Posts Tagged ‘WiFi’

Cisco Live Cancún 2019

¿Eres de los que constantemente está leyendo sobre lo último en IT? ¿Te has imaginado que nos espera en el futuro? Cisco Live Cancún, es un espacio único para conocer y experimentar la tecnología simplificada, segura e inteligente de Cisco Meraki que permite a las organizaciones transformarse digitalmente.

Cisco Live Cancún será del 28 al 31 de octubre y quisiéramos compartirte algunas razones para animarte a vivir esta experiencia con nosotros:

  1. Sesiones técnicas: Meraki está incluido en siete sesiones técnicas. Estas sesiones se centran en tecnologías, estrategias de arquitectura, aplicaciones de solución de problemas para las soluciones o tecnologías de Cisco. Regístrese para las sesiones, ya que serán 100% Meraki. Los asistentes de Cisco Live pueden registrarse para estas presentaciones iniciando sesión en su cuenta en línea de Cisco Live e ingresando al catálogo de sesiones.
  2. Vertical summits: hay un total de siete sesiones verticales en Cisco Live Cancún y Meraki es patrocinador de tres. Manténgase actualizado, conozca las historias de éxito de otras compañías que ahora son una referencia en su industria, haga crecer su red y comience o adapte su estrategia tecnológica para llevar a su compañía un paso por delante de su competencia en las sesiones para gobierno, educación y salud.
  3. Zona DevNet: visite las sesiones de Meraki DevNet para obtener más información. Meraki tendrá seis sesiones en la zona DevNet. Los asistentes de Cisco Live pueden registrarse para estas presentaciones iniciando sesión en su cuenta en línea de Cisco Live e ingresando al Catálogo de sesiones.
  4. Demos (World of solutions): como complemento a todas las sesiones de aprendizaje, en el World of Solutions, podrá ver las soluciones de Cisco y sus partners. También podrá encontrar a Meraki en una variedad de demos en todo el Cisco Showcase: 
  • Launch | WiFi 6 Launch
  • Security | Meraki Security
  • Branch | Branch Security & SD-WAN powered by Meraki
  • Branch | Work Simple, Digital Workplace
  • Campus | Assurance in the Cisco Meraki Platform
  • Campus | High Density Wireless for Campus 

        5. Certificaciones: si necesita certificarse en las soluciones Cisco y reforzar su currículum, durante Cisco Live tiene la oportunidad de presentar cualquiera de los exámenes de certificación.

Además de todo lo que podrá aprender en este evento, Cisco Live Cancún también ofrece actividades divertidas y de ocio, como la tradicional carrera de 5 km, sesiones de yoga, el cóctel de apertura del WoS y la fiesta de clausura del evento.

Para más detalles de la participación de Meraki en Cisco Live visite nuestra página del evento y síganos en Twitter @MerakiLatam

Helping Small Businesses Do it All

Joe is a small business owner. He begins and ends his day with multitasking. Checking emails, inventory, employee logins, customer service, and more is his routine. But every day is different. At times, supplies don’t arrive on time, fraudulent activities and physical break-ins happen, and customers are disappointed when transactions don’t go through. There are days when Joe needs to be away for work. Unplanned leave and staff shortage is another source of worry. And all this is just on the surface.    

To stay ahead of his competitors, Joe uses different gear and apps to perform routine tasks and address these concerns. While these tools are helpful, it also results in divided attention that saps Joe’s passion for his business. Thus, using the right set of tools becomes critical. For a small business, that means supporting anything and everything from tablets to kiosks and other smart devices.

Just enough, and not too much

As many small business owners know, the way Joe’s business and other small businesses run has changed over the years. Maybe you like to keep an eye on your business with WiFi-enabled security cameras. Almost certainly, your customers are constantly using multiple WiFi-connected devices.

Remember that one time when your first-time customer walked in, right as your point-of-sale lost its WiFi connection? The result was not just limited to a single lost sale. It took you a while to figure out what went wrong. You contacted the help center, went through a few troubleshooting cycles, and manually downloaded the required software. Over time, problems like these compound, leading to lost productivity.

Do you recall the day when your important client visited your small office? You were all set for a breakthrough presentation. But your showstopper video started buffering. Yikes!

