E-Rate Funding for Schools: Oakland Unified School District

This is the final part in our transcript series from the Meraki webinar on E-Rate funding. This part reviews how the Oakland Unified School District used e-rate funding for their Meraki purchase.

E-Rate Funding for School Districts

I’m going to switch back over to our PowerPoint here. I do want to highlight Oakland Unified School District. They used E-rate funding in the 2014 year to purchase over 300 Meraki 802.11ac access points. They use these access points to support their high speed Wi-Fi needs. They are using the high-density access points to support testing. They are using these access points to support their Common Core testing and they have over 10,000 devices on their network at any given time. After they deployed these access points, you can see in the quote that they roughly doubled their end-user computing devices. And they’ve had no issues, whatsoever. They didn’t have to hire any additional person into their IT department to manage this infrastructure.

They were able to use the different features that we covered in the demo to segment their SSIDs with firewall rules, depending on the devices and user needs. They have the features like Automatic RF optimization that’s built right in to the access points to make sure that their network is always optimized, depending on what’s going on the network. It can be very challenging when you have so many different end-user devices operating in a closed environment like that. With Automatic RF optimization, it’s continually scanning and making sure that it’s performing at its optimal abilities.

I want to take a moment to cover our different product families. We have six different models in our MR wireless access points, including indoor and outdoor models. They include the features that we saw in the demo; things like application traffic shaping, guest access, wireless intrusion detection and prevention, as well as mesh routing. If for some reason an access point should go down, it will automatically drop into a mesh, and mesh with its neighboring access points. As I said, we have indoor and outdoor models which are rugged-ized so they handle the elements if you want to deploy them in an outdoor learning environment. We have a lifetime warranty on the indoor access points, as well.

Our security appliances; again, we have six different models ranging from an MX60 at the top of the stack, all the way down to the MX600 at the bottom of the stack. That can scale to the small branch location, all the way out to your large district or campus deployments. Again, they have features like WAN optimization, content filtering, WAN link bonding, etc.

In terms of our access switches and aggregation switches, we have 8, 24 and 48-port models in access and aggregation models, depending on what your needs are and what your deployment looks like. They have that virtual stacking, the voice and video QoS, PoE and PoE+ available on all ports, as well some great live tools that I didn’t get to show you due to time; things like remote packet capture and cable testing and things like that.

Last, we have Systems Manager, which is our Mobile Device Management platform. Again, this is 100% free for Systems Manager Standard which includes things like centralized app deployment, device security, enterprise connectivity, asset management and things like that. We also now have a paid version, Systems Manager Enterprise which includes, as I said, a lot of that network integration, Active Directory integration. We support models like iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, as well as Windows phones and Samsung KNOX.

I do recommend that you try out Cisco Meraki in your environment. We offer free evaluation units on all of our different products. We will pay for shipping to you as well as back to us. We also provide complementary technical support to get you up and running, trying out different configurations to figure out what suits your needs. I definitely recommend that you give the evaluation units a try. As I said, it’s completely risk-free, just send the unit back at the end of your evaluation process.

Those are all of the slides that I had prepared for today’s webinar. I do want to emphasize one quick point before looking at some of the questions that Gina has furiously been answering.

That’s the idea to make sure that during the E-rate process, you are very diligent on how you’re interacting with your partners, and the RFP process, and things like that. You want to make sure that your partners are not going to be writing your real or sample bids for you. They’re not going to be assisting in your selection process or interfering with your competitive bids, things like that. It’s more or less common sense, but I do want to make sure that you don’t, by any accident, put your E-rate funding in jeopardy.

That concludes sharing the transcript from the Cisco Meraki webinar on E-Rate funding. You can receive a free Meraki AP by attending a webinar. Click here to sign up now.

Posted in Cisco Meraki, E-Rate

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