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Is Meraki Compliant for Schools?

Below is a transcript from a recent Cisco Meraki webinar that reviewed the 2015 changes to E-Rate funding for schools. This part of the webinar reviews how Cisco Meraki is compliant, scaleable, and reliable.

This solution is fully CIPA, HIPAA, which is a healthcare electronic records compliance, as well as PCI compliant. In fact, Meraki is Level 1 PCI certified. We also run third-party security audits, as well as daily penetration testing to ensure the security. We also have automatic firmware and security updates that you can schedule at a time that’s convenient for you. I’ll talk more about those firmware and security updates in just a moment.

It’s also highly scalable. A lot of times with traditional solutions, you run into the situation where you need to expand your network. One of the things that’s happening with education more and more is that you have different types of learning environments in different locations that you had not previously anticipated. With an on-premise solution, or with other solutions, you actually have to have a WAN controller on-site. And as soon as you hit the limit for that WAN controller, then you have to purchase another WAN controller if you want to add capacity in your network. In Meraki, all you need to do is simply deploy an extra access point.

The controller is the cloud itself. You simply deploy the access point and you’ve instantly created a new learning environment for your students. It can be in an outdoor area where you want to study the scientific aspects of nature. It can be in an auditorium, if you want to gather a lot of students together to have joint conversation or one of those international video streamings. You can simply create learning spaces where there were none prior. And adding those devices is done in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is simply add the device to your cloud controller, to dashboard, and it instantly becomes part of your network, downloading the configurations instantly, integrating seamlessly into the rest of your network.

It’s also highly reliable. We have data centers around the world. If, for some reason, one data center should go down, it will automatically fail over to the next data center. We actually have a 99.99% up-time SLA. And for any other curiosities or information that you want to satisfy, we have an entire section of our website dedicated to it at Meraki.Cisco.com/trust.

One thing that I do want to draw your focus to, is the fact that Cisco Meraki is eligible for E-rate. At this time, because the final eligible services list has not been released by the FCC, we cannot say with certainty that we are 100% eligible, but as soon as that comes out, we will be able to provide you with updated information. I highly recommend that you check out our blog and keep checking in there; Meraki.Cisco.com/blog. I’ll be writing posts as new information becomes available to let you know just how much eligibility that Cisco Meraki has. We anticipate there being full eligibility, but as I said, cannot say anything until the eligible services list comes out.

This eligibility extends from all of our hardware equipment; the wireless access points, the switches, the security appliances. And it also extends to our licensing. So, when you purchase Cisco Meraki devices you have two line items; you have the device itself; the hardware, as well as the licensing. And that’s it. Both of those items are eligible for E-rate.

One thing I do want to note here, give me one quick moment, is the fact that we are a completely future-proofed solution. What this means is that when you do purchase Cisco Meraki devices, as I mentioned, you purchase the license as well as the hardware. And that license includes all upcoming feature releases. We have quarterly feature releases that include random things like updates, as well as new features. Whether you purchased Meraki devices yesterday, one year ago, tomorrow, or a year from now, you will continue to benefit from these feature releases. That is something that is extraordinarily important, especially for E-rate customers. When you’re purchasing devices, you going to be holding onto those devices for a minimum of 5 years, because that’s how long this funding period lasts. So you need to make sure that your network is always staying as up-to-date as possible.

With Cisco Meraki, since it’s cloud-based, every time a new feature becomes available, it will automatically be pushed down to your network. You can schedule these updates to happen whenever you like; whatever is convenient for you. So, if you want it to happen on a Saturday evening, or Saturday morning at two in the morning when nobody is on your network, and therefore no one will be disturbed, you can definitely do that. You can also choose to delay updates as needed, depending on what your needs are. As I mentioned, this is all included in your licensing, so you don’t have to pay anything extra for these ongoing feature releases. Any time our engineers come up with a new idea, they want all of our customers to benefit from that.

At the bottom of the screen, you see some of the different feature releases that we’ve had over past years. Things like user and device fingerprinting, intrusion detection and prevention updates, mobile application deployments, location analytics, Layer 3 static routing, WAN optimization. The possibilities really are endless. As our engineers come up with new things, they will release them to you. On all of our dashboard pages, we have a feature that says, “I wish this page would.” That input, by you, goes straight to our engineers. So if there is a feature that we don’t have, that you think would be valuable, you type it into that box, and it instantly gets sent over to our engineers, and they take it into consideration. That’s how we develop these different applications.

Our main goal here at Meraki is to make sure that our system is operating in an ideal way for our customers. We don’t want to think that we know how you operate. We want to know from you, how you operate and what your needs are. So that’s how these different types of features get developed, and what allows us to have this future-proofed solution.

IT Professionals Receive a Free AP

Want to learn more about Cisco Meraki and the opportunity to receive a free Meraki access point? Sign up for our free webinar,that includes a live demo of the Meraki Dashboard and how it works.

* To be eligible for a free access point, participants must be an IT professional. Existing Meraki customers are not eligible. Limit of one free AP per company. For more details, click here.

Posted in Cisco Meraki, E-Rate

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