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August 16, 2017


The Value in Total Cost of Ownership

Total cost of ownership (TCO) isn’t a complicated concept. Simply put, it’s the sum of the upfront cost of a product or service and the direct and indirect costs incurred during its lifetime.

tco equation

Nevertheless, many buyers considering an IT infrastructure upgrade can fall into a pattern of using upfront cost as their key criteria. Not only does this inadvertently neglect potential products or solutions that may be much better suited, but in the long run may actually end up costing a lot more.

For most organizations there are usually multiple stakeholders involved in the IT purchasing process with the number increasing with company size. Our first touch point with customers tends to be with the IT folks. Testing out Meraki first-hand, we’re always amazed at how quickly they fall in love with the technology. Naturally the IT folks are convinced, but the next step in the buying process is typically around gaining buy-in from the various other functions in the internal buying chain. The stakeholders in this stage are frequently non-technical and have their own KPIs to satisfy. At this point we’re often asked by customers and partners alike for stats or numbers to quantify how much Meraki customers are saving in operational costs.

We set about acquiring this information and interviewed existing Meraki customers across various verticals to quantify how much time and money they’re saving compared to more traditional technologies. The results are now in:

CHECK OUT THE INFOGRAPHIC
CHECK OUT THE TCO INFOGRAPHIC HERE
Download PDF: English 

Highlights from the infographic:

  • Gartner estimates that 80% of total IT costs occur after the initial purchase (OpEx)
  • Meraki customers stand to save in the region of 90% on OpEx
  • Savings in shopping around for the cheapest hardware are likely to pale in comparison to the potential savings in OpEx with Meraki
  • A Wireless (Verizon authorized reseller) can bring 6 stores live with Merakitechnology for the cost of bringing one store live with traditional technology
  • Bar S Foods saved over $5M in production revenue with Meraki over 5 years
  • CNOS chose to deploy Meraki even though hardware costs were 15% more than traditional technology. CNOS was able to recover the difference in CapEx within 16 months over a 5-year comparison.
August 14, 2017


End of Sale Announcement - MR62 Access Point

Cisco Meraki is announcing the upcoming end-of-sale for the following product.

The MR62 Cloud Managed Wireless AP has been replaced with the functionally equivalent MR74 Cloud Managed AP.

End-of-Sale Model  Replacement Model
MR62-HW MR74-HW


They expect to be accepting final orders for these products through 
November 15, 2017.

However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco Meraki's discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than November 15, 2017.

End-of-Support date for these products will be November 15, 2024.

August 10, 2017


Meraki Firmware versions and roll back functionality!

Active since July - the long awaited ability to take control of the firmware your devices are running!
  • Dashboard administrators will now be able to see firmware version numbers for all networks, as well as the recommended versions for each device type.
  • Detailed patch notes will be available for all firmware versions.
  • Administrators will be able to choose to upgrade any of their networks either to the latest stable firmware or to the current beta version, for easier access to new features.
  • For 14 days after performing a firmware upgrade on a given network, administrators will be able to opt to roll back to the previous running version for that network. This allows for faster resolution to any issues encountered after an update.

With these changes, dashboard administrators will have easier access to the latest capabilities and will be able to address potential issues as quickly as possible. They will also be able to work more effectively with our Meraki's Support team to troubleshoot and resolve problems.  

July 02, 2017


AMP Threatgrid - New Anti-Malware on MX

Industry-leading dynamic threat analysis and cloud sandboxing for Meraki MX

Whenever a file is downloaded through a Meraki MX with Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) enabled, that file’s signature will be looked up against AMP’s large cloud database; however, the file’s evaluation may return as “unknown”. AMP is capable of retrospectively alerting administrators if such a file is later determined to in fact be malicious with the help of the global AMP cloud. This provides security teams with the necessary insight to take action to quarantine a threat before it spreads.

