Managing work from home and hybrid work environments has always been challenging for IT teams – even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, as large numbers of employees work from home, IT teams have to provision and manage their devices remotely – risking countless work hours and IT dollars in the process.
But imagine what’s possible if you converge IT, IoT, and physical environments, where your team is no longer chained to their desks and can work from anywhere, at any time. Now could be the perfect time to consider cloud-based IT systems for network management, Wi-Fi, and switches.
In this article, we will discuss how Cisco Meraki can enable a seamless, secure, and efficient hybrid work environment that prioritizes productivity and success for an SMB like yours. Whether your team is working from home, office, or juggling multiple sites throughout their busy day, Meraki has the tools and experience to make hybrid work a success.
Work from home
Working from home doesn’t always mean a dedicated area complete with desk, ergonomic chair, and a securely closed door. It can also mean a kitchen table, a shared countertop, or part of a bedroom. Whether deep in the country, out in the suburbs, or in the heart of the city, you can make it easier for at-home workers to get work done.
Meraki Systems Manager sets the foundation for your all-in-one mobile device management (MDM) solution. It provides an effective zero-trust security model, verifying every connection, serving as a bridge to connect network and cloud security, and providing 360-degree security for your devices (both company-supplied and bring-your-own), networks and applications. Paired with the Cisco Webex desk camera and a Cisco headset, your workspace takes up less room in shared spaces like the kitchen or a bedroom, and when you need to change locations, it’s easy to pick up and move.
And if your workers require the same level of speed, security, and reliability they get at the central office, Cisco Meraki can help you with that too. You can use a combination of Meraki Auto VPN, Meraki MX security, and a Meraki MS switch for optimal performance.
Meraki Auto VPN provides seamless connectivity and security for any worker by broking between access points in an organization, creating VPN routes, authenticating devices, and producing encryption protocols and key material automatically and securely for all employees within your organization.
Putting an MX on-site gives you the highest level of security when accessing your organization’s most confidential and sensitive data. By providing them with an SD-WAN, they have the same security as a corporate office with all the conveniences of home. Adding a Meraki MS switch will keep core home-office technologies like computers, wireless access points, and IP phones connected and secure.
Improve on-site experience
Although working in dedicated desks, conference rooms and shared workspaces may seem like an attractive option, unsecured connections, incorrect availability information, and spotty network coverage can turn this experience quite frustrating – and dangerous.
Whether your employees are working from their desks, in large multipurpose rooms, or in shared workspaces, Cisco Meraki can equip the environment with the right connection, collaboration, and communication tools to ensure the success of your hybrid work. For example, large meeting spaces must be comfortable and connected to facilitate learning, planning, and productivity for those in and outside each room’s walls. That’s why you need Wi-Fi 6E for higher speeds and capacity, more reliability, and lower latency.
The Meraki MX security and SD-WAN appliance supports on-premises unified threat management (UTM) and Cisco Umbrella cloud security. Meraki simplifies the steps your network administrator needs to deploy and manage your architecture and infrastructure, dramatically slicing away complexity, cost, and time.
For communal seating areas, the broader suite of Cisco products, including smart cameras, ecosystem partners for custom apps, and Webex tools, makes it easy for employees to find an available desk and headset and connect individual profiles to access tools and smart webcams.
And with the MX features like application-aware traffic control, content filtering, and intrusion protection, you can easily manage bandwidth and protect against digital threats. For example, you can filter non-business traffic, ban any device that’s a potential security threat, and block unauthorized personal devices from connecting to the network—and you can prioritize video conferencing traffic.
Handle workloads on the go
In today’s work settings, the role of an office has grown beyond the traditional notion of a physical space for work. Modern work dynamics actively require the employee to travel and work on the go – all while being responsive and productive. But if connectivity was ever an issue at a workspace, imagine how the situation can fare when you’re traveling, or in a public space.
As an IT leader, it’s your job to ensure that your mobile employees have the necessary technology to stay connected and collaborate – no matter where their work may lead them.
With Cisco Meraki, traveling workers can securely access company resources in hybrid cloud environments with native IPsec or Cisco AnyConnect remote client VPNs – without lugging around dedicated hardware. Using Meraki Systems Manager, you can securely onboard employee devices and quickly push out VPN configurations, application updates, and other configuration payloads at scale, from anywhere. Regardless of your path forward, Cisco offers a solution to connect all your workers—anywhere your business may take them.
Zones can help
With Cisco Meraki, businesses like yours can have all the tools they need to drive operational efficiency and free up resources, right at their fingertips. And at Zones, we’re proud to say we’re a Gold-certified Cisco partner. So if you’re looking to deploy Cisco solutions right away and begin reaping the benefits, there’s no one better positioned than us to make that happen. So, reach out! Ask us how we can serve your organization. We would love to work with you.
To learn more, connect with us. We would be happy to get you set up with all the Cisco solutions your organization needs to survive and thrive.
Get ready to unlock your team's full potential with Meraki!