always looking for even better ways to help customers as they configure and manage their IT environments. Offering 24/7 phone support and giving guidance is merely one of the many avenues used to help create the best experience possible for users around the globe. Below are two videos the Meraki support team created to show how to most effectively manage one-to-one and Shared iPad deployments with Systems Manager–just in time for the holiday break here in the U.S.

The first video is a breakdown of setting up Shared iPad in six simple steps. This includes all the configuration needed in the Meraki dashboard using Systems Manager as well as configuration for Apple School Manager at school.apple.com. Shared iPad provides a way to manage iPads in the classroom where they can be shared with multiple students. Students can log into an iPad from a cart or classroom for a personalized experience, and the student’s work (data) gets saved back to their account.

For more information about Apple School Manager, check out the Apple help article here.

Up next is a video which similarly shows how to configure an iPad for use in the classroom, but focuses on a one-to-one environment. ‘One-to-one’ is used to describe a program where there is one computer, or in this case iPad, per student.

Meraki customers are encouraged to give real time feedback by submitting a wish at the bottom of any page in the Meraki dashboard. This feedback, called ‘Make a Wish’, is one of the many tools Meraki uses to keep in touch with current customer needs. See below for an example.

Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 2.23.03 PM

For those new to Meraki or Systems Manager, start an instant free trial.

Nuestro dashboard ahora habla español

Si hay algo que describe la manera en la cual Meraki ve la tecnología es a través del Dashboard, nuestra exclusiva consola de administración en la nube que le permite a nuestros clientes monitorear y configurar todos los productos Cisco Meraki desde dónde quiera que estén.

dashboard

El Dashboard es 100% visual, lo que hace que aprender a manejarlo sea súper sencillo. Sin embargo, hasta los momentos el texto que respaldaba todos esos hermosos gráficos había sido en inglés, idioma que es sólo hablado por 11% de la población mundial, dejando a una mayoría sin un entendimiento completo.

Nuestra visión es simplificar la tecnología y estamos seguros de que ahora nos encontramos más cerca de lograrlo. Nuestra meta es ayudar a que la persona encargada de la tecnología de una empresa se concentre en su su trabajo y no en entender tecnologías complejas que no le facilitan sus objetivos laborales.

Este proyecto ha llevado meses de trabajo y dedicación de parte del equipo de Meraki, en especial de nuestros ingenieros de sistemas internacionales quienes poseen el conocimiento técnico para traducir con precisión cada uno de los términos que se encuentran en la interfaz. Además del dashboard, el equipo de soporte de Meraki también está disponible en cada uno de estos idiomas, a sólo una llamada telefónica.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 5.49.31 PM

En este momento estamos haciendo las últimas mejoras de este complejo proyecto. Nos encantaría que los clientes de Meraki que estén interesados en probar múltiples idiomas, contacten a nuestro equipo de soporte para que lo habilite en su Dashboard. Una vez habilitado, un elemento del menú desplegable aparecerá en la página de perfil del administrador para seleccionar el idioma deseado.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 3.32.56 PM

Tu opinión es extremadamente valiosa para nosotros y nos encantaría que la compartieras. Acompáñanos en esta excelente noticia que muy pronto estará disponible para todos nuestros clientes de habla hispana.

 

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Salut!, Hallo!, こんにちは, ¡Hola!

One of the most popular aspects of the Meraki approach to IT is undoubtedly our dashboard: the name we give the management interface that’s used exclusively to monitor and configure the full Meraki stack of networking, security, communications and mobility management products.

dashboard

This 100% GUI-based dashboard is very visual, making it both easy to learn and navigate. But ultimately, the text supporting all those beautiful graphics has always been in English, and it turns out that English is spoken by only around 11% of the world’s population, leaving a substantial majority out in the cold.

At Meraki our vision is to spread our message of simpler IT worldwide. Our mission statement even includes the goal to “…free passionate people to focus on their mission and reach groups previously left in the darkness.” We take these words seriously in our daily work at Meraki, and so to help illuminate the darkness for more customers around the world we’re thrilled to be announcing the addition of dashboard localization in French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Salut Dashboard

Hallo Dashboard

こんにちは ダッシュボード

¡Hola Dashboard!

Our dashboard localization project has been in the works for several months now, taking advantage of our highly talented international systems engineers, who possess the technical know-how to be able to accurately translate each and every term found on the interface. Here, for example, is a section of the wireless access control page in Spanish.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 5.49.31 PM

In addition to the dashboard itself, when assistance is needed Meraki support is also available in each of these languages, just a phone call away.

At this time we’re putting the final polish on this complex project. We’d love to have Meraki customers who are keen to try out multiple language contact our support team to have it enabled for their organization. Once enabled, a simple dropdown menu item will appear in the administrator profile page to select the desired language.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 3.32.56 PM

The more eyes we can get on our work, the more sources of feedback, and the better the final outcome will be for all before we push this out as a generally available option. We’re very excited to be announcing multiple language support and can’t wait to bring the legendary dashboard to more network admins around the world.

