Flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt is a key factor in the success of small to medium enterprises (SMEs). The UK business landscape is made up of a huge number of these companies, and so it’s of the utmost importance that they keep up to date with the latest developments in technology in order to maintain a competitive edge.
Having the right tech in place for the right price can have a hugely positively impact on some of the most common pain points that these SMEs face, allowing them to boost productivity and increase security, while also reducing complexity and costs. That’s where tools such as Meraki, from Cisco, make a difference.
The challenges faced in digital transformation
In order to understand the value of Meraki, it’s important to first look at the biggest challenges faced by SMEs during the digital transformation process:
Lack of resources
The lack of IT resources and high costs of implementing new IT infrastructure is often a barrier to digital transformation
Data security and privacy
Digitalisation generally means that more devices are suddenly connected to the network, which naturally raises concerns about network security and keeping private data safe.
Legacy structures and procedures
It can be difficult to progress past deep-rooted company structures and existing processes. In order to successfully scale networks however, these legacy systems need to be moved past.
Why choose Meraki
The challenges laid out above may look daunting, but in reality, systems such as Meraki have been designed to tackle these issues head on.
For example, automatic updates act alongside Meraki’s MX Security to enhance data safety, while privacy is bolstered by the use of European data centres.
Meraki networks can be deployed and scaled over a few short hours, allowing for a smooth transition. What’s more, Cisco have designed their tool to be both comprehensive and simple to use, making installation, configuration, and ongoing licensing as stress-free an experience as possible. In fact, operational expenditure has been shown to make savings of up to 90% in some cases thanks to Meraki.
As Meraki is entirely cloud-based, it is possible to manage the whole network from a central dashboard on any of your devices, be it a PC, laptop, tablet or phone. Because of this flexibiliy and focus on security, Meraki is currently used in sectors such as education, manufacturing, hospitality, as well as being an enabler for enterprise mobility management across other industries.
What are the key features of Meraki?
Meraki operates with the remit of providing powerful control with simple tools, allowing teams to maximise productivity in order to transform the business by providing the necessary tools, or freeing it of cumbersome and inefficient legacy systems.
These are the features that set Meraki apart:
- Automatic updates – Vital to the continuing security of your network, firmware updates can be installed automatically or even scheduled. With scheduling, you create an update window for each subsequent update to be processed that suits your business. For example, if you set updates to install overnight then they will be ready and waiting for you the next day.
- Automatic network mapping – The Meraki dashboard will automatically create a dynamic topology map of your networks, removing the need for other, outdated, mapping services.
- Replicable configurations – With just a few clicks you can replicate the configuration of your network and apply it a secondary site. This is especially useful for scaling businesses who are looking to open offices in new territories and want the operation to be as smooth as possible.
- Secure site-to-site and AutoVPN – Sites and preferred connectivity are easily configured, while AutoVPN builds secure Ipsec tunnels without the need for specialist Ipsec knowledge.
- Application level traffic visibility – Devices operating with Meraki have the ability to filter and report traffic based on application level (or Layer 7). With these reports, you can create specific ruled based on domain names, blocking them or limiting speed.
- Intelligent WAN traffic optimisation – Internet uplinks can be selected based online performance. Traffic classes can have different preferred paths and quality of service.
- Virtual stacking – Virtual stacking across all Meraki switches mean that you can manage all switchports from one central control, reducing to configuration effort.
- Easy management of endpoints – Meraki’s Systems Manager allows you to control applications across multiple devices, such as tablets, phones and computers both inside and outside the office. What’s more, you can enable push configuration changes, allowing for remote access actions such as wiping stolen devices.
Cisco Meraki provides a comprehensive, yet easy to implement and manage set of tools that allow SMEs and growing businesses to harness the power of digital transformation. With Meraki, it’s easier than ever to apply scaling capabilities and enhanced security that can lead to future success to businesses.