In just a few days, tens of thousands of IT professionals will descend on sunny San Diego, CA for Cisco Live US, an annual extravaganza for customers and partners eager to rub shoulders with other like-minded folks and up their networking game. No matter which technical sessions you choose to attend or which speakers you hear from, Cisco Live is bound to be a fun and rewarding time.
That all said, there is one way to ensure your time at Cisco Live is a step above most others’: hanging out with Meraki! We’ve got a whole host of exciting things planned that we think will not only educate, inspire, and excite you, but also leave your friends green with envy.
Here are a few Meraki-specific sessions, events, and experiences to look forward to while you’re in San Diego.
1. Get Hands-On with Meraki at DevNet Express
Cisco Live US may not officially start until Monday, June 10, but Meraki is ready to pre-game. On Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, we’ll be hosting our first-ever Meraki-focused DevNet Express in San Diego.
Never been to a DevNet Express? You’re in for a treat: you’ll learn how to use Meraki APIs to automate routine networking tasks, understand the ins and outs of using the Meraki dashboard, and learn from other networking pros about best practices. Most importantly, you’ll learn by doing — DevNet Express is all about putting what you’ve learned into practice. This means you’ll walk out of DevNet Express for Meraki with the confidence to take your Meraki networks to the next level.
Oh yeah, and DevNet Express for Meraki is completely free to attend. Learn more on the Cisco Developer blog.
2. A Bevy of Breakouts
Whether you’re looking to hear from Meraki product leaders or to dive into a technical lab, we’ve got something for you at Cisco Live. Our goal is to help you optimize and derive the most value from your Meraki deployments. SD-WAN? We’ve got it. Intent-based networking? Check. Brand security deployments? Of course.
Check out our recent blog post for details on all the Meraki sessions your heart could possibly desire. Be sure to register on the Cisco Live US website today!
3. Developers, Developers, Developers
Meraki knows how much the developer community cares about APIs, which is why we’ve come out with tons of new endpoints in the last couple of years to make Meraki deployments more extensible. Cisco Live is the perfect place to learn more about the power of these APIs. We’re dominating the DevNet Zone with no less than 11 sessions and workshops focused on building new capabilities based on the Meraki platform. Here are just a few sample sessions to get you excited:
Network Provisioning, Management, and Monitoring with Meraki Dashboard API
Leveraging Real time Infrastructure Data Streams with Meraki and Cisco Wireless LAN Controller
Hardening your Network with Code (and APIs)
Plus, Meraki will be taking over the DevNet Zone with all things green on Tuesday, June 11th from 4-5 PM. Be sure to stop by to get exclusive swag and learn all about Meraki APIs!
Visit the Session Catalog and log in to your Cisco Live account to sign up for our DevNet Zone events.
4. #MerakiMission + the Brand New Meraki Lounge
For the second year in a row, we’re bringing back the #MerakiMission. What’s that, you ask? It’s a fun way to win free Meraki swag by completing demos and sharing your love for Meraki on social media. #MerakiMission will take place at our first-ever Meraki Lounge, located in the World of Solutions (map below). Be sure to stop by to not only pick up your #MerakiMission swag, but also grab a cup of coffee, charge up your device, and participate in our new Meraki MV virtual reality experience!
Check out how you can participate in the #MerakiMission challenge as well as find more information about the Lounge on our CLUS website. We’ve got some exclusive, limited edition swag on hand, so don’t miss out.
Finally, members of the Meraki Community can stop by the Lounge to meet the famous MeredithW. She’ll be handing out special badge ribbons. Come on by and say hello!
5. Innovation Talk: Simple, Secure Digital Workplace with Cisco Meraki
Always a popular draw, Todd Nightingale, SVP and GM of Meraki, will once again take the stage this year. He’ll explain why Meraki is about way more than just networking: we’re building a foundation for a simple-to-manage and incredibly secure digital workplace — the workplace of tomorrow. Learn what this means for you and why we’re so passionate about freeing IT pros to focus on what matters to them. Todd will speak on Tuesday, June 11 at 2:00 PM in Room 20CD (upper level).
We’re ready to pack our bags, and we hope you are too. Visit our CLUS website for all the details you need about Meraki at Cisco Live. See you in San Diego!
Once again, the BETT show again proved to be a great kick-off to the year due to the large number of people attending and the shear size of the event. This year the design team took things to another level, with an elegant and clean stand that stood out from the crowd, nicely reflecting the Meraki products’ sleek appearance and management simplicity.
