1:00 pm: Students trickle back into class after a well-deserved lunch break. Eager to get started with their next lesson, they grab their school-issued laptop out of their emptying backpack, log on, and start their next assignment while patiently waiting for the teacher to bring attention to the front of the room. Unbeknownst to the students and teachers actively participating in classroom activities, the network deployment team paces the halls, double checking that each new access point has a home, and that each switch will be comfortable in its new closet.
3:30 pm: The bell rings. Students rejoice; jumping, dancing, and skipping out of the building, excited to get to their study group, sports practice, or friend’s house. Some stay behind to attend an after-school course, work on homework, or attend a teacher’s office hours. Behind the scenes, the deployment team sneaks inside empty classrooms and offices, unmounting old access points and seamlessly swapping them for brand new, inconspicuous access points to take their place. From the gym to the cafeteria, no space can be left unconnected. With great attention to detail and swift hanging capabilities, the team goes room by room, replacing and adding APs, making sure no classroom is left behind.
4:30 pm: The last of the students head home for the day, with tired eyes, full brains, and superb stories. Once everyone has left the campus, and the school buildings start humming in their normal emptied silence, the real fun begins. Operation: the complete switchover. The deployment team speeds through the remaining AP installation. They move onto the closets, and in a sea of cables, sweat, and servers, they unrack and uninstall the legacy switches, tossing them into a corner of their already forgotten memory. Installing the new switches is faster than a cheetah lapping the school, with an organized, lit up rack of switches foreseeable on the other end.
5:00 pm: Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3, testing. The devices are online. The computers are connecting. The tablets are connecting. Even the phones are connecting! The intrusion detection system is working. The security cameras are on. We are a go! Network complete.
This nonfiction tale tells the story of Orange County Public Schools (OCPS), the 9th largest school district in the United States, with around 208,000 students spread across 200 schools. And yes, they continue to flip schools left and right in four hours, moving them off of their legacy equipment and onto a Meraki network of MR access points and MS switches. Originally a project that David Overton, Senior Director of Information Security, thought would take several years to finish, is on pace to finish in under two years, with the deployment team transitioning three schools a week. And, for the schools that have already moved onto Meraki, not only has student learning through their 1:1 device program continued to work without a hitch, but the simplified management through the Meraki dashboard has been a lifesaver for the IT team.
To learn more about OCPS and their Meraki deployment, watch a webinar recording with David and a Meraki product specialist. They discussed why David chose Meraki, how they are able to install a new network in 4 hours, and why a robust network is imperative to supporting their 1:1 device program. Watch 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*
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!
Bill McSorley, Chief Information and Technology Officer, brought an innovative technology perspective to Edison Township Public Schools. ?Coming from a background on Wall Street, Bill was tasked with developing, scaling, and managing a new K-12 network that could support new trends and uses for technology in the education environment.
Yesterday, Bill joined us for a live webinar to describe how he overhauled a patchwork network, consisting of consumer-grade routers, to a flourishing network that he can control on the fly from anywhere.? Taking only a week and a half, Bill deployed the Cisco Meraki solution to three schools in his district, now supporting new initiatives like classroom iPads and laptop labs.
With fewer IT staff and a smaller budget than he was used to in his previous roles with big businesses, Bill needed a powerful and reliable solution with simple management.? He found this with Meraki, a solution that ?blew the competition away? and even gave him the ability to use the network to provide a place for community relief after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area.
Watch here to find out how Meraki provides Bill with deep visibility and control over his network and how he has deployed our free MDM solution to thousands of devices throughout his district.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing trend toward using mobile devices in classrooms. As a key learning platform, this implementation of technology is positioned to have a significant effect on the future of the K-12 environment. In an effort to prepare districts for deployments, we hosted two special webinars: in the first, Eric Curts from North Canton City Schools shared tips on optimizing your district’s network, while the second covered strategies for iOS deployment models and device management, restrictions, and more.
Providing Secure BYOD at North Canton City Schools
Eric Curts, Technology Director at North Canton City Schools, joined us to share how he is using the Meraki solution to support BYOD, as well as school-issued tablets and desktops across 7 schools. By using custom L3/L7 firewall rules, L7 traffic shaping, and device policies, he created a secure network ensuring safe browsing and bandwidth prioritization for educational applications.
See how easy it is for Eric to manage his network on the fly and support a growing mobile device initiative.
The Ultimate Guide to iOS Deployments for K-12
When preparing your school’s network to handle iOS device deployments, you have options! We’ve created a great deployment guide outlining strategies and tips for successfully supporting and managing content on these devices, including supervising devices, managing restrictions, deploying apps, and more.
Whether student-owned or school-owned, check out the Solutions Guide for detailed information and ownership models and look for upcoming webinars where we’ll take a deep dive into deployments.
Last week, we had several great webinars highlighting Meraki products in action. From Retail to K-12 to Healthcare, we showed how you can use granular analytics to improve business, leverage your switches to do more for you, and gain six-figure cost savings with wireless and security appliances.
Enabling the Next Generation Retail Experience with Dynamic Analytics
Deep visibility into the users, devices, and applications on your network gives you insight into not only who is accessing your business’ network, but how they’re using it. We showed you some of the innovative ways you can create a smarter shopping experience by using your network to turn potential clients into loyal, repeat customers and improve customer experience.
Check out the video to learn how to increase conversion rates, drive store visits with targeted offers to mobile devices, increase foot traffic, integrate network sign-on with your CRM, and much more.
Your School’s Switch Should Do More Than Just Switch
Keep your school’s network ahead of the curve by making your switches work harder for you. In this webinar, we worked through many common problems that K-12 IT teams face daily and showed how simple they were to troubleshoot with Meraki’s intuitive cloud-managed switches.
Find out how you can easily monitor the use of your network, manage settings on the fly, and spend more time on what’s really important.
A Case Study: ABHOW’s Path to Six-Figure Savings
Chris Franks, Corporate Network Manager at American Baptist Homes of the West, shared his experiences easily managing a distributed network of 43 senior living communities across 4 states, supporting 5,000+ residents. With Meraki wireless APs and security appliances, Chris has created a more efficient and scalable network thanks to features like Layer 7 traffic analysis, site-to-site VPN, and WAN optimization.
See how simple it is for Chris to gain complete control over his network while he saves hundreds of thousands of dollars by replacing MPLS and using Meraki devices.