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Property Brokers

Property Brokers

Highlights

  • Real estate company in NZ uses Meraki to manage & troubleshoot all devices
  • 42 branch offices centrally managed from Palmerston North using Meraki dashboard
  • Lean IT team saves time & resources, as travel is no longer needed to set up APs

Situated across both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, Property Brokers’ IT team supports its 42 branches centrally from Palmerston North. Covering residential, commercial, lifestyle, rural, building compliance and property management since 1986, and more recently a holiday & conference resort, The Lazy Fish, together with Café Local co-located in the building.

The company has quickly expanded its national footprint and now has over 600 staff and sales people. Jeremy McClure, Head of IT, leads the 6-person team and depends heavily on Cisco Meraki to provide reliable wireless connectivity for guests and staff, while also using Systems Manager Endpoint Management and MX Security Appliances to manage individual devices in a largely bring your own device (BYOD) environment. 


Original Networking Challenges

  • Lack of centralised network and device management
  • Previous supplier pre-provisioned the network, but it was still difficult to get the hardware to work properly
  • IT team member travel required to set up new access points at remote sites
  • Limited functionality to remove access rights to employees who left the company
  • Limited visibility into devices, clients, and application usage
  • Cumbersome to make small changes to things like usernames or passwords, as search functionality was limited and team members had to scroll through 5 to 10 pages to locate an individual device
  • The whole network was reliant on a single physical controller unit
  • Existing wireless controller unit conflicted with the new VOIP solution, so an additional fibre connection needed to be deployed

Why Cisco Meraki

  • Centrally managed cloud networking paired with plug-and-play devices ensures that the team does not have to travel for hours to set up an AP at a branch office
  • After attending a webinar, Mr. McClure received a free AP and began testing. The team immediately experienced the ease of use with Meraki, which then led the team to start replacing the old legacy network
  • Deep visibility into client and device analytics 

The Deployment

  • Over 600 Systems Manager installed on all desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets
  • 56 MR APs, 24 MX Security Appliances including Z-series Teleworker Appliances, 5 MS port switches, and 2 MV outdoor security cameras
  • Onboarding new employees and new devices 'doesn't get much simpler' with zero-touch provisioning
  • Instant visibility into device type, security policies, installed applications, and more - all of which was difficult to get from the end user prior to Systems Manager
  • IT adds AP serial number into the Meraki dashboard, has a local electrician or staff member plug the AP in at a remote site, and configuration is automatically downloaded from the cloud, making the AP work within minutes
  • Two SSIDs created in the dashboard - one for corporate employees and another for guests through the WiFi with Facebook login feature, helping marketing team garner more brand endorsements
We’re a lot more comfortable knowing that our network is reliable.Jeremy McClure, IT Manager

Results and What’s Next

  • Meraki has transformed how the team supports staff and troubleshoots potential network issues
  • IT looks at dashboard to see signal strength from AP to individual devices and uses live tools to help with remote troubleshooting
  • With remote desktop functionality, IT can now address concerns, such as “my computer is not working,” within seconds
  • Continuing the proactive process to upgrade old gear with Meraki APs across all branches
  • Most recent deployment in new building: 12 MR32 APs, 2 48-port PoE switches, 2 standard 48-port switches, and an MX100 Security Appliance. This Meraki deployment is supporting 90 office staff and about 300 clients on a daily basis. The building also has a café with an MR32 AP deployed to help power the PoS system. 
  • Recently upgraded 12 branches with more Meraki gear. "I am sure that the AMP has saved us numerous times!"
  • External MR 72 deployed at The Lazy Fish, the remote no-road access resort, allowing the internet over satellite to be shared with guests
I wish everything else I dealt with was this easy.Jeremy McClure, IT Manager