Sometimes compromised WiFi hardware tricks you into downloading malicious software which slows down your internet connection.

These setbacks take place because most devices in any business environment are WiFi enabled. While most WiFi solutions are designed for users who have network expertise, not all small businesses are able to hire a technical expert. In fact, only 19% of small businesses have dedicated personnel who handle IT issues.* So what do the rest of the 81% end up doing?  Often, they compromise with a generic home WiFi box which was not designed to meet their business needs such as creating guest WiFi or managing WiFi usage. Or, they’re stuck with complex WiFi equipment that they struggle to understand how to use. None of these routes is optimal for small businesses.

Because every second you’re managing or fixing WiFi, you’re not making money.

So why make WiFi complex for small businesses? Why not have something that’s easy to set up, use, and manage and even looks great while doing it?

What does WiFi for small businesses look like?

What if you could block a website that’s slowing down your business in just a few taps on your smartphone? What if watching over all your connected devices was as easy as glancing at today’s weather forecast on your smartphone? Wouldn’t it be useful if your WiFi hardware were updated automatically with better technology and security features — just like the apps on your smartphone? And what if setting WiFi usage limits was as easy as setting the brightness on your phone?

These are the tasks a time-strapped small business owner can easily do without losing focus from business-critical tasks.

All these conveniences add up!

At Cisco Meraki, simplicity and security are at our core. That’s why Meraki Go is designed to work for a time-pressed small business owner looking to ramp up business productivity with limited resources.

Meraki Go Indoor and Outdoor Access Points offer fast and reliable WiFi built for business-critical tasks, and the mobile app is designed to be managed by anyone. Setting up Meraki Go needs no technical expertise and takes less than 5 minutes. The Meraki Go Mobile App subscription enables automatic security, software, and firmware updates to prevent financial loss caused by security breaches and business downtime.

Fast and reliable WiFi together with the ability to easily manage and monitor your  WiFi networks from anywhere results in customers spending more time at your business, critical tasks like payment and contract signatures going through smoothly, better experience encouraging repeat visits and so on. With the cloud-based Meraki Go App, you’re just a few taps away from taking real-time actions that impact your business — all through a single device and from anywhere.

Watch a 2-minute video to learn more about how you can do it all and get your business going.   

 

*According to research conducted by Cisco Meraki in association with Wakefield Research, August 2018.

Ready, Set, Meraki Go

Readers of this blog will be excited to learn that Meraki has recently launched a new WiFi solution for small businesses in single-site locations. Today, we are introducing Meraki Go, a set of WiFi access points tailor-made for small and home businesses, with features to get a business going, all managed by a new easy-to-use app.

Meraki Go enables small business owners to manage their own WiFi needs. With a simple guided onboarding process, users can configure multiple WiFi networks in minutes. This allows shops, restaurants, and cafes to segment their guest and corporate traffic for added security. Meraki Go users can also quickly set usage limits on applications, and block clients from accessing certain websites. This way, small offices with limited bandwidth can prioritize business traffic, and make sure video streaming doesn’t get in the way of work.

As Meraki expands our product offerings, we want to make sure that we’re listening to the needs of our users. This is why we have built the Meraki Go experience from the ground up. With features made for business but an app designed for humans, Meraki Go has the best of both worlds, and we’re excited for you to try it.

All Meraki Go access points will require a subscription (1, 3, or 5 years), which provides access to in-app support, as well as security and app updates.

Check this out on meraki-go.com today, or watch our launch video below.

Wi-Fi standards on the move again!

In the past few years wireless has replaced wired as the primary mode of access. Whether it’s enterprises deploying all-wireless offices, retail stores depending on scanners for mission-critical inventory tracking, hospitals deploying Voice-over-Wi-Fi calling or schools administering exams over Wi-Fi, wireless has never been more mission-critical. With this, the need for increased security and optimized high-density scenarios has become more important. This blog post aims to educate and provide guidance to customers about the future of two emerging Wi-Fi standards: WPA3 and 802.11ax.