With our newly released support for Threat Grid, administrators now have the powerful option to send these unknown file types directly to the Threat Grid cloud for immediate analysis. Once received, Cisco Threat Grid will execute the file in a virtual environment and will then analyse the file for over 825 behavioural indicators that may suggest whether or not the file is malicious. If a file is in fact determined to be malicious, Threat Grid will immediately alert all network administrators, and armed with a new signature, AMP will also block any new attempts of the threat from being downloaded. What’s more, if the file is malicious, Threat Grid’s analysis results will also be distributed via the global AMP cloud so that all other subscribers around the world receive the new threat signatures. With record-breaking threats like the recent Wannacry Outbreak, this is an important, powerful tool to have in any organisation’s arsenal, and instrumental in contributing to the prevention of zero-day exploits around the world.

meraki-tg-2

Example of a downloaded file that was initially permitted, but later determined by Threat Grid to be malicious

We’re incredibly excited to announce the availability of Threat Grid on the Meraki MX as it provides the absolute latest in dynamic malware analysis and a deep, beneficial integration with Cisco’s broader security services. Threat Grid for MX is available as an additional subscription to any Meraki MX* (except for MX400 or MX600 at this time) with Advanced Security license. To find out more, please contact us and ask about Threat Grid sample packs.

 

June 19, 2017


Why Cloud Managed IT is the way of the future

Still not convinced the cloud is for you? Read on.

If the challenges involved in managing your employees’ bandwidth, security, and mobility needs are keeping you awake at night, we’ve got some tough news: the rapid pace at which technology changes means those challenges won’t go away anytime soon. Implementing a modern IT infrastructure that’s able to support always-connected mobile devices, data-hogging applications, and “bring your own device” (BYOD) practices is no longer a “nice-to-have”—it’s a necessity.

The way forward lies in adopting a scalable solution that can grow as the demands and pressures on a network increase. The best way to achieve this goal is to migrate your IT infrastructure and manage it entirely through the cloud. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Manage and troubleshoot from anywhere

Traditionally, managing networks or troubleshooting a network issue requires someone to be physically present. When dealing with multi-site deployments or other situations in which it isn’t always possible for IT to be on-site, this form of management and troubleshooting cannot scale and quickly proves untenable.

With cloud managed IT, managing and troubleshooting issues from anywhere is finally a reality. An IT administrator can quickly get alerted about a network issue, diagnose the problem, and devise a solution from any computer with internet access. For example, with cloud managed IT, an IT admin can quickly run a cable test on a cable running between a switch and an access point to determine whether the cable or the AP is at fault. Cloud managed IT doesn’t just help save time and resources; it unlocks entirely new capabilities that simply aren’t possible with legacy IT solutions.

2. Easy to set up, configure, and manage

For most IT admins, the thought of installing and maintaining network infrastructure doesn’t exactly inspire joy—even less so when it comes to multi-site deployments. The hassles involved are frustrating, to say the least.

Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud dramatically simplifies ordinarily challenging tasks and cuts down on time and cost. With zero-touch provisioning, devices such as access points, security appliances, and VoIP phones can be pre-configured before they even arrive on-site. Configurations download automatically once the device is connected to the network for a true plug-and-play experience. Furthermore, “virtual stacking” allows IT admins to bulk-configure ports on internet-connected switches, whether these switches are physically located in Berlin or Baltimore. Managing IT infrastructure through the cloud thus requires less investment in on-site setup, significantly reducing staff costs.

3. Superior security

In order to maintain a secure stack that ensures high levels of productivity and uptime, IT needs constant visibility into network traffic, security threats, and device activity. Keeping security definitions and device firmware up-to-date is also crucial. Cloud managed IT makes it simple for IT admins to get a real-time understanding of what’s going on network-wide and to ensure that security threats are kept at bay.

With a fully cloud managed infrastructure, IT admins can look at application usage on a per-client basis and enforce security policies at the firewall or access point level, all from one dashboard. Additionally, when threats arise, admins can rest assured knowing that the latest security updates have already been pushed to firewall devices, silently and automatically, over the Internet. This kind of visibility and automation significantly reduces the burden on IT while ensuring complete network security.

4. Interconnected management unlocks new possibilities

Traditional IT management is a piecemeal affair. Because there are different vendors for different parts of the stack—wireless, switching, security, mobile device management, and more—configuring more than one category of device at a time to accomplish a certain network-wide goal is usually not possible. Even worse, IT admins have to learn how to navigate many different interfaces and deal with multiple support lines if they run into any issues.

The beauty of cloud managed IT is that every part of the stack can be controlled from a single management interface. This enables different elements of your IT infrastructure to work together in new ways. For instance, with every device communicating with one another and with the cloud, IT admins can view a complete network topology, updated live, and instantly troubleshoot issues with any device. As the demand on the network grows and new IT infrastructure is added, every new piece of gear can be managed from the same interface. This easy scalability makes cloud managed IT ideal for growing organizations with ever-increasing numbers of users, devices, and sites.

