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  • Women's fashion brand centralizes network management across 66 outlets
  • PCI-compliant solution includes firewall, WIPS, and 802.1X security out of box
  • High-performance APs support reliable, seamless coverage for iPads and other devices

EAST is a women’s fashion brand that brings vibrant prints and natural fabrics with an ethnic touch to the British high street. With a head office in London, EAST has 105 retail outlets across the UK. Richard Muir, the IT Infrastructure Administrator at EAST, handles everything IT-infrastructure related across all of these stores, including internal and external networks as well as peripheral devices.

EAST wanted to deploy iPads to sales associates across all of its stores, both to facilitate internal communication between stores as well as to provide a means for showcasing pieces not available in the store’s current inventory. However, EAST had no WiFi in its stores.

“We needed a secure option with high performance,” Muir said. In addition, EAST wanted centralized network management across all locations. After learning about Meraki from its technology partner Vodat, EAST quickly recognized the advantages of a cloud-managed network. “If we didn’t have Meraki, we would need a controller at every store, and there would be no centralized control from headquarters. Using Meraki, we can control each AP from the cloud.”

EAST deployed 70 Meraki access points (APs) across its stores. The solution is PCI Compliant, and each AP includes built-in enterprise-class features like a stateful policy firewall, 802.1X/RADIUS support, Network Access Control (NAC), and Wireless Intrusion Detection and Prevention (WIDS/WIPS), right out of the box.

Because of Meraki’s unique cloud architecture, Muir can see the APs’ locations, performance, and usage on his web-based Meraki dashboard. “The dashboard is a great tool for monitoring our wireless devices as well as detecting rogue devices in the area,” Muir said. “We can also see interference and easily change channel configurations, which is useful to us for ensuring reliable performance.”

The wireless network supports laptops, iPhones and iPads for Regional Business Managers, increasing convenience and communication. Meanwhile, the in-store iPads replace printed catalogs, save sales associates time in finding information, and increase engagement with customers, explained Muir. “The iPads are a great communication tool. Associates can share files between stores, access the company blog, and share new products with customers. The stores love having them.”

If we didn’t have Meraki, we would need a controller at every store. Using Meraki, we can control each AP from the cloud.Richard Muir, IT Infrastructure Administrator

Muir uses the Meraki dashboard to check iPad usage. “I want to see lots of traffic,” he said. “If a store is transferring a lot of data, it’s a good week for them, and it means they’re using the iPads.”

Overall, Muir praised the Meraki solution. “The results have been brilliant,” he said. “We’ve got powerful signal strength, well-made devices, and an easy-to-use dashboard with a lot of functionality.”