WPA3: At the beginning of 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance® announced new security enhancements for Wi-Fi Protected Access. The follow-on to WPA2, WPA3 promises multiple enhancements:

  1. Device Provisioning Protocol (DPP) – An exciting development for provisioning Internet of Things (IOT) devices.
  2. Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) – Encryption for open wireless networks that prevents eavesdropping attacks
  3. Suite-B – WPA3 adopts stronger cryptographic algorithms defined by the US Government. While mainly government and banking deployments are most interested in this feature, once available, all wireless deployments will benefit from these capabilities.
  4. Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) – For customers that use insecure passwords, SAE adds another tenet of security that mitigates dictionary attacks by introducing a secure handshake.

Meraki customers are Future-Proof

WPA3 will continue to evolve over the next few months as device vendors determine which of the above capabilities to adopt. All of our 802.11ac Wave 2 Access Point customers will receive the latest WPA3 functionality via a seamless cloud update.

So what about 802.11ax?

Widely touted as the successor to 802.11ac, the emerging 802.11ax standard provides benefits in capacity for high-density scenarios via multiple improvements in the MAC and PHY layers:

  1. Enhanced Network Efficiency enables multi-user operation efficiency over-the- air:
    1. Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA): 802.11ac uses OFDM for encoding digital data within multiple subcarriers, each of which can be separately modulated. By multiplexing users using the wireless sub-carriers, OFDMA increases the efficiency of communication thereby offering 4x higher median throughput over Wave-2 802.11ac in high density deployments.
    2. Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output(MU-MIMO): 802.11n and 802.11ac introduced the benefits of MIMO with the multiple antennas for Multiple Inputs and Outputs. 802.11ax built on top of this via Multi-User MIMO whereby A single multi-spatial stream Access Point can simultaneously transmit to multiple clients with fewer spatial streams.
  2. Enhanced Link Efficiency – Primarily through the use of 1024 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation QAM (raised from 256 QAM available in 802.11ac). QAM means packing a lot more information during transmissions and therefore the improving the data throughput by phase and amplitude modulation of data to increase the amount of information transmitted simultaneously.
  3. Improved robustness in outdoor usage through the various MAC and PHY updates
  4. Improved spectrum reuse through spatial reuse

What does this mean to me as a Meraki customer?

The actual standard is expected to be ratified by IEEE in late 2019, meaning that the Wi-Fi alliance may support interoperability testing for the same within the same timeframe. Wireless client devices with 802.11ax standards are expected to be introduced in the market in late CY19 with mainstream adoption expected in Calendar Year 2020, and we will be working with device manufacturers to ensure compatibility. The current 802.11ac Wave 2 technology is capable of future-proofing customers planning to deploy wireless in high-performance or high-reliability environments, providing enough performance to satisfy mission-critical applications.

As always, we love hearing from you. Please reach out to us on our Meraki Community or via social media, and check out our latest wireless webinars to get a free AP!

Wave good bye 2 slow WiFi

On February 9th we announced the launch of the latest access point (AP) to join the Meraki wireless portfolio, the flagship MR42. The MR42 is a 3×3:3 802.11ac Wave 2 AP that ushers in a new era of high performance, more efficient WiFi thanks to  the inclusion of Multi User – Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO).

In addition to this, the MR42 continues our strategy of completely integrated beacon and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) functionality. This sees the MR42 becoming our most technology advanced wireless platform, with four integrated radios and the latest 802.11 wireless standard, yet all in a sleek low profile design.

 

mr42_front-top_transparent
 

MU-MIMO allows wireless networks to more efficiently service the increasing numbers of phones, tablets, and other personal mobile devices. MU-MIMO does this by allowing the AP to communicate with multiple devices concurrently, rather than consecutively.

With Single User MIMO (SU-MIMO) the AP can use the multiple spatial streams to send a large amount of data to clients that can receive all these streams. Devices such as laptops could support two or sometimes three streams, allowing for high speed connections. Unfortunately smaller mobile devices like phones can typically support only one stream, and thus can’t take advantage of this capability.

SU-MIMO-b1
MU-MIMO solves the problem of devices being unable to use all these spatial streams. The AP can use the individual spatial streams to send separate transmissions to distinct clients simultaneously. This increases the total network performance and improves the end user experience, especially when large numbers of devices are connected.

MU-MIMO-b
The addition of MU-MIMO complements Single User MIMO (SU-MIMO) rather than replacing it. An AP can choose the best way to transmit: simultaneously to multiple devices as efficiently as possible, or consecutively to individual devices as fast as possible. It is now time to wave goodbye to slow WiFI.

