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Ian Thompson

Meraki: The Gift that Keeps Giving

With the holiday season in full swing, there’s one thing we have noticed about our days—they seem shorter and more jam-packed with tasks, follow-ups and obligations than ever. With end of year reviews, 2018 planning and charitable giving added to our lists, that 4pm onset of dusk seems to creep up earlier and earlier. Time, (if they sold it on Amazon) would be at the top of each of our holiday gift lists. Imagine what you could do with three extra hours in each day!

While visions of completed to-do lists and clear email inboxes dance through our heads, we’re working to appreciate the solutions that do give us back our precious time through ease of use, simplicity and powerful technology. Meraki immediately comes to mind—it’s the networking gift that keeps giving.

What is so special about Meraki?

We know that developing a networking solution that includes all (or even most) of the newest and latest technologies can be daunting—and most importantly can take up a lot of valuable time. We know that your time could be spent working on product or developing other aspects of your business. Meraki simplifies that set up and management process and ‘gifts’ you back something incredibly valuable, the hours you would have spent dealing with IT issues. No need to pick and choose which new technologies you can manage, no need to move your desk to the server closet. The developers at Meraki work to create something very powerful and effective without it being too complex and unachievable. That’s their gift to you and your customers and there’s no need to exchange for a different size. Meraki’s ‘360’ business coverage includes switching, security, mobile management, extended communications and more.

Meraki at work in the retail industry 

Every industry has an interest in saving time and simplifying, but not all have as deep a vested interest in customer experience like that of the retail industry. Retail is a tough vertical. Everyone is fighting for customer attention and that is the constant focus. Retailers who don’t use Meraki spend too much time and money focusing on configuration, troubleshooting, deployment, and monitoring and not enough time and resources on their customers. Meraki’s offerings immediately enhance customer experience while also lowering operational costs. 

By using Meraki a user can immediately create a better experience for their customers. The most obvious benefit is a better WiFi experience but they can also supply customers with a better shopping experience. In-store guest WiFi drives time spent in store and allows customers to use custom web apps to shop, create designs, research and check-out all leading to increases overall sales for the user. Meraki is a complete solution meaning retailers can implement a full end-to-end solution including phones and surveillance cameras using a single vendor. Why shop around? 

Case studies even show nationwide deployment being completed in less than one month without specialized on-site IT staff. Features like guest WiFi, inventory management, mobile point of sale, dynamic retail analytics and cloud managed networking make Meraki a one-stop shop—something we’re betting you wish applied to your holiday shopping list too.

Our favorite feature for retailers?

We have two. The Meraki MV cloud managed camera is a very unique product for Cisco. This is not simply a surveillance camera but also can be used for process and employee monitoring. The camera was built for customer facing retail environments but is a great fit in the warehouse and distribution centers as well. The camera is also Meraki’s fastest growing product launch to date. Motion search and onboard storage are two of the best features. They lead to less DVR boxes stored and less time watching hours of endless footage looking for a certain event. See the Meraki MV camera in action at Noosa Yoghurt.

Second, we believe that the Meraki Dashboard is the special sauce. It gives the users the ability to focus on what really matters: driving business. They do not have to spend time, money, and other resources on configuration and troubleshooting. Those resources can be better utilized driving innovative business initiatives. The Meraki Dashboard is a solution not just a feature. While using the built-in location analytics and other APIs, users can use Meraki as a tool to actually grow their business. 

There you have it, our gift to you not only saves you money but also saves you valuable time and allows you to help your customers grow their businesses in ways they never imagined. Add Meraki to your list this year and get in touch with the ScanSource KBZ team for a comprehensive walkthrough the full solution. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that you enjoy the gift of time we will provide through Meraki’s simple platform. What were you expecting, a tin of popcorn?