In these turbulent times, it has never been more important to help our customers provide simple, secure, and reliable internet access from anywhere. As working conditions have changed for many organizations, new solutions are needed to help our customers adapt and optimize their services. 

This May, Meraki launched a Virtual Hackathon as a forum for partners to proactively address these challenges with custom solutions, enabled by our suite of API services 

In this two-day event, participants reviewed sample use cases in retail and hospitality, smart spaces, healthcare and manufacturing, and IT operations. Participants then submitted an app, API integration, or tool to help address these challenges. We were thrilled to see a variety of creative solutions across these industries and use cases!

This hackathon further demonstrates our platform strategy at Meraki: providing open and extensible API services that enable custom solutions and integrations to be built on top of Meraki technologies. From the developers using these services to build, to the customers adopting open source and turnkey solutions, we are thrilled to see the pace of innovation on the Meraki portfolio! 

The Meraki platform is agile and can be integrated into solutions much quicker and offers better insights than other networking providers in this space. The design and API access is accessible for networking novices, or even non-network people such as software developers.” – Insight                       

We’d like to congratulate the following winners across six unique categories:

Over Hackathon Winner: Quick Pick-up from NTT

This solution enabled contactless order pick up for restaurant patrons. Using the Meraki MV API and Purple Wi-Fi login screen (to capture personal details from drivers), the team built a dashboard that shows snapshots of vehicles in parking spaces and easily allows restaurant admins to assign orders to appropriate drivers. The solution also integrates with Webex Teams to provide notifications when parking spots are occupied, drivers are waiting, and when those spaces are then vacated (order was completed). 

Public Vote Winner: Filter Point from Impact 

In the era of COVID-19, Impact has rolled out more Umbrella+Meraki networks than ever before to keep clients safe while working on their home networks (outside of the office firewall). Their submission to this hackathon was focused on answering the simple question, “Can I push our existing Cisco Meraki configuration (for blacklists, whitelists, filtered categories) to Cisco Umbrella?”

Using the Meraki API and Umbrella API, the team at Impact developed a solution to sync configurations between different Meraki networks in one organization, between different Meraki organizations, and between Meraki and Umbrella organizations. 

Retail/Hospitality: RAPID (Retail Android Pandemic Incident Disrupter) from NTT

COVID-19 has changed the retail space drastically, prompting the need to ensure the safety of employees and customers by tracking occupancy. A second team at NTT built this solution to allow clients to keep an accurate count of people entering and exiting their store/location and feed that information into a web UI. This UI shows the store’s capacity, current count of people, and customers waiting in line for service. 

The solution also ties in with Webex Teams to notify employees as they approach, meet, or exceed capacity. On top of that, the team also developed a feature to allow customers to scan a QR code to put themselves into a queue if they prefer not to wait outside in a line.  

Manufacturing/Healthcare: Citizen Care Pod from Insight

The team at Insight focused on a problem that impacts every industry – how to safely reopen businesses. Their solution addresses what they see as the first step to reopening: providing screening and detection solutions for staff and guests. To meet this need, the team focused on hacking a solution for their Citizen Care Pods, which are portable virus testing centers to aid in detection and screening wherever you have a large group of people (ie: construction sites, retail, or entertainment venues).

The Citizen Care Pod is outfitted with a variety of Cisco Meraki technologies, including MV Cameras for people counting, networking gear to stay connected, and Webex Teams for private conversations about results. All of this technology is tracked through the Insight Connected Platform for easy management of the pod. Through this solution, admins can receive alerts if people are gathering at pod locations and easily communicate with onsite and relevant stakeholders to address the situation. 

Operations: NORRIS from WWT

Malware and ransomware are becoming all too common. Left unchecked, these threats can devastate corporate networks. The team at WWT built this solution to easily integrate Cisco Stealthwatch for Meraki networks. This integration allows admins to identify where clients are, how badly they are infected, and quickly isolate them with Meraki MX or MR firewall rules. This powerful, “single button quarantine” of malicious clients automates the changing of VLANS and firewall rules to isolate infected devices from the rest of the network until a technician can be dispatched to resolve the situation.

Define Your Own Challenge: Automated Network Deployment & Support Healthcare App from CAE Technology Services

Deploying sites rapidly and securely is a challenge for healthcare organizations. To address this, the team at CAE used the Meraki Dashboard API to create a single step deployment tool to set up an entire suite of Meraki solutions.

To kick off a Meraki deployment, the admin simply enters the hospital ID number and serial numbers of the Meraki devices into the app. From there, all of the configuration is completed automatically, including configuration of hostnames, network tags, IP schemas, VLAN assignment, switchport assignment, and more. This will save hours of configuration time and money!

Furthermore, this application integrates into the Webex Teams API to automatically create a new Space for the new Meraki network and adds in the on-demand CAE NOC (Network Operations Centre) support group. This will get new healthcare sites set up, running, and supported quicker than ever.

Congratulations to all of the winners above, and thank you to all participants for being a part of this special event. We were so encouraged by the rapid development, creativity, and positivity shown by all teams throughout this process. We can’t wait to see what our partners and customers come up with next! 

If your team is working on an API-related project that you’d love to share with our team, please reach out to us here!