Are you looking for a next generation wireless solution that can future proof your network against the growing demands of your users? Then there is now one clear choice, the cloud managed Meraki MR42 AP. To find out more details you can visit the product page or listen to one of our launch webinar recordings.

Set and forget


Not long ago the configuration of a computer’s settings were the responsibility of the end user. This spawned numerous guides, created by beleaguered IT administrators, that tried to ease the number of repetitive helpdesk support calls on common topics.

What if you could do away with the multi page WiFi configuration guide, yet still allow users to connect securely? Systems Manager Sentry provides simple, automatic security that is context aware. Sentry WiFi settings automate the configuration of mobile device wireless connectivity. This simplifies the task of joining the network for both the user and IT administrator, eliminating one of those clunky step-by-step guides from your help portal. Watch the video below to see this feature in action.

 

Systems Manager can create WiFi configuration payloads which contain configuration settings for a wireless network. It can then deliver this to the client device so they know how to get connected without the user having to follow a guide. Sentry WiFi settings take advantage of the native cloud integration of Meraki’s networking stack with Systems Manager MDM.

new_wifi_settings

With Sentry, Systems Manager queries the Meraki WLAN network to understand what the security requirements are for a chosen SSID. Now instead of the IT administrator manually configuring the settings, the configuration fields are automatically populated with the correct information, eliminating possible errors and saving time.

The convenience of Sentry WiFi settings becomes exceptionally powerful when combined with the tagging engine available in Systems Manager. Tags are Systems Manager’s way of choosing what managed devices should get what settings. As tags can be automatically applied, this means client devices can receive WiFi settings based on dynamic events such as the time of day, device user, device type, location, or security posture.

new_profile_scope

If you would like to find out more about Systems Manager Sentry, then you can attend one of our specialist Sentry webinars, or alternatively contact your Meraki representative for more information. If you are an existing Meraki WLAN customer, Systems Manager offers an industry leading MDM capability with a unique level of network integration, that due to its simplicity can secure and automate your IT operation in minutes.

All Aboard!

Systems Manager Sentry offers a range of features that make the life of IT administrators easier. By providing simple, automatic security that is context aware, Sentry dramatically simplifies previously complex configurations. To be able to take advantage of Sentry functionality, devices need to be enrolled in Systems Manager. There are a variety of ways this can be done, but one of the simplest is by using Sentry enrollment.

Sentry enrollment is available with Meraki MR Access Points (AP) and not only automates deployment of Systems Manager, but ensures policy compliance by requiring Systems Managers installation. Sentry enrollment is an option within the wireless access control page of the Meraki dashboard. By choosing the radio button that enables Systems Manager Sentry enrollment, all devices connecting to this SSID will be checked for Systems Manager.

sm_sentry_enrollment

With Sentry enrollment enabled and a Systems Manager network selected, the administrator then has a couple of options to choose from. The strength option allows the level of compliance to be tailored to suit your environment. With the strength set to ‘Focused’, only the system types you have chosen will be forced to enrol in Systems Manager. A good example of why this may be desirable, is if you only want mobile Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads under management, not Windows laptops. This can be achieved by choosing ‘Focused’ and selecting iOS as the only system type you wish to force to enroll.

sm_sentry_enrollment_strength

When a user connects to an SSID with Sentry enrollment, they must have Systems Manager to be able to access the network. If a user removes Systems Manager from their device, they will be forced to install it again if they want to access the network. Watch the video below for a full dashboard and end user demonstration of this feature in action.

Users are guided through the enrollment process with the necessary settings pre-configured for them. This eliminates the need to pre-stage devices before they are delivered to users and allows enrollment as and when devices connect. Think of it as your fast lane to pervasive mobile device management.

301122_10150400980151535_1428555892_n

Sentry features highlight the power and simplicity of the Meraki cloud architecture that provides native integration between different product families. Typically such enrollment or onboarding processes require additional servers, appliances, or licences. Even if this is not needed, integration between the MDM and the network (often from different vendors) can be complex to configure. With Meraki, enrollment becomes a couple of clicks and a matter of moments to enable. Find out more by attending one of our focused webinars covering the Sentry features of Systems Manager in further detail.

