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IFOCOP

IFOCOP

Highlights

  • French organisation focused on increasing employment of skilled workers
  • Meraki APs and switches reliably support high-density usage
  • Dashboard provides easy multi-site management for small IT team

IFOCOP achieves its mission of improving the employability of skilled workers by annually providing 2,500 unemployed workers with specialized training in their own field or training in an entirely different job. Created in 1970 by the French government and today accredited by the Ministry of the Economy, IFOCOP instructors pave the way for workers’ success and depend on consistent Internet access for their trainings. The CIO, Thomas Lullier, turned to the Cisco Meraki cloud-managed networking platform to provide a reliable solution for high-density usage at multiple sites, all supported by a small IT team.


Original Networking Challenges

  • Previous solution could not support the high-density usage created by trainings, and was often overloaded and not functional
  • The network was inefficient, lacked remote management, afforded no supervision, and provided little control over the general IT infrastructure
We went from a too-many-users-to-work network to a proper solution, easy to manage and update while taking nearly no time in support. The simple fact that I’m no longer hearing about WiFi issues twice a week is good!Thomas Lullier, Chief Information Officer

Why Cisco Meraki

  • The intuitive dashboard permits the IT team to proactively manage their own network without having to open a ticket for network configuration changes
  • Remote management capabilities and automatic alerts make managing a multi-site deployment simple for the 3-man IT team
  • Unified solution over switches and access points (APs) provides a single management platform, rather than various solutions to understand and monitor
  • Cloud management provides visibility into users, devices, and applications on the network, as well as detailed control over APs and per-port switch settings without being on-site


The Deployment

  • Received a free AP for attending a webinar demoing the Meraki products and was able to evaluate the product in the IFOCOP environment
  • After one day of fine-tuning the configurations, installation of Meraki cloud-managed APs and access switches took just a half a day at each of the multiple locations
  • Devices were pre-configured in the Meraki dashboard, so when they were delivered and plugged in, they simply downloaded their settings and were operational
  • Up to 15 SSIDs per network with customizable layer 3 and 7 application firewall rules ensures appropriate network usage, and each can be scheduled to broadcast during certain times of the day on specified APs


Results

  • IT team is able to essentially set it and forget it, using the tools built into the dashboard to remotely monitor or troubleshoot the network
  • As IFOCOP takes on more workers for trainings and expands, they are able to simply integrate a new AP in minutes to add capacity as needed
  • With multiple sites, the IT team can update per-port configurations in the dashboard using virtual stacking with a few mouse clicks
  • The new network can now easily support over 1,000 company-owned computers, as well as guest devices
  • Users are no longer reporting multiple issues per week; instead, they are having positive experiences and trainers are able to access the network reliably
  • With firmware upgrades and new feature releases automatically applied to the network, the team benefits from a future-proof network at no additional cost