One-man IT team scales to support growing business with cloud-managed solutions
New office locations connected and secured within minutes with zero-touch provisioning
Minimal disruption to ongoing client projects during rapid move to remote work
Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, with four additional offices in the state, as well as in Maryland, RRMM Architects is a leading, dynamic design firm offering architectural, design build, interior design, and planning services. The firm’s project experience encompasses schools, public safety facilities, secure federal facilities, higher education facilities, retail stores, and housing, among others. Licensed in the 49 contiguous states, RRMM has successfully completed projects nationwide and worldwide while developing a reputation for comprehensive and imaginative designs and exceptional customer service.
Over the last several years, demand for RRMM’s services has expanded, and the company has opened additional offices in new cities to ensure that it can provide high-quality architecture and design services to its growing client base. With more employees and locations than ever before, including remote workers needing to access office resources, RRMM’s networking requirements were becoming increasingly complex. Another issue with rising complexity was RRMM’s existing networking equipment. The company’s lean IT team was spending many hours troubleshooting persistent network reliability problems without many insights to guide their efforts. RRMM was ready to make a change to a cloud-managed security and SD-WAN solution that would cost-effectively scale to support its growth plans, while providing the level of security, stability, and reliability it needed.
To meet its evolving business and technology requirements, Aaron Sturniolo, IT Director at RRMM, selected Cisco Meraki cloud-managed solutions. Aaron began with a free trial of a Meraki MR access point, which he tested both at home and in the RRMM Chesapeake headquarters. Impressed by how the MR access points were more reliable and could give employees faster Wi-Fi connections and better coverage, Aaron quickly moved ahead with deployment across all RRMM offices. As the company opened additional offices, secure, reliable VPN connectivity between sites was critical, so it made the decision to deploy the Meraki MX series security and SD-WAN enterprise appliances in all of its locations, along with the Meraki MS switches.
In addition to secure site-to-site connectivity with Meraki Auto VPN, Aaron and his team are able to take advantage of the many advanced features of the MX security appliances to manage bandwidth and protect against cyber threats. These include application-aware traffic control, content filtering, and intrusion protection.
Non-business-related traffic, for example, can be easily filtered, and personal devices not authorized for use on the network or that may pose a security threat can be blocked. As well, with more of the company’s meetings now taking place virtually, RRMM’s IT team can ensure that employees and clients enjoy the best possible quality of experience by creating a rule to give priority to video conferencing traffic.
RRMM is also benefiting from the operational speed and agility made possible by the Meraki solution to adapt to changing work environments. When the majority of its employees needed to transition to remote work, for example, Aaron’s IT team had to act quickly to implement a solution that would make the transition smooth without hampering productivity. By deploying the Meraki MX security and Z3 teleworker solutions, RRMM was able to securely extend the capabilities of the Meraki cloud-managed network to all of its employees wherever they were located. Self-configuring and managed over the web, Aaron’s IT team was able to rapidly connect remote locations without having to rely on assistance from end-users.
Since deploying the Meraki cloud-managed solution, RRMM has realized numerous benefits that have helped strengthen its business and become more efficient and cost-effective during a period of significant growth.
The company has been able to deploy Meraki Security Appliances at each of its office locations in minutes using zero-touch cloud provisioning. Security settings are simple to synchronize across all sites using templates, and Auto VPN technology enables the IT team to securely connect new offices in three clicks using the Meraki dashboard.
For Aaron, it’s this simplicity that stands out about the Meraki solution, especially in comparison to the company’s previous networking solution, which was labor-intensive to set up and required additional training for staff to use specialized software.
When you plug in a Meraki product, you don’t have to do much to get it up and running. It just works.
Director of IT, RRMM Architects
This simplicity was especially helpful when Aaron’s IT team was supporting dozens of remote work environments. Even RRMM’s clients were impressed at the speed with which the company was able to make the transition and the lack of disruption it caused to ongoing client projects. For the employees themselves, their digital experience was exactly the same as if they were in the office, giving them everything they needed to continue to excel at their jobs and produce top-notch work for clients. Now, after benefitting from this optimized remote work solution, the RRMM team takes their MX security appliances on the road, utilizing the solution over services provided by hotels and other businesses.
The solution has also proven to be cost-effective for the company. For example, equipping employees with MX and Z3 solutions meant that they could continue using their desktop computers at home, avoiding the cost of upgrading to expensive laptop computers. In addition, as a result of the reduction of provisioning time and the migration to easy cloud-based management, Aaron and his team have been freed up to devote more time to pursuing other high-priority IT initiatives. Aaron believes the Meraki deployment has personally saved him so much time that it would have required three additional team members to accomplish the same results.
The ease of use and cost and time savings that Aaron experienced have proven to be invaluable benefits for his team and RRMM’s overall business. Looking to the future, RRMM is confident that their Meraki solutions will provide the support they need to tackle the next challenge.