Recap: Meraki Quarterly, January 2019
Every quarter, the Cisco Meraki product marketing team presents a comprehensive review of new product introductions and improvements released over the previous three months. By keeping customers informed on a regular basis about what’s new at Meraki, we hope to help them make the most of their Meraki deployments.
While the Meraki Quarterly consistently enjoys excellent attendance, we’re cognizant of the fact that many IT admins find it difficult to find the time to watch an hour-long webinar. For those who haven’t found the time to watch the full webinar, here’s a quick recap of some of the material we went over earlier this month.
1. Improvements to Maps and floor plans
Meraki network admins have long enjoyed viewing their MR access points on floor plans in the Meraki dashboard. This helps in optimizing indoor and outdoor wireless coverage and figuring out where to place new access points.
Now, admins can map MS switches and MV cameras in addition to their access points. We think this is an exciting development for MV in particular, since mapping cameras can help admins ensure that important areas receive the surveillance coverage they need. Read more about the newest member of your floor plans.
2. An update on MX LTE deployments
Back in August 2018, Meraki introduced a slew of new MX security and Z-Series teleworker appliances, with a few new models that come with integrated LTE. By baking LTE right into the product instead of forcing admins to attach a separate cellular dongle, we hoped to give IT admins a new level of visibility into their connections and the ability to leverage a new set of APIs to make these MX models a new platform to build new capabilities on top of. Just five months later, we’re pleased to report that organizations worldwide have embraced this vision.
In the webinar, we briefly discussed how a few Meraki customers have taken unique advantage of our MX models with built-in LTE. Here are a couple of examples:
- A globally distributed food processing company previously paid for an expensive secondary uplink to augment its primary uplink, afraid of the downtime that could occur if the primary uplink failed. After deploying new MX models with built-in LTE, the company not only saved money by replacing the secondary uplink with a less expensive LTE backup, but also gained centralized visibility via the Meraki dashboard of all uplinks.
- A media company with numerous locations around the United States needed the ability to stream multiple streams of live video from branch sites back to headquarters. Relying solely on one ISP simply wasn’t an option, so the company deployed MX security appliances as well as Z-Series teleworker devices, both equipped with LTE connections, to arm employees in different locations with reliable connectivity back to HQ.
Watch the webinar for additional ideas of ways your organization can leverage the power of MX + LTE.
3. Endpoint management becomes even simpler
Since its debut, Meraki Systems Manager (SM) has offered customers a comprehensive endpoint management solution that brings device management, application management, content management, and mobile identity under a single umbrella. This past quarter, the Systems Manager team was hard at work at making SM even easier and more powerful. These improvements include:
- A revamped Applications page that makes it simpler to perform bulk operations (e.g., update or delete) and search for just the right app
- A new Target Groups feature that gives admins more flexibility in delivering apps, profiles, and configurations to the right groups of devices
- Support for tvOS, enabling education, retail, and hospitality customers to manage and deploy Apple TVs en masse
- Enhanced Windows 10 support and smoother enrollment processes for Android devices
Finally, we highlighted a new Customer Success Training program available for customers who purchase at least 200 SM licenses. This training gives customers the opportunity to engage one-on-one with a Systems Manager expert for assistance with deploying and configuring SM across different devices.
4. MV smart cameras make massive moves
Meraki MV smart cameras took a major leap forward last November with the launch of two new hardware models, extensible analytics capabilities, and a new cloud archive option. Since then, the MV team has hardly rested on its laurels, continuing to work hard to bring new improvements to the experience of managing cameras in the Meraki dashboard.
In addition to the aforementioned ability to place MVs on maps and floor plans, admins can now use up to 12x digital zoom to get a close look at live and historical footage and set up rotating video walls to monitor multiple scenes from one place. Additionally, admins can gain access to more detailed analytics with configurable zones. As an example, a large department store could organize multiple MVs scattered throughout the men’s area under a single “Men’s Zone” and use the MV’s people counting capabilities to see how many people navigate through the men’s area in a certain timespan, whether they’re looking at men’s pants, shirts, or shoes.
Finally, during the webinar, we took a deep dive at MV Sense, a set of integrations that let admins build interesting business solutions that leverage the data collected by MV cameras. To provide a bit of inspiration, we highlighted a few fun use cases that Meraki has built involving Nerf guns, a piano, and a light that changes color based on how many people are detected in the frame!
5. A deeper look at APIs
Did you know that one out of every five Meraki customers is using APIs? We’re incredibly pleased with the uptake of our API offerings. During the quarterly webinar, we walked through a whole host of new features and enhancements recently made to the Meraki dashboard API. For example, webhook alerts now let you subscribe to cloud-based alerts in any receiving service, and admins can use templates to configure many different syslog servers at once.
Visit apps.meraki.io for turnkey solutions developed by Meraki and third-party developers. To learn how to create your own solutions using APIs to build on the Meraki platform, visit create.meraki.io.
The full recording of the January 2019 Meraki Quarterly contains tons more detail, and we encourage you to watch it if possible. If you weren’t able to make it this time around, no worries — we’ll be back in April with another quarterly.
Want to sound off on something we covered? Head to the Meraki Community and let us know your thoughts!