Sometimes troubleshooting can be like solving crime, whether it’s tracking down and kicking off rogue APs or identifying the bandwidth hog that’s slowing down the whole network. Whatever it takes to restore order, IT will figure it out. And one thing is certain: the tech team is always watching.
This held true for Brett Guidry, the Technical Services Manager at Waitr, when he was called in to solve the mystery behind not one, but two robberies. Waitr is a platform that enables customers to order from local restaurants through a mobile device or online. Waitr connects drivers, restaurants, and users with delivery and carry-out items. Now operating in 150 cities across the United States, with over 3,400 devices for drivers, restaurants, and employees already on the network, Waitr continues to grow, adding 5-10 new restaurants a week.
With the first robbery incident, Guidry didn’t even have a chance to get out of bed. It was 7 a.m. when the phone rang. A Waitr restaurant in New Orleans had been broken into, and nearly $20,000 worth of property was taken, including Waitr devices. Luckily, the devices had Cisco Meraki Systems Manager installed, so Guidry immediately opened the dashboard to track down the devices. Since their connections had switched to LTE, the GPS was still pinging and Guidry could see all from the Meraki dashboard: where the devices were, when they stopped moving, and even the nearest address. He sent the location and the coordinates to the police, bricked the devices so they couldn’t be resold, and waited…
The second incident wasn’t all that different. At 11 p.m., an employee’s car was broken into in Jackson, Mississippi. Two laptops, an iPad, and camera were stolen from the vehicle. Again, because they were Waitr property, Guidry was called to the (remote) scene. Watching everything from the comfort of his own bed, Guidry was able to locate the devices and their GPS coordinates, and he watched them fly down the interstate highway like a high-speed chase. When the pin stopped, Guidry identified the location within a 15-meter radius and directed the police to the location. They stormed the building, which happened to be a bar, and Guidry waited patiently for justice to be served…
What happened in the end? Were the criminals apprehended? Find out our live webinar featuring Brett Guidry himself. Watch the recording here.
Crediton Dairy in Devon, England, is a major supplier of milk products to grocery stores across the UK. The milk processing plant employs about 160 workers in both factory and office roles. When IT Manager Benjamin Evans and his team realized it was time to upgrade their existing CCTV system, they looked to Meraki, whose access points they had already been using.
The team had a dated CCTV system that was only deployed in a couple of areas around the facility.
The processing plant spans a large area and contains several tall structures, like silos, making it difficult to survey multiple areas at once.
A constant stream of lorries (or delivery trucks) driving through the facility introduces potential safety hazards for workers.
An initial deployment of 16 MV71 cameras helps cover a majority of external areas.
Benji and the team relied heavily on the Meraki mobile app when physically installing cameras.
“Literally plug it in, and it’s up and running.”
The Operations team, as well as the Health & Safety team, utilize the camera feeds to monitor potential hazards throughout the site, such as high traffic areas.
The team already encountered and resolved one incident involving a lorry driving into a barrier with the help of their MV deployment. They were able to prove the cause of the accident and assign liability accordingly.
Benji and his team have saved both time and money due to the “plug-and-play” nature of the cameras, and the lack of extraneous hardware, like a UPS.
The architecture of the cameras allows the team to monitor video feeds locally without impacting the company’s bandwidth usage.
The team is exploring the possibility of expanding their deployment into the factory to help monitor processes and ensure employee safety, both inside and outside the facility.
For more than 20 years, Samuel Robinson has been managing the network for Goodwill Industries of South Florida. He and one other technician oversee voice, networking, and communication for a network that spans 46 stores, over 500 network devices and over 3,200 guests and employees on the network.
Goodwill Industries of South Florida Dashboard
During the majority of his time at Goodwill, they didn’t have any wireless solutions. “I just haven’t trusted wireless systems enough to set them up,” explained Robinson. That is, until Cisco Meraki came into the picture. Soutec, their partner, brought Meraki solutions and provided a full demo of the Meraki product suite, including the centralized dashboard.
From left to right: Zuo Wang, Engineer at Soutec, Pedro Colmenares, Account Executive at Soutec, Julian Pinzon, Managing Director at Soutec, Sam Robinson, IT Manager at Goodwill of South Florida.
Robinson was about to begin a major project to upgrade the network infrastructure at all 46 stores. The ease-of-use and quick deployment helped Robinson make an easy decision to go with Meraki.