As we have come to expect from the largest education trade show in Europe, iPad management and MDM was a hot topic at BETT with many visitors to the stand wanting to know more about Meraki Systems Manager. With a wealth of new features added since our last visit to the home of BETT at the Excel centre, it was great to be able to offer even better and easier ways of addressing the needs of schools and educators. A primary example of this is the addition of Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) support and dynamic policy application. If you want to find out more then make sure you visit meraki.cisco.com/sm and try it for yourself for free.
One of the great things about BETT is meeting existing Meraki customers, especially those who we met the previous year as prospective customers and have since deployed. In particular it was fantastic to catch up with members of the team from York College. York College was an early adopter of Meraki technology, one of the first higher education customers in the UK. Listening to them about their experience over the last three years was a real pleasure. Hear for yourself in the video below.
You may have noticed that the video is a little dark in the interview with York College. Unfortunately, that afternoon there was a total power outage at the Excel center lasting over 10 minutes. For the exhibitors with racks of equipment, servers and appliances running their demonstrations, it was one of those nightmare scenarios. Once again this highlighted the benefits of cloud infrastructure with the Meraki devices coming back online within minutes of the power returning.
Away from the stand, we teamed up with long term UK partner Softcat in the Schools Learn Live Secondary theatre. Here Meraki Technical Evangelist Simon Tompson provided an overview of the unique Meraki dashboard, before handing over to Steve Nesbitt from The Beacon School and Lee Sands from the King Edward VI College. Steve and Lee provided detailed insight into their infrastructure by giving a live demonstration of their respective school’s production networks to a packed theater. Listen to Steve’s segment in the video below.
If you’d like to come meet the Meraki team then please subscribe to the blog, if you haven’t already done so. This way you will find out about upcoming events so you can come and see us when we are next in your part of the world.
We traveled to Minneapolis, MN to attend HITEC 2013, the world’s largest hospitality technology exposition. We were excited to meet IT professionals looking to upgrade existing networking gear to take advantage of the Cisco Meraki features better suited for their hotel locations.
A lot of visitors really loved that the Cisco Meraki access points allowed them to schedule the availability of their SSIDs for conferences and other events. The hospitality-focused audience also enjoyed features like PCI-compliance, billable splash pages, and WiFi with Facebook login, which allows your guests to check in on your Facebook Page to access free WiFi. Sound interesting? Sign up here for our upcoming webinar: Facebook Wifi with Cisco Meraki.
We had hardware on display as well: our new 8-port switch gives hotels the option of plugging in TVs, VoIP phones, and lights in guest rooms that all require a wired connection to Ethernet. Check out our mounting rack to place the switch underneath a desk without changing the aesthetics of room décor!
Finally, Presence, part of our newest set of features available for Cisco Meraki wireless access points, made a huge splash. Presence analytics in the wireless dashboard can offer better visibility into how guests interact with physical locations. It lets hotels measure how long their guests linger in different areas, how frequently they come back, and compare that data across locations. Armed with that information, you can better tailor promotions and welcome frequent visitors with more personalization.
The Meraki team has almost recovered from two exciting days at this year’s IPEXPO at Earls Court in London. IPEXPO is the UK’s premier event covering IP Networking, Virtualization, Cloud, Wireless, Storage and Security, so with a line-up like that you can be sure it’s a packed venue with a vast array of exhibitors.
Our stand welcomed several hundred visitors, attracted by the bold stand design, regular dashboard demos and – of course – the glamorous Meraki gang, some of whom you can see relaxing at the end of day 1 here…
On day 1 we also presented at one of the breakout seminars, providing attendees an opportunity to hear how one large retail customer has benefited from Meraki’s simplified approach to networking. Perhaps not surprisingly, the customer has been finding great value in the PCI reporting tool built in to every Meraki wireless network. Also with a network containing over 550 stores, the ability to synchronize configurations from one site to another has proven very useful, facilitating at-a-glance config checking and expansion to new locations with a couple of clicks of the mouse.
We were delighted to receive very positive feedback across the two days, with visitors to our stand really appreciating the opportunity to speak directly to our technical staff, but also to hear complex technologies explained in clear language they could understand. We just don’t do weighty config documentation and death by slides at Meraki. The emphasis is on an open dialogue and real-time demos of our product in action, and our approach clearly resonated well. Here’s just one piece of feedback we were delighted to see online.