5. Lower TCO (total cost of ownership)

Of course, one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing which IT stack to implement is overall cost. And while the cost of the initial hardware is certainly important, too many companies focus only on the hardware cost and ignore ongoing support and maintenance costs. The beauty of cloud managed IT is that the flexibility and ease-of-use inherent in the cloud managed model means much lower management costs over time, resulting in a much lower TCO over the span of a few years.

As mentioned earlier, a cloud managed stack provides your IT team with extensive visibility into network performance, not to mention actionable alerts whenever there’s a hiccup. You’ll be able to proactively diagnose issues and manage problems before they impact your business; as the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Additionally, with the cloud managed model, multi-site management is simple and straightforward. All of this means that the TCO of a cloud managed IT stack is much lower than that of traditional IT infrastructure—often by thousands of dollars.

Conclusion

Once upon a time, on-site network controllers, command line interfaces, and manual firewall configuration were enough to keep a network afloat. But a creaky old IT infrastructure can no longer keep up with the needs of modern organizations. Embracing cloud managed IT presents significant advantages for admins who want to implement a forward-thinking IT infrastructure built to last.

Enter Cisco Meraki, a leader in cloud managed IT. Meraki offers a full stack of cloud managed IT solutions—wireless access points, switches, security appliances, enterprise mobility management, telephony, and security cameras—all managed through the Meraki Dashboard. With Meraki, enterprises and SMBs alike have discovered the benefits of adopting a cloud managed stack.

June 09, 2017


Buying Guide for Meraki in the USA

We often find customers are confused when it comes to how to purchase Cisco Meraki hardware and licences in the USA so hopefully this article serves to set the record straight!

Cisco Meraki has a unique distribution model worldwide due to the fact the hardware and licences are assigned to the particular end user that acquires the product.  They haven't quite worked out how to let worldwide distributors look after the assignment of serial numbers and licence codes, and keep track of it all -  so prefer to do this themselves in California still.

This means that ALL products are shipped from California directly to you the end user customer on an order by order basis.  There is NO STOCK held by any reseller in the USA - despite what you might read on our competitor's web sites.  

It's simply not possible to get your hands on a Meraki product within a day in the USA unless you live in California. All hardware products ship via UPS ground by default to you at no extra cost, or by Fedex (which we use for overnight or 2 day shipping) which incurs a charge. 

We often see our competitors offering a better price if you contact them first - we are no different in that we have access to Cisco Meraki's OIP large deal registration program where if an order is over $5000 USD RRP we can apply for some special pricing on your behalf.

Meraki only award this to the partner that brings the deal to them and who has offered some expertise along the way - its a way of thanking the channel by rewarding them with a little extra margin (which helps in this ultra competitive online landscape!).  Please reach out to us and we will pass this discount on to you if we can obtain it.

Remember the team at Cloudmanagedwifi are Meraki experts and this is the only networking hardware vendor we work with.  We turn around orders the same day we receive them (within minutes) and rarely experience a delay in order processing - we have the process of getting an order to ship quickly down pat.

So in summary :

  • The is NO STOCK held in USA by any reseller or distributor.
  • ALL Meraki products ship via UPS Ground from Cisco Meraki's warehouse in California directly to the shipping address in the USA.
  • Minimum delivery time to your door is 1 Day, but usually its somewhere between 2-5 days depending on where its going to in our experience.  
  • Large Deal discount pricing is available to partners that register the deal with Meraki - call us first so we can do this for you!
  • Cloudmanagedwifi are Meraki experts - this is the only networking Vendor we sell and support.

 

 

 

June 02, 2017


End of Sale - MR66 Access Point

Cisco Meraki is announcing the upcoming end-of-sale for the following products:

MODEL NUMBER DESCRIPTION MR66-HW Meraki MR66 Cloud Managed AP

The above products will be replaced with the following products, which are functionally equivalent, respectively: MODEL NUMBER DESCRIPTION MR74-HW Meraki MR74 Cloud Managed AP.

We expect to be accepting final orders for these products through June 9th, 2017. However, the final date will depend on the availability of stock and, at Cisco’s discretion, the actual end-of-sale date may be earlier than June 9th, 2017. End of support date for these products will be June 9th, 2024.

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