Robinson started with MR access points to improve overall monitoring and management of in-store bandwidth usage. Goodwill has set up bandwidth limitations at download restraints to protect their network from employee misuse. By using MR traffic shaping rules, they are still able to provide internet access to guests that visit the stores. With those policies in place, Robinson can start to leverage other MR features like Location Analytics, which leverages built-in Bluetooth capabilities, to better understand guest and visitor behavior. This data can inform business decisions and help improve in-store processes.
After getting his feet wet with the APs, Soutec introduced Goodwill to the MX firewalls and MS switches. Now, almost every store is equipped with a full stack of Meraki gear.
Pictured on the left: Goodwill store equipment. Pictured on the right: Goodwill HQ equipment.
Having in-store internet is very important to Goodwill. The MX security appliances provide redundancy for their internet connection with the 4G cellular failover feature built into each device. This allows traffic to automatically redirect through a 3G/4G USB modem should the connectivity ever go down. With this, Goodwill is able to guarantee an internet source that keeps stores running.
Today, Goodwill Industries of South Florida has fully embraced Meraki MR, MS, and MX cloud-managed networking solutions at all stores and corporate offices. So what’s in store for the next deployment? Robinson is exploring the enterprise mobility management solution, Systems Manager, for in-store tablets and devices. Meraki solutions enable any retail organization to maintain a PCI compliant network and as a retail organization, that is essential for mobility and wireless management. With Systems Manager, Robinson can continue to be proactive and enforce security policies, application management, and more, to accelerate technology and innovation across Goodwill stores. And when questions arise, he reaches out to Soutec, who “seem as though they’re with Meraki. They’re like an extension of Meraki and help with any issues that come up.”
Read the full Goodwill of South Florida case study here.
Grab, a leading technology company that provides transportation and ride-hailing solutions across Southeast Asia, offers a wide portfolio of transportation solutions ranging from a network of taxis (GrabTaxi) to private cars (GrabCar) to a two-wheeled option to beat the traffic (GrabBike).
This growing organization is dedicated to solving real-world transportation problems, and to that end, Grab is consistently expanding to new cities across the region. In our upcoming webinar on October 5, 11:00 AM (Singapore time), Kevin Lam, Grab’s Regional IT Networks Manager, will share his experience setting up networks at new offices in new countries, which is key to the company’s growth. Each branch office is crucial to supporting the local operations of the drivers. Lam chose Meraki because it could be deployed quickly and easily at branch offices.
During the webinar, Lam will share why Grab chose Meraki for their regional expansions. With advantages such as rapid deployments, simple management, and an easy-to-use dashboard interface, Lam can now deploy the network at new sites and offices in minutes.
Topics that will be covered in this webinar:
How Lam and his lean IT team manage everything from wireless, desktop support, server maintenance, data security, and network management
How the Grab team deploys a Meraki network (wireless, switching, security) at a new office in less than 24 hours
How Meraki makes it easy for Lam to manage a network distributed across seven countries from Grab’s headquarters in Singapore
Some unique use cases, challenges, and needs that a growing startup faces, and how a solid network infrastructure is essential for their success
Register for our webinar today to hear from Lam himself on October 5 at 11:00 AM (Singapore time). Eligible attendees will receive a free Meraki access point for attending this webinar*
With well over 15 years of experience in IT, Juan Saldana understands the importance of a reliable wireless network. A little over a year and a half ago, Saldana joined the IT team in Cameron County, Texas, as Chief Technology Officer. His IT team of 12 focuses on managing everything technology related for the county, from day-to-day tasks to larger network overhauls. One of Saldana’s first projects was to expand the wireless presence to buildings throughout the county. “Everyone wanted wireless but there was no direction,” he explained; only the health department, district attorney, and a single floor in the courthouse were equipped with wireless connectivity. With over 1,600 people in the county and device counts constantly increasing, there was a clear need for wireless.
Saldana came equipped with previous experience managing Cisco hardware, so when he learned about Meraki, he was intrigued. With a feature-rich and refreshingly easy to manage suite of products, as well as a cloud managed dashboard full of capabilities, choosing Meraki seemed like a no-brainer for him and his team. After participating in a Certified Meraki Networking Operator (CMNO) training, Saldana felt confident that his four-person infrastructure team could support and manage any Meraki gear they encountered – sharing that “no one on the team had experience with working with any wireless product, [but] Meraki took away the intimidation of working with an on-premise solution…With the Meraki interface, it’s a couple clicks and you’re done. And it’s equally secure!”
