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Property Brokers

Property Brokers

Highlights

  • Real estate company in NZ uses Meraki to manage & troubleshoot all devices
  • 28 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 28 North Island branches centrally from Palmerston North. Covering residential, commercial, lifestyle, rural, building compliance and property management since 1986, the company has quickly expanded its national footprint and now has 500 staff and sales people. Jeremy McClure leads the 5-person IT team and depends heavily on Meraki to provide reliable wireless connectivity for guests and staff, while also using Systems Manager MDM to manage individual devices in a largely bring your own device (BYOD) environment. 


Original Networking Challenges

  • Lack of centralized 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 APs at remote sites
  • Limited functionality to remove access rights to employees who left the company
  • Limited visibility into device, client, 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 fiber 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 access point at a branch office
  • After attending a webinar, Mr. McClure received a free access point 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

  • Systems Manager installed on all desktops, laptops, mobile phones, and tablets; 19 MR Access Points installed with 1 at each branch
  • Onboarding new employees and new devices “doesn’t get much simpler” with touch-free install process
  • 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
  • Received a free MS Switch from attending a webinar and assessing for future deployment
  • 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 also upgraded 12 branches with more Meraki gear. "I am sure that the AMP has saved us numerous times!"
I wish everything else I dealt with was this easy.Jeremy McClure, IT Manager