We do hope you can make it along to one of the many events we attend as we love meeting our customers and like-minded enthusiasts. You can find comprehensive details on where to see catch us on our events page. We’re looking forward to meeting you!
It doesn’t matter how large or small the conference is, it seems like they always have WiFi problems. The networks are consistently slow, frequently fail, and usually require some arcane security measure that involve weirdly-small scraps of paper and bizarre usernames.
There’s no reason for WiFi to be this frustrating!
We’ve started a new project to loan our enterprise-grade WiFi gear to smaller tech conferences, meetups, BarCamps, WordCamps, Tweetups, whathaveyou … for free. You provide the Internet connection, and we’ll provide a rock-solid WiFi connection. All we ask in return is that if you like our products, tell your friends, and if not, let us know how we can make them better.
We’ve just gotten started with this project, but so far, meetups like SF Beta, WordCamp Boulder, and Hacks/Hackers NYC have had great experiences.
“One of the best decisions we made for our conference. Not only was the delivery and setup effortless, our network remained stable throughout the entire day. No matter your wireless needs, this experience alone tells me Meraki’s solutions are some of the best.” —WordCamp Boulder
As part of this project, we’re excited to be partnering with WordCamp.org. We’ll offer a streamlined signup process for the many BarCamp-style events that these organizations sponsor throughout the year.
If you run an event and would like to participate in our new Free Event WiFi project, we’d love it if you signed up! We’re looking for small to medium-sized events that have enough bandwidth to support that group.
If you’re interested, head on over to the signup page to learn more or take a look at our plug-and-play setup guide, or ask any questions below!
Meraki had a blast at last week’s IT Roadmap Expo, hosted by Network World. For this expo we brightened up our booth with a dunk tank! Our office in SF is terrorized by Nerf darts – we thought we’d bring a few out to the Expo for some fun, and show off the impeccable waterproofing of the Meraki Outdoor. Attendees who shot the (lit up) Meraki Outdoor into the water tank were entered into a raffle for a pair of iPod Touches. Congrats to winners Anthony and Yuan – enjoy the iPods (or one less item on your holiday shopping list).
Aside from the entertainment and errant splashes, we were excited to show off our products to the attendees. As always, it was energizing to see their faces light up as we demoed the Cloud Controller dashboard. We were also happy to see several of our customers drop by and say hi.
We’ll be out on the road again soon, and hope to see some of you – keep checking back for updates! In the meantime, here’s a short recap of the event:
Last week Meraki participated in the 2009 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. EDUCAUSE is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the intelligent use of technology in higher education. This was the first time that Meraki has participated in an EDUCAUSE event, but it will certainly not be the last! We have never seen such a concentration of tech-savvy, higher ed IT thought leaders (more than 4000 of them) in one place before, and it was exciting to be a part of it. Each day was packed with seminars where schools could share best practices and their experiences with various IT initiatives with their colleagues, as well as keynote talks on the latest trends and issues in higher ed IT and technology plus workshops from over 250 vendors doing demos of some very cool products on the trade show floor.
Meraki hosted a booth on the floor as well as a special dinner event for CIOs and Directors of Technology for a small group of colleges and universities. We had the opportunity to chat with folks from schools with as little as 100 students all the way up to big state schools with over 25,000 students, and to learn about their needs and pain points. We saw tremendous interest at the booth in Dashboard demos of some of the networks of our current higher ed customers, such as Westmont College in Santa Barbara and Sweetbriar College in Virginia. Both schools have recently done campus-wide 802.11n deployments with Meraki, and their respective techology gurus spoke at our EDUCAUSE event about their experiences.
Major takeaways from the event:
-With the degree of budget-cutting that higher ed has seen over the last 12 months, schools are more than ever looking for ways to increase their bang-for-buck on IT spending and for ways to make reduced staff more efficient and more productive.
– There is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding new ways to leverage cloud computing to reduce capex and operating costs of IT departments while increasing reliability and manageability of systems.
– Meraki is a great fit for higher ed, organizations that even in the best of times make due with limited budgets and IT staff that need a fully-featured wireless LAN that won’t break the bank, can be managed by a small staff and can easily scale and be rolled out across entire campuses.
We are excited to help our new friends from EDUCAUSE find ways to save money while simultaneously improving the quality of services that they can provide their students, turning their wireless networks from a liability into a strategic asset for recruiting and student retention.
Look for Meraki at future EDUCAUSE events, especially in places where the weather is as gorgeous as it was in Denver last week!
Mort and Hans giving Dashboard demos and chatting with booth visitors