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How Meraki Uses MC

Here in our San Francisco office, Meraki MC74s are all over the place. There’s one in every conference room—from our small meeting rooms to our large executive briefing center. MC74s are on employee desks, in test facilities, marketing labs, partner training labs, employee on-boarding labs, and more. We have about 350 MCs in our deployment, some of which are in the field with our sales specialists and engineers, but most of which are right here in the office.

hw-desk-mc

This phone belongs to one of our hardware engineers, Nick. Our hardware team made and tested over 80 prototypes of the MC74 before deciding on this form factor. Did you know, the MC has an infrared sensor on the front to dynamically change the screen brightness based on the brightness of the room?

conference-mc

Eric (left) and Murray (right) giving a customer demo in one of our conference rooms with the MC74 in speaker mode. MCs also come with their own mounting kit, and can be easily mounted onto a wall in any environment when needed. Just push the hinge back on the stand, and it is ready to go.

lab-mc

A snapshot of one of our test lab phone racks. These phones run automated tests of new development software every day.

pm-desk-mc

MC74s can connect to headsets through USB, 3.5mm or Bluetooth. For a full list of all of our supported peripherals, check out our documentation. On my desk, I use the USB port on the side of the MC to charge my phone and Kindle.

large-conference-mc

In a room designed for larger groups, an MC74 with a USB speaker plugin is a great solution. Here our design team discusses ideas with a coworker who is currently out of the office.

There’s a multitude of ways to use Meraki MC, request a trial from your Meraki sales rep and try it for yourself!

Cisco’s Mobility Management Now Includes Cellular Data

Managing cellular data plans can difficult and expensive. The cost of exceeding data plans and the lack of visibility into managed devices’ cellular usage has made it challenging to have company cellular policies, let alone maintain them. Meraki Systems Manager has provided tools to manage and increase the visibility of mobile devices, as well as the likes of desktops and servers, since 2010. Today, we are happy to announce yet another big step in the evolution of Cisco’s mobility management with the addition of cellular data management.

Systems Manager customers have cellular data management functionality now, and they have it for no extra charge. It was made automatically available–like all updates to Dashboard. At Meraki, there is a lot of pride around offering the best tools possible while maintaining a rapid feature trajectory that redefines the industry’s status quo.

Practically, cellular data management enables the ability to do three important things;

  1. Track data usage on managed devices globally and individually
  2. Automatically take action on devices going over data limits
  3. Generate reports

Firstly, to view tracked data usage over all managed devices, simply navigate to Monitor > Clients and click the ‘+’ button in the top right hand corner, then add ‘Cellular data’ to the table. Next, enter a plan reset date on the Configure > General page–the default is the first of the month. This will specify when the monthly counter should restart and will allow for easier data usage tracking over time and on-the-fly. Current data usage can also be tracked individually on a specific device’s client page as shown below.
Cellular data usage
The first selector allows for a quick view to show data for the past day, week, month, or 3 months. The second selector toggles between different policies and thresholds.

Secondly, single or multiple data caps can be set using policies in Systems Manager by navigating to the Configure > Policies page. Check the box for ‘Device cellular data usage’ and enter the amount for the maximum data allowance in MBs. Policies can be used to manage, monitor, and create reports for many different actions. Below is an example policy which is configured to track a cellular data usage limit of 10GBs*.

Cellular Usage Data Policy

Security policies in Systems Manager become even more powerful when used to automatically take action on devices. Changing the scope of devices with tagging provides the ability to control profiles or add and remove apps based on security posture. If a device exceeds a data limit or violates security compliance, Systems Manager can be configured to automatically lock it into single app mode, disable settings, or even remove company data, access, and apps. To get more information on tagging in Meraki Systems Manager, check out the documentation article here.

Last but certainly not least, all good security policies should be accompanied by a report. Systems Manager makes is easy to enable daily, weekly, or monthly reports for any of the security policies created. Along with this is the option to select which kind of devices are important to each policy and whether or not only failing devices should be included.

Security report alerts tagged

Systems Manager legacy customers interested in these powerful features can find out how to take advantage of them here.

For those new to Meraki or Systems Manager, start an instant free trial.

Note: Data tracking requires the newest version of either the iOS or Android app be installed on any managed devices of interest.

Keeping The Network Healthy

CNOS-Exterior

On November 16, 2016, at 11am PT, we hosted a live customer webinar with Fidell Wadsworth, Lead Network Engineer at CNOS, a healthcare organization operating in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Wadsworth shared his Cisco Meraki experience, from deploying and wiring the hardware to troubleshooting with the dashboard. As a full stack Meraki customer, Wadsworth has a unique perspective on how all the Meraki products integrate to form a single, centrally managed network.

