For the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach, Cisco delivered the most connected U.S. Open in history. With over 200,000 expected in attendance, the USGA wanted to provide new ways for fans to consume and share content, both on-site and around the world. As 156 golfers and hundreds of thousands of fans walked the course, Meraki provided first of its kind, course-wide Wi-Fi. This included wireless for indoor, outdoor, and the first-ever test of Wi-Fi 6 access points at a major sporting event.
“For the first time ever, thanks to Cisco, we had the confidence that our fans would be able to stay connected to all the action inside the ropes and with friends and family back home no matter where they went on the course.” – Amanda Weiner, Senior Director, Digital Media, USGA
Hundreds of access points were deployed in a matter of days to blanket an ultra high density environment, and close to 39TB of internet traffic was transferred during the event. 70,000 unique clients roamed across the four-mile long Pebble Beach course, during a nationally televised event with 32 million people watching.
While Meraki Access Points are deployed in stadiums, golf courses add several unique challenges. These include the size of the course, weather conditions, and variability of Wi-Fi hot zones. Physical mounting, directional antennas, and RF settings must be configured to ensure a seamless fan experience. In addition, high-density areas like the media center and U.S. Open merchandise tent needed to be carefully planned to ensure high performance. The onsite media center at the course required connectivity for over 2,000 daily unique clients.
With Meraki Wi-Fi as the first point of network access across the course, we were able to introduce a number of innovative features within our U.S. Open App and video boards to enhance the fan experience.” – Amanda Weiner, Senior Director, Digital Media, USGA
The visibility of the Meraki dashboard and simplicity of configuring Wi-Fi was critical in delivering the connected course. The team was able to detect hot zones, deploy and tune the entire network in under a week. New Wi-Fi 6 APs were installed to allow the high density merchandise pavilion on the course to transfer close to 3TB of data. To learn more, take a look at the on-demand webinar to understand their technology strategy, and learn how the Meraki Wi-Fi network helped deliver a connected fan experience. Watch now
Eileen Fisher’s strong commitments to female empowerment and sustainability set the high-end women’s apparel brand apart from others in the fashion space. Yet despite the uniqueness of its brand image, Eileen Fisher for a long time had to contend with many of the same issues that plague retailers everywhere: high network deployment costs, costly on-site management, and little to no visibility into disparate stores’ networks.
Nelson Diaz, Eileen Fisher’s Senior Manager of IT Infrastructure, had had enough. He sought to simplify network management in order to save time, money, and his team’s sanity. No longer did Diaz want to deal with unreliable off-the-shelf wireless or time-consuming troubleshooting tasks — he just wanted a network that worked.
“When it came to managing the previous infrastructure or pushing out firmware updates, we pretty much just crossed our fingers.” – Nelson Diaz, Sr. Manager IT Infrastructure
After evaluating a number of vendors that all promised to make things easier, Travis Laird, the lead architect for Eileen Fisher, suggested Diaz take a look at Meraki. Thanks to the simplicity of the Meraki dashboard, Eileen Fisher has increased visibility and control over their distributed retail stores in a way they had never had before.
Having implemented the new network in just a few months at all 70 store locations, Eileen Fisher was able to reduce its deployment costs by 40% and estimates that it will have saved 50% in WAN costs by the end of Q1 2019 with a full Meraki stack.
Watch the webinar recording to learn firsthand how Eileen Fisher was able to achieve these results with just a three person infrastructure team. Diaz and Laird discuss:
The network devices they’ve decided to deploy at every store
Their infrastructure plans to support growth, including an AWS migration
Their experience piloting and evaluating SD-WAN through the Meraki MX
How Eileen Fisher plans to leverage wireless solutions for marketing use cases
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!
The E-rate FCC Form 471 application filing window has been announced! Schools in the United States have from January 11 until March 22, 2018, to submit their FCC Form 471 applications. Here’s what you need to know:
E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) profiles will lock January 10: To prepare for the FCC Form 471 application filing on January 11, all EPC profiles will be locked January 10. Log into your EPC account now to make sure all information is updated and accurate.
File FCC Form 470: Before you can file the FCC Form 471, you need to file the FCC Form 470. You do not need to wait until January 11 to do so. Remember, filing your FCC Form 470 starts the competitive bidding process, and since the form must be posted for a minimum of 28 days, you need to submit your FCC Form 470 by February 22nd at the latest. Plan accordingly!
File FCC Form 471: To request the discount on eligible products and services, you need to file the FCC Form 471. Once your FCC Form 470 has been posted for 28 days, you will select a vendor, calculate the costs of products and service, and outline the project timeline. Use this information to file FCC Form 471.
Why Bother Filing for E-rate?
Although the E-rate filing process may seem intimidating, it’s worth the effort! Wayne Highlands School District used Category Two funding to jump-start their vision of becoming a “smart” school district. By using their funding with Cisco Meraki, Wayne Highlands was able to:
Achieve high-density bandwidth to optimize learning by deploying 320 wireless access points
Launch a one-to-one digital learning environment and focus more time on implementing new learning applications and curriculum, and less time on network issues
Incorporate new, vigorous education technology curriculum into K–12 lessons, including online videos, digital worksheets, and remote access to instructional content
Get Started on the E-rate Process
But don’t take it from us: hear Scott D. Miller, Director of Technology and Information Systems at Wayne Highland School District, explain it himself. Scott spoke with us about his experience applying for and using E-rate to improve his network infrastructure with Cisco Meraki. He was be joined by John Harrington, CEO at Funds for Learning, who discussed the upcoming E-rate deadlines in more detail. You can watch the webinar recording here.
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.
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!