 

Partner Spotlight: Turnstyle

Meraki’s CMX presence API enables organizations to extend the functionality offered by Meraki location analytics. In this mini-series of blog posts, we explore the capabilities of some of our technology partners that integrate with the API. In our previous spotlight we covered Euclid Analytics and their capabilities with Meraki WLAN devices. In this blog post we take a look at Turnstyle.

Turnstyle_Logos_OfficiaL

Turnstyle’s WiFi marketing platform offers customer engagement, loyalty, and analytics capabilities that enable retailers to learn actionable insights about on-premise customers. This can be used to send real-time messages, coupons, and rewards directly to customers’ smartphones, without the need for a mobile app; thereby increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

Customer case study

A restaurant chain deployed Meraki with Turnstyle integration in 54 locations to learn about customer trends, to generate marketing lists, and to create a location-based marketing platform. This was then used to reward customers for their loyalty in an effort to increase visit frequency, and to re-engage with customers who had not visited for over a month.

 

turnstyle-collage

 

Over four months, the restaurant chain generated over 12,000 customer opt-ins for marketing communications via email, SMS, and Facebook. Over 30% of the client’s marketing communications were read by its customers, and ~18% of all coupons delivered through the Turnstyle platform were redeemed. The contextual messaging had a dramatic impact on customer loyalty and visit frequency, which increased by 70% and resulted in an ROI of over 15x.

The Turnstyle platform

Turnstyle’s platform consists of three components that integrate into a Meraki WLAN network:

Audience Insights uses Meraki wireless APs to passively monitor customer foot traffic and trends. This information can be used to make operational decisions on things such as staffing schedules, marketing strategies, and customer rewards.

Social WiFi gives business owners the ability to offer customers a gated WiFi network, eliminating the need for cumbersome passwords. Meraki offers extremely simple out of the box integration with Facebook WiFi, but for customers needing Facebook, Google, Twitter, and email simultaneously, Turnstyle Social WiFi offers a solution.

 

 

Engagement provides business owners with the ability to set up location-based messaging to interact with customers in hyper-contextual ways. Turnstyle makes it easy to reward customers for their loyalty by enabling coupons to be sent based on visit frequency, or to help businesses re-engage with customers who haven’t visited a venue within a defined time-period. With all Meraki WLAN devices connected to a single cloud infrastructure, this engagement can stretch globally wherever you have a Meraki device.

What’s next?

Meraki wireless customers can sign up for Turnstyle by visiting this page. No additional hardware is required, and you can be up and running in less than 10 minutes.  Cisco Meraki’s CMX location analytics is available today for all customers, with bespoke functionality enabled by the API and our technology partners.  Visit our documentation portal for further information on CMX analytics and our API.

 

Sentry WiFi Security

In June we announced Systems Manager Sentry, a set of features which provide simple, automatic security that is context aware. It can do this due to the integration between the Meraki networking products and Systems Manager.

Sentry Wi-Fi security is a feature enabled on Meraki MR wireless networks with Systems Manager. It takes the typically complex Wi-Fi access control method, EAP-TLS, and simplifies it to a couple of clicks.

sentry_wifi_sec_user

To understand the power of this feature let’s quickly review Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) – Transport Layer Security (TLS). EAP is an authentication framework that is used for providing access to a network. As the extensible part of the EAP acronym implies, the framework can support multiple authentication protocols, from basic passwords to more secure certificate based authentication. Think of it as a cook book for a cake. Depending on the ingredients in the recipe you end up with a different cake, but still a cake.

EAP with Transport Layer Security (TLS) is considered one of the most secure network authentication mechanisms (the tastiest cake recipe). This is because it uses certificates to authenticate and secure the network connection using asymmetric cryptography. The problem with certificates, as an ingredient of this authentication mechanism, is that they are complex to setup and deploy.

complex_certificate

There are two main reasons certificates can be complex to setup and deploy. The first is the infrastructure that is needed, something called a certificate authority. This issues the certificates and allows devices to check if a service is genuine. The second reason is that every client needs its own unique certificate. With a handful of clients this isn’t too much work, but with hundreds of thousands of clients this could be a daunting prospect. The tastiest cake results from a bake time of weeks or months, and looks less attractive as a result.

