Taps heft of global networking giant with secure, scalable wireless solutions
Telecom and communications company Sprint announced yesterday that it has integrated Cisco Meraki’s cloud networking technology with its converged product portfolio.
The Lowdown: Sprint Business Wi-Fi with Cisco Meraki will allow IT decision-makers to build scalable, secure corporate networks with superior visibility, officials said. A single cloud-based dashboard and Sprint point of contact will dramatically simplify network management and support. In addition, IT personnel can leverage Cisco Meraki’s portfolio to deploy advanced networking technology and security solutions – all managed via one consolidated platform.
The Details: Sprint is targeting its converged solutions, which feature a tier 1 global wireline network, IT management features, and the Curiosity IoT platform, at organizations across the board – from SMBs to enterprises in an array of vertical markets. Business Wi-Fi will include:
• Installation: domestic or international, with a wireless site survey
• Intelligent Wi-Fi: with advanced analytics and marketing tools
• Managed services: with monitoring, management, and analytics
• Security: with included firewall
• Cisco Meraki ecosystem: with access points, analytics, cloud-based dashboard, security appliances and cameras, simplified licensing, and switches
Background: Other service providers, including CenturyLink and Shaw Business, a subsidiary of Shaw Communications, have launched Meraki-powered Wi-Fi services. For its part, Shaw, a telecom serving western Canada, partnered with Cisco Meraki to create its SmartWiFi offering for SMBs. Shaw said it was drawn to Cisco Meraki’s platform because of the fast deployment, flexible management tools, and powerful analytics it offered.
In November 2012, Cisco acquired Meraki, a start-up specializing in cloud-managed IT, for about $1.2 billion. Analysts considered the price steep, but Cisco officials countered that the deal, which gave the enterprise-centric company a play in wireless networking for the midmarket, was well worth the money.
In Meraki, Cisco gained a company with strong Wi-Fi, switching, security, and mobile device management (MDM) technology – all through a centralized cloud platform. Cisco Meraki serves midmarket customers in a bevy of industries, including education, government, hospitality, manufacturing, and retail.
“Businesses today demand a superior wireless experience, but without added complexity. Cisco Meraki is thrilled to work with Sprint to bring customers a simple, powerful tool to help save time and money,” said Todd Nightingale, senior vice president and general manager at Cisco Meraki. “With the availability of the entire Cisco Meraki portfolio, customers can also trust that their network can grow and adapt as quickly as their business changes. A smarter, simpler, more secure network means customers can spend less time on maintenance and more time doing what they do best – building their business.”
“Sprint Business Wi-Fi with Cisco Meraki provides advanced analytics that enable customers to better understand network user behavior and make quick decisions that positively impact network performance and overall user experience,” said Mike Fitz, vice president of the Sprint Global Wireline Business Unit. “Integrating the Cisco Meraki offering into Sprint’s converged solutions portfolio means that businesses of all sizes can count on one team to manage turnkey, end-to-end solutions that are comprehensive and will scale to address evolving business needs.”