Last week, Active Directory integration was released to all MC networks. For customers that manage their corporate directories through AD, a local server can now be used as a single source of truth for phone users.
Active Directory is the most commonly used directory software in the world, and by supporting it on the MC product line, IT administrators will have one less dependency to worry about when managing their communications system.
As always, this new integration was released right to the dashboard, with no need for additional licensing: just another example of how Meraki continually works to increase the value of our solution.
This week, the hardware team behind the MC74 were recognized in Essen, Germany, at the 2017 Red Dot Gala. The Red Dot Design Award is an international award for the best product designs, design firms, and design concepts around the world. This was the first time Meraki products were entered, and we were honored to be awarded in the Product Design category.
The MC74 was chosen as a winner out of more than 5,500 products from 54 countries. The winners were chosen by a jury of 39 experts, and they had high praise for the MC74, saying, “The remarkably discreet desk telephone has a timeless design, offers high user-friendliness and is laid out for years of service.”
As part of the award, the MC74 will be featured in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen until 2018.
The Red Dot helps remind us that here at Meraki, it is important to keep building products with the end user in mind. Good design enables people to do work with less overhead, and that is the standard we strive towards in every product.
Administrators can now set custom schedules, and rest assured that callers will be directed based on when they are calling.
Let’s take Tony’s Auto Dealership as an example. During the day, Tony wants his customers to be able to call the dealership and learn about business hours, hear the deals of the month, or reach the service team. However, Tony knows that customers calling in at night are likely to need emergency assistance. To accomplish this, he sets up his Meraki Communications IVR to route to his normal message during work hours, and to route to an ‘office closed’ IVR with an emergency service line at night.
MC users can now set up any of these rules with just a couple clicks, all in the dashboard. Build schedules based on specific business needs, and empower callers to find the answers they’re looking for, as quickly as possible.
Following last week’s Systems Manager and MR news, MC has some exciting new developments as well. Starting today, Meraki Communications is available in Canada!
Canadian customers can begin a free trial of the MC74 by calling a Meraki rep. Every customer will get $20 of free SIP credit, which can be used to test out the system in their own environment.
Use MC and Dashboard to deploy phones in new locations—even a home office. Anywhere with an Internet connection can now have an enterprise-grade phone system, without the headache of setting up and managing a complicated PBX.
Since the launch of Meraki Communications last May, customers all over the world have been asking for the MC74. Our team has been hard at work scaling out the integrated experience of Easy Onboarding to different geographies, and we are excited to be able to deliver that same intuitive experience to Canada. It is important to us that customers are able to purchase phone numbers though the Meraki Dashboard, to ensure that the process of deploying a phone system only takes minutes, not months.
For more information, check out the MC Canadian Customer Webinar on Tuesday, March 21st at 10:00 am Pacific Time, or check out the MC Product Page.
E911, or Enhanced 911, is a system in North America that provides the caller’s phone number and physical address to the emergency responder when an emergency call is made. In the rest of the world, a similar feature is often called caller location.
For customers that like to be prepared in case of emergencies, Dashboard will now display the exact street address associated with each MC74. If there is a mismatch between what is configured in Dashboard and what the provider is reporting, the following error will appear. This way, IT administrators can ensure that locations are always up-to-date if 911 is called.
Default addresses can also be configured in Dashboard to update the network in bulk – this is handy when moving buildings, or adding to your deployment. This setting can be found under Network wide -> Configure -> General and will update all the phones in your network that do not have a customized address.
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]
Just in time for the new year, the MC engineering team has been hard at work building exciting new MC solutions for different use cases. Today, for businesses that have receptionists or executive assistants, say goodbye to archaic attendant consoles, and hello to the improved MC74.
For customers that already have an MC solution, call into the Meraki support line to have these beta features enabled on your existing hardware, free of charge.
The MC74 can now make and receive calls on up to 8 lines, to manage all the different phone numbers that your business runs on. These lines can be set easily through the dashboard. All inbound calls will indicate which number they are calling, and outbound calls can use a simple drop-down menu on the dial screen to select which line to use.
For executive assistants that manage multiple high-priority lines, favorite contacts can be set and seen in a separate tab on the contacts page. This will also work in the phone portal.
Not only will Favorites provide quick access to specific priority contacts, the Presence feature will also alert you to the status of each of those contacts. If they are on a call, the presence button will turn red, and if they are open to a call, it will be green.
However, even if someone’s line is available, they themselves might not be. In this case, receptionists may want to do a warm transfer and ask if the person can take a call. To accomplish this, we’ve added the Ask to Transfer feature, which allows you to check in with the person you want to transfer to, and either transfer the call over or cancel the transfer if the person is busy.
Not all calls that come in are urgent, and sometimes the caller simply wants to leave a voicemail. In these cases, we’ve built a Send to Voicemail feature that allows you to transfer a call directly to the inbox of any other MC74 in your network.
Here in our San Francisco office, Meraki MC74s are all over the place. There’s one in every conference room—from our small meeting rooms to our large executive briefing center. MC74s are on employee desks, in test facilities, marketing labs, partner training labs, employee on-boarding labs, and more. We have about 350 MCs in our deployment, some of which are in the field with our sales specialists and engineers, but most of which are right here in the office.
This phone belongs to one of our hardware engineers, Nick. Our hardware team made and tested over 80 prototypes of the MC74 before deciding on this form factor. Did you know, the MC has an infrared sensor on the front to dynamically change the screen brightness based on the brightness of the room?
Eric (left) and Murray (right) giving a customer demo in one of our conference rooms with the MC74 in speaker mode. MCs also come with their own mounting kit, and can be easily mounted onto a wall in any environment when needed. Just push the hinge back on the stand, and it is ready to go.
A snapshot of one of our test lab phone racks. These phones run automated tests of new development software every day.
MC74s can connect to headsets through USB, 3.5mm or Bluetooth. For a full list of all of our supported peripherals, check out our documentation. On my desk, I use the USB port on the side of the MC to charge my phone and Kindle.
In a room designed for larger groups, an MC74 with a USB speaker plugin is a great solution. Here our design team discusses ideas with a coworker who is currently out of the office.
There’s a multitude of ways to use Meraki MC, request a trial from your Meraki sales rep and try it for yourself!