Sentry Wi-Fi security provides EAP-TLS for a Meraki MR wireless network while eliminating all the complexity. It can do this because of the certificate infrastructure that already exists for every Systems Manager customer. This eliminates the need for the configuration of a certificate authority and distribution of certificates to clients. A gourmet cake from an
instant-bake ready-mix pack.

cake
Make deploying EAP-TLS a piece of cake with Systems Manager Sentry. To find out more listen to Paul Wolfe (Product Specialist for Systems Manager) and George Bentinck (Solutions Architect) discuss Sentry Wi-Fi security in the following podcast. Alternatively attend one of our upcoming Systems Manager webinars, or if you already have Meraki MR access points, try Sentry out today by signing up for Systems Manager.

Partner Focus: Euclid Analytics

Over the past 20 years, the online world has fine-tuned its capabilities to accurately target customers and streamline the purchasing and fulfillment process. Every customer touch point is measurable and based upon data science and fact-based decision making.

In stark contrast, the offline world of physical stores has been stuck in analog. As a result, teams within these businesses are often behind digital retailers in analyzing operational metrics,  relying on various traditional approaches including manual counting, gut intuition, and simplistic people counting devices.

Digital tools for brick-and-mortar

Thankfully, much has changed over the past few years. In the United States today, 64 percent of the population owns a smartphone. In Europe and Asia, smartphone penetration hovers at 80 percent (Pew Research, 2014). The explosion of mobile devices and the pervasiveness of WiFi has created new ways of unlocking the mysteries of the physical world.

Just over two years ago Meraki released CMX location analytics to all Meraki WLAN capable devices. The first in the industry to offer advanced location services at no additional cost or complexity, Meraki location analytics is now in use by tens of thousands of customers globally.

location_analytics_meraki_euclid_post

Location analytics with Euclid & Meraki

Wi-Fi location analytics from Euclid can leverage the existing Meraki infrastructure to extend the out-of-the-box features and includes additional advanced capabilities. Since 2010, Euclid Analytics has provided insights for the physical world in the same way that web analytics does for e-commerce. Euclid’s network captures billions of measurements per day, analyzing hundreds of millions of potential shopping sessions per year, across tens of thousands of physical locations.

euclid_screenshot

Since Euclid integrates seamlessly with existing Meraki infrastructure through the CMX location analytics API, an IT organization can activate Euclid analytics across thousands of Meraki locations with minimal effort.

Meraki and Euclid detect mobile devices and collect anonymous device information which is then aggregated and analyzed in the cloud. By understanding consumer traffic and behaviors within physical locations, businesses can optimize marketing, in-store operations, strategic decision-making, and staffing activities. No matter the vertical, this new data source can help answer performance and operational related questions.

  • Specialty Retail: Is your marketing spend making a difference by driving traffic into the store, and can you prove it? Last month, how many new customers did you gain, and how many are coming back again?
  • Quick service restaurants: Is your staffing aligned with peak traffic times? Are new menu items driving restaurant traffic and sales?
  • Airports: How long did it take for passengers to clear security or taxi lines in the various airport zones? Is security staffing aligned accordingly?
  • Hotels: Where should the hotel focus its marketing efforts to drive traffic into the restaurants – on-property or off-property? How many guests pass through specific hotel zones? Are there specific areas of the hotel that require additional staffing needs?
  • Shopping Malls: During what times of the day is the mall busiest? Which zones were the busiest (or slowest) for the day?  Which stores are located in the busiest zones and should their rents be priced accordingly?
  • Auto Dealerships: What impact does an ad campaign or an auto show have on dealership traffic? When shopping for a new car, are customers cross-shopping at affiliate dealers within the area?

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about location analytics with Meraki & Euclid, then you can listen to the podcast below. Sunil Daluvoy (Head of Business Development at Euclid) joins George Bentinck (Solutions Architect at Meraki), to discuss location analytics, what benefit it offers, and the Meraki relationship with Euclid.

 

Existing Meraki customers wanting to try Euclid for free today can get started using Euclid’s Express service, or for further information on the advanced capabilities of the Euclid platform, they can contact Andrew Borella at Euclid Analytics.