With so many feature additions to Systems Manager, we have decided to create a recurring series of specialist webinars focusing on how to make the most of them. These specialist webinars will be scheduled regularly and cover two important feature sets available in Systems Manager, Sentry and Teacher’s Assistant. Listen to the podcast below to learn about all the features, functionality, and use cases that will be covered in these sessions.
Systems Manager Sentry provides simple automatic security that is context aware. Sentry dramatically simplifies previously complex security configurations due to the native integration of Meraki networking products with Systems Manager MDM. In the Sentry-specific webinar, we will cover how Sentry works, highlight where it can be used, and go through live demonstrations of the individual features including:
With Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant, integrating technology such as iPads into your lesson plan becomes a cinch. Teachers remain in control, ensuring that students’ learning benefits from the inclusion of mobiles devices, rather than them proving a classroom distraction. The Teacher’s Assistant specialist webinar covers examples of how mobile devices can be successfully used in education by looking at use cases, and providing a live demonstration of how to use features such as:
With so many ways to use Systems Manager, the amount of choice can sometimes seem overwhelming. Shortcut the learning process and attend one of these specialist webinars for further guidance on how to make the most of Systems Manager. These webinars assume attendees have a basic understanding of Meraki Systems Manager by having attended an introductory webinar such as Introduction to Cloud-Based Mobile Device Management, or having used the product with a trial. Sign up today for a Sentry session or a Teacher’s Assistant session.
Facebook now counts over 1 billion active users, so there’s quite a good chance that your customers have Facebook accounts as well. Now Cisco Meraki wireless can help you tap into the power of the world’s most popular social network to create real value for your business.
Facebook WiFi with Cisco Meraki adds a layer of security to your guest network and creates a better user experience for your customers while promoting awareness of your business and engagement with your brand. With only two clicks of your mouse, create a splash page allowing users to check-in to your business page in exchange for free WiFi. It’s one less password for guests to keep track of, and one more way to create a lasting connection with your customers through social media.
Product Managers from both Facebook and Cisco Meraki will be hosting the live webinar, and they’re itching to show you the benefits of this partnership, including:
Using client demographic information to tailor user experiences
Increasing awareness through recognition on news feeds
Creating a smoother, more convenient process of granting WiFi access
Sign up now for July 17’s “Facebook WiFi with Cisco Meraki” webinar!
We often get get asked if it’s really so simple to setup a Cisco Meraki WiFi network, so we decided to design a webinar to put this question to bed once and for all. In typical fashion, we did this our way—with a healthy dusting of fun—so we decided to design a webinar which would push our presenters to the limit. Could we configure an enterprise-grade wireless network in under an hour? We picked a date in the diary, and we began spreading the word through our usual social media channels. To our delight we received an tremendous number of registrations—perhaps they were all expecting Tom Cruise to make an appearance?
In order to put on a show worthy of the title, we developed a comprehensive demo designed to cover all the steps required to get a typical business-grade WiFi configuration in place, starting with a completely factory-fresh Access Point. Take a look at the demo rundown and ask yourself how long you’d expect this to take with the equipment you’re used to:
– Add the AP to a newly created network
– Place the AP on a map and an uploaded floorplan
– Create a staff SSID to include:
WPA2-Enterprise login with RADIUS authentication
Restrict all devices to a maximum bandwidth of 2Mbps
Block access to Facebook
– Create a guest SSID to include :
Login via Facebook Check-In/Code
Enable Network Access Control to check for the presence of antivirus software
Block adult content
Device-based group policy restricting iOS and Android devices to 1Mbps
Restrict total SSID bandwidth to 5Mbps
Apply traffic shaping to all video and music traffic, restricting it to 500Kbps
Configure the SSID to only be available during working hours
Just setting this up alone would seem enough of a challenge even without the strict deadline, but not for our presenters! After building this configuration, we asked them to bring the AP online so that it could collect its config from the cloud and we could test everything in front of the live audience using a real WiFi client device. Once again our team rose to the challenge, connecting an Android phone to each SSID and running through the configured features in real-time with many hundreds of people watching. Pippa the cat played a starring role and really stole the show.
Even with all this work to do, the demo finished in just over 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time for the presentation and Q&A. Immediately following the webinar our phones started ringing and feedback started to come in. It’s no exaggeration to say we were absolutely delighted by the response. Here are just a few of the critics’ reviews:
“To be honest we’re sold on [Cisco Meraki] now…It was was a very well structured seminar: clear and concise, easy to pick up for someone who has never seen the product before. Thanks!”
“Very well presented with a bit of cheese in it to keep you interested.”
“It was very good. I’m sure I will use Meraki for all my future WiFi projects.”
So there you have it. Clearly we have a blockbuster on our hands. If you missed the premiere, be sure to keep the popcorn handy and look out for screenings in your region. Alternatively, if you can’t wait for a live session there’s an archived recording of this webinar and many others at our webinar home page.
For now, we think it’s safe to say Mission Accomplished.
This Thursday, we’re hosting another highly anticipated webinar: “The Ultimate Guide to iOS Deployments for K-12.” Back by popular demand, this interactive session will explore Cisco Meraki Systems Manager as a solution to help schools manage their Apple educational devices.
We’ll share strategies for deployment and managing device content for student-owned or school-owned iOS devices, including supervising devices, enforcing restrictions, deploying apps, and more.
Learn about reporting and monitoring the devices on your network, get ideas for best practices for iOS restrictions, and hear about some of the schools that are already using Cisco Meraki Systems Manager on a large scale to manage their devices.
Join us on Thursday at 10 am PDT for Deploying Apple iOS in Schools!