The CNOS network spans 17 physical and satellite locations, supporting over 300 patients and guests each day, and over 36 healthcare providers and 200+ associates and physicians. Prior to Meraki, employees endured limited performance and consistent server issues. They were reliant on an old infrastructure that was pieced together with different IT solutions, making it difficult to troubleshoot and configure. Wadsworth and his lean team of 3 knew it was time for something more manageable, reliable, and secure.

“[When deciding which solution to go with] we proposed to the board that ‘if we want to solve problems quickly, if we want to get things fixed fast, we need to go with Meraki.’”
– Fidell Wadsworth, Lead Network Engineer

In this webinar, you’ll hear directly from Wadsworth about:

  • Why CNOS chose Meraki over other networking solutions
  • How they deployed the entire network in 36 hours using Meraki cloud managed solutions
  • What it’s like to have the Meraki full stack, and how it impacts the business
  • How the team troubleshoots and configures the network with the Meraki dashboard
  • And much more!

Missed the CNOS webinar? No problem, find a link to the webinar recording here!

 

Looking at the future of security cameras

In the enterprise technology industry it is often common practice for important customers, partners, and industry analysts to be presented a roadmap. This long established tradition communicates the vendor’s goals and aspirations for their product, while setting the expectations for the recipient.

In a rapidly changing world this traditional approach can hamper the productivity of small, highly agile teams like those at Meraki. It can artificially force a focus on feature delivery, not on solving customer problems. To ensure the MV team can respond quickly to market changes and customer needs, the team follows a set of goals that help communicate the intent and vision for the future of the product.

The goals underpinning the development plans are split into three areas. These drive our internal discussions and allow parties external to the organisation to determine our priorities, taking the place of a feature by feature roadmap.

Cost reduction through architectural simplification

Firstly we must deliver immediate value. This must be simple to understand and easy to achieve. In the context of MV this is our architecture: centralized cloud control with video stored at the edge. Eliminating the Network Video Recorder (NVR) and Video Management Server (VMS) has immediate up front savings and continued operational savings.

Operational simplification through automation

Next we must ensure that customers benefit during day-to-day operations. An example of this goal is Motion Search’s elimination of the dull and highly time consuming process of reviewing video. MV processes all video on the camera and lets users quickly find the footage of interest.

Business value through intelligence

Finally, we look at how security cameras can offer value beyond their primary purpose. 90+% of recorded video is never viewed, but what if the camera can analyze what it sees without human intervention? Can a camera be seen as a sensor in the context of marketing or occupational safety? MV has not yet delivered in this area, but it is an area of intense interest that will shape the future capability of the product.

balcony

The recent launch of Meraki MV security cameras is just the first step on the road. As has been the case with the development of other Meraki products, early adopters of cloud managed technology continue to benefit from ongoing feature development. As Meraki continues to deliver solutions to challenging problems, so existing customers investment in Meraki continues to improve.

Find out more on the new range of Meraki MV security cameras by attending a webinar or arranging a free trial to test out the technology for yourself.

A Golden Template for Every Network

For most, technology has become a powerful and perhaps even essential tool in our daily lives. Whether it’s having access to a wealth of information at our fingertips, the automatic backup of precious photos, or keyless entry to our cars, we live in an age where technology surrounds us. At Meraki, we’re constantly looking for ways to help our customers simplify IT because we believe every organization should have access to the same technology benefits we already have in our day-to-day lives.

A powerful example are the template capabilities we’ve introduced over the years for our Wireless, Switching and Security products. Templates allow our users to define a single, extensible configuration profile for all their devices, making it possible to then bind each device of a certain type for instant, programmatic, mass configuration:

Individual templates

As you might imagine, this collection of Software Defined Networking (SDN) features is extremely powerful for our customers, but there remained a significant engineering challenge for our team; our customers adopt Meraki as a solution, and in many cases choose multiple product categories for each of their network locations. For example, a retailer may choose to deploy both Meraki Wireless (MR) and Meraki switches (MS) to all 1,200 of their stores. This makes complete sense, and Meraki therefore lets users conveniently combine these individual locations into a single, multi-element network:

separate-to-combined

Until now, combined networks were not supported by our template capabilities, and therefore required customers to make the restrictive choice between separately-templated, or combined but non-templated networks for management.

Today we are thrilled to announce that our engineering team has solved this complex challenge, allowing customers to now create a single template that is capable of supporting any combination of Meraki technologies. It is no longer necessary to choose a device type when creating a template, therefore making them highly flexible and customizable:

 

Combined templates

We are very excited about the new capabilities this enhancement offers, and hope that this continues to demonstrate our vision of simplifying IT. To check out combined templates, just sign in to your dashboard account and navigate to Organization > Configuration Templates. For more details about the capabilities of our templates technology, please visit our documentation portal. Thanks to all of you who provided feedback on this, and happy cloud managing!

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