Cameron County Courthouse
Currently, Meraki Access Points are deployed in the County Jail and the Commissioner’s Court, supporting mainly iPhone and Android devices. Saldana and his team are moving into a new six-floor building, which will soon be installing Meraki APs to support around 400 people. Attorneys and people in court can join an open, public network by clicking through a splash page to log in. The IT team has set up traffic shaping rules to ensure bandwidth equitability, scheduling rule sets allow access to the public SSID in the courthouse from 8 am to 5 pm, and firewall rules ensure people can access email and the Internet. An internal, private network is configured to allow staff access to county resources with the use of a pre-shared key. In the future, Saldana will be upgrading to 802.1X Active Directory authentication.
Cameron County’s foray into Meraki doesn’t stop at just access points. Saldana and his team are big fans of Meraki MV Security Cameras as well. After about a month of testing the cameras, they plan on deploying them in the Justice of the Peace as well as in the new, aforementioned county building which will house the IT team. The deployment and move are planned to be completed by mid-July, and Saldana hopes that the Texas weather will play nice to allow on-time completion.
For Saldana and his team, cloud management from a single pane of glass has been essential. Gear can be configured in the Meraki dashboard before it’s ever taken out of the box; the dashboard provides visibility into network traffic, which was previously absent; and troubleshooting has been a breeze. When employees in the Commissioner’s Court building told the IT team they couldn’t access the Internet, the team checked dashboard and immediately saw an AP was marked as red — it was down. After doing a simple reboot through Dashboard, the AP was back up and running, and the employees were able to connect, without the IT team even stepping away from their desk.
Future plans for the team at Cameron County involve deploying additional Meraki APs and Cameras to the new building, which should be finished soon. They’re waiting to hear back on the budget to determine if the deployment will expand to the Judicial Courthouse. If it was up to them, they’d be expanding their Meraki presence faster, but until then, they’re excited about the connectivity and safety their new APs and cameras bring to Cameron County.
Imagine walking into a room full of your closest colleagues, only to see them huddled around a desk and crouched over a laptop with multiple routers on the side. Now imagine this room is not your office, but actually a hotel room in a completely different city.
And those routers? Those are but a small fraction of the devices still stacked up against the wall waiting to be configured. Your role? Getting ready to join your colleagues, not for a LAN party, but a Router Party.
IT team member configuring devices in a hotel in San Francisco in 2011.
For Randy Haan, Director of Infrastructure – Western Region at The Salvation Army, Router Parties occurred quite often, happening as early as 2007. In a webinar on March 22nd, at 11 AM PT, Haan was joined by a Cisco Meraki Product Specialist to share more about the need for Router Parties and what they were like, as well as how Meraki helped them transition from in-person configurations to a simple, easy-to-use dashboard.
The Salvation Army, a non-profit organization with the mission to “Do The Most Good,” is dedicated to feeding, clothing, comforting, and caring for those in need throughout the world. Haan, who oversees the Western Region in the U.S., manages a widely dispersed network that extends from Montana to as far as Guam. This poses a geographical challenge for Haan, as his lean team manages over 600 locations of thrift stores, youth centers, and elderly care facilities dispersed throughout the region.
Stacked devices to be configured in a hotel in San Francisco in 2011.
Haan hosted these parties to maintain consistency and accuracy for each of the device configurations. The team would be sent to a single location in cities like Portland, Phoenix, and San Francisco, where they would post up, un-box, and start configuring.
List of devices to configure during a Router Party in 2013.
There was always a large number of devices being configured for hundreds of sites, which meant the team was usually up “configuring boxes until 2 AM,” as Haan described it. But that’s what needed to be done. At the end of each Router Party, Haan and his team would re-box and ship them to each location.
Then one day, someone brought in a Cisco Meraki wireless AP. “It was cute and nice, but we were a full shop with the previous vendor at the time, and we weren’t willing to change that,” explained Haan. However, after they experienced a “catastrophic failure” of their network infrastructure, Haan decided to give Meraki a try.
Since then, everything has changed. By introducing Meraki, Haan not only changed the network infrastructure of the Western Region, but he also changed the philosophy and mindset with his team about what IT management meant, and how simplicity does not have to mean less powerful technology.
