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Hub Australia

Hub Australia

Highlights

  • Australia’s premier workspace provider chose Cisco Meraki full stack solutions
  • Deployment took place overnight for all devices including MR, MX, MS and MV
  • Tailored user experience became reality with help of powerful network capabilities

As the premier workspace provider in Australia, Hub Australia was founded in 2011 to provide tailored workspaces and a curate business community to help individuals and companies grow. Creating an engaging community and ensuring its 1,500+ members have the essentials they need to succeed is core to what the Hub team aims to achieve every day.

The Technology and Property team at Hub is always thinking about how to create spaces that teams enjoy working in and can grow with. They also want to make sure their clients don’t have to worry about the physical space, lease, infrastructure, and whether or not their computer will be able to connect to the Internet. The National Facilities and Technology Manager, James Moffat, is responsible for the Hub network, its devices, and managing not only the facilities, but also the fleet of MacBooks and iPads for its employees.

Full Stack Solutions Best for Lean IT Team 

When James first joined the Hub team, he was the only one available to look after the network, which required an immense amount of time to investigate and troubleshoot when problems arose. As he prepared to open an office in Melbourne, James decided to proceed with Meraki full stack solutions as it would be easier to manage, provide a great experience for end users, and have a strong foothold in security. As James’ team grew to three in the same period and Meraki was deployed to other Hub offices across Australia, the team also leveraged their IT partner to help with the deployments, respond to highly technical problems, and manage escalations.

After the Melbourne deployment, the Hub team began migrating the Sydney and Adelaide offices to full stack Meraki as well. What James loves most about Meraki is that you don’t need to be highly technical to manage the network and different teams on-site can have access to see high-level network information and run simple commands to see information like network and application usage. 

All Devices Deployed Seamlessly Overnight

With the Meraki migration, the team went from a network that was performing poorly and experiencing high packet loss to a network that is, “humming along very nicely,” in James’ words. In order to get the devices deployed across the three locations, pairs of MX400 security appliances and MS250 switches were purchased for each site, along with Meraki MR52 access points and some additional MS250 switches. All network devices were deployed overnight in a planned outage as the partner went through and removed the legacy equipment, installed the pre-configured Meraki devices, and plugged them in. As soon as the devices were online, the configurations were immediately downloaded from the cloud, allowing for a seamless setup process. All in all, by the time the Hub team and its members were back in the workspaces the next morning, the network was already running smoothly. Since the Meraki deployments, each office is now able to provide the same network experience as the others.

Optimized Network at All Time with Cloud-Based Dashboard

Within the web-based Meraki dashboard, the team can easily see the client list, an overview of network activity, and general overview graphs allowing them to determine just how optimized the network is within a few seconds. Recently, the team also started using MV security cameras in the Sydney and Adelaide offices, providing increased visibility as the video wall feature gives them the potential to see up to 16 cameras simultaneously. On top of that, the team has email alerts and notifications set up so they know immediately when a device is down, a threat is entering the system, or bandwidth rules are being disobeyed. 

The team has also implemented features like traffic shaping to reduce torrenting and P2P traffic, ensuring that priority is given to applications like voice and video as these tools allow teams to work cross-functionally and across regions and time zones. In addition, each user is allocated the same amount of bandwidth to ensure consistency throughout. Hub’s end users range from freelancers to corporate employees who work in offices of 100+ people. Therefore, there are a wide range of activities on the network, including digital production, video editing, graphics, data-intensive applications, file transfers, cloud applications, and more, all running at the same time. With that, clients’ expectations for crystal-clear video conferencing and latency-free phone calls, as two examples, are high, and Hub’s IT team must modify the network as its members continue to grow month over month. With Meraki, these changes are not only easy to make, but the team can also rest assured that they’re pushed out immediately via the cloud, creating better user experiences for IT and clients alike. 

For James specifically, one of the best features of the Meraki dashboard is a bit more personal. James is colour-blind, making it difficult to read the device status connectivity graphs. To his joy, the Meraki engineering team released a colour-blind mode, allowing these graphs to be viewable by those with varying degrees of colour blindness. This has allowed James to see when the network experiences drop in order to take action and resolve issues as soon as they were happening. But this isn’t the only time Meraki has helped the Hub team make sure they were providing the most optimal network for its employees and members. By having a web-based dashboard, accessible from any mobile device, James can make network configuration changes from anywhere – on the train on his way home, or even while on holiday at Hamilton Island playing a round of golf.

“You Tell Us What You Want and We Can Make It Work”

Prior to Meraki, there was no way to satisfy the network requirements for individual businesses operating at Hub Australia. Yet today, James and his team can create networks that satisfy unique requirements for its top customers. The ability to truly tailor solutions to individual clients has allowed the mindset of “you tell us what you want and we can make it work” a reality. The confidence in the ability to deliver this message has increased significantly with the adoption of Meraki. All in all, as the Hub team continues to grow its presence across Australia, Meraki looks forward to developing more innovations for its products and the dashboard to help the Hub team achieve its goal of creating an engaging community and helping companies grow.