Today, The Salvation Army is a full Meraki shop with MX security appliances, MR wireless APs, and MS switches. They’re also trialing Systems Manager for enterprise mobility management, as well as MV security cameras. Watch our webinar from March 22nd at 11 AM PT, to hear from Haan about the unique challenges The Salvation Army faced, and how they use Meraki to build a reliable infrastructure and positively impact the business.
TELUS World of Science – Edmonton is a non-profit organization in Edmonton, Canada, focused on bringing science education to their community. The center houses one of the largest IMAX theaters in all of Canada, as well as a planetarium theater (pictured above) for lectures, events, and science presentations.
The growing organization is dedicated to its mission of fostering wonder and excitement for children and adults around science and technology in ways that advance and strengthen the community. Yet, as a non-profit, funding and costs are spread quite thin across the entire organization. When it comes to IT infrastructure, Robert Litchfield, Director of IT, leads a lean team of 2, including himself.
On March 1, 2017 at 11AM PT, Litchfield joined us in a live webinar to share some of the greatest challenges managing and monitoring the TELUS network, and how Cisco Meraki has helped advance their organizational mission, cut costs, and create opportunities for additional revenue.
How his lean team manages everything from Wi-Fi, desktop support, server maintenance, data security, and application and network management
How the center has supported a network of hundreds of guests and devices each day, before and after Meraki
What the rip and replacement looked like, as well as the deployment of Meraki switches
Some of the unique use cases, challenges, and needs a science center faces, and how a solid network infrastructure plays a part in its success
Register today for the chance to hear directly from Litchfield on how TELUS World of Science overcame their networking challenges with Meraki to continue educating and inspiring their community.
When Stephen Stanton, VP of IT at A Wireless, was told about upcoming plans to acquire 370 stores across the United States, he didn’t think it would be possible. Stanton knew the company would not be able to scale at that rate with their legacy networking solution. But that was four years ago. Today, A Wireless, a full-service Authorized Verizon Retailer, has about 1,170 stores across 46 states—an almost tenfold increase in store locations.
On Thursday, February 9th at 10 AM PT, Stanton will join us in a live conversation to share how A Wireless evaluated and decided on Cisco Meraki as their solution of choice for national expansion.
As A Wireless acquired new stores, they also acquired a mix of IT networking solutions and vendor products. They found themselves with a network built on varying technologies, configurations, and management systems. Implementing a standardized network and centralized management was essential for their continued success.
Over a 3-year period, A Wireless have saved in excess of 80% in the total cost of ownership of the network, compared to a more traditional networking solution.
A Wireless TCO Cost Savings
Over 670 stores already fitted with a full suite of Meraki solutions, including MX Security Appliances, MR Access Points, MS Switches, and even a few MC Phones. Now, Stanton and his team are ready to deploy the next 500 locations with the same products and by the final deployment, all 1,170 stores will be full Meraki shops without any other network vendor solutions.
View a recording of this webinar, A Wireless, A Verizon Premium Retailer: Scaling Nationally with Meraki, here: [Link]
Liberty Behavioral Management operates both inpatient and outpatient facilities across New York state, providing rehabilitation and behavioral health services to adults and adolescents. In a special Meraki webinar on December 7th at 11AM PT, Chris Smith, CTO, shared his experience managing an entire network across 13 different sites with a lean IT team of two.
Over time, Liberty Behavioral Management’s network infrastructure became insufficient for their basic business needs. Smith would receive complaints that the Internet was too slow for web surfing or file sharing, or that there wasn’t enough bandwidth for hosted medical information systems. It was time to either increase their MPLS network speed or find an alternative solution. And when Smith was notified that increasing their MPLS usage would drive up costs, he knew he had to find a different option.
Smith looked for ease-of-use, data security features, and ways to improve site-to-site connectivity without increasing internet costs. Meraki fit the bill.
With Meraki MX Security Appliances, SD-WAN (that’s “software-defined WAN” for those who haven’t come across this acronym) enhanced existing internet connectivity at each of the branches by dynamically sending traffic between locations based on set policies, defined types of traffic, and optimal performance. By leveraging MPLS at the main hospitals and the MX SD-WAN capabilities for the branch sites, Liberty Behavioral management saved $1,127,170, or 76% of costs, over five years.
Stay tuned for a complete TCO Analysis and case study to learn how Liberty Behavioral Management deployed and saved with Meraki cloud-based solutions.
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!