Meraki MS Switches Review

Web-based management with everything in a single dashboard, but it is expensive and the registration process needs to be streamlined

What is our primary use case?

We are using these switches to provide internet access to our users. They connect the access points.

What is most valuable?

The dashboard and the interface, in general, are good features. We can work globally and anybody can log in from our web-based console to use it. Everything from switches to access points can be used from a single dashboard.

What needs improvement?

We had some dashboard licensing issues, maybe because their method of collecting data from the user needs to be more streamlined. It seems that they have collected information from the vendor, but perhaps there is not a proper SOP regarding this.

They collected some vague information that was registered and when it came to us, we found out that they didn't use our proper email address. As a result, licensing became an issue. It was only resolved after we contacted them and changed the details of the registration. Consequently, there was a long delay before we started using it.

When I registered the system in India, there was no problem. However, in the UAE, the vendors were not collecting and properly verifying the details. The need to streamline the licensing data collection process to fix this.

As a manufacturer, or OEM, they might be doing their part correctly, but the vendors might be losing the data. So, they need to be strict on their vendors to collect the information properly. Or, they need to at least contact the people, the end-users, and verify that it is correct. As it is now, they just depend on the vendors' data. Before they register it, they need to contact the customer directly with the data and verify it. Ideally, some kind of SOP should be there.

With no SOP in place, the question becomes one of what happens when Cisco takes the data from the vendor and registers the product, but doesn't verify it by contacting the customer. This can happen in cases where the vendor is in a hurry to sell the product. In fact, they might fill in bogus data and give it to Cisco. Then, once the customer gets the product and starts to configure it, they get the licensing issue like we did, which is the first step in the process. The fails only because the data given by the vendor is wrong, and it's not the fault of the customer.

If instead, Cisco verified the details with the customer again, once they receive the data, it would be better. As I suggest this, it might seem like a slow process, but in today's world, it is not. They can contact the customer directly, using the provided email or mobile number. They can call them, verify the details, and it will be good for both Cisco and the customer.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Meraki MS Switches for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty stable so far, but we really only just started using it so I may have more comments in another year or so.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is something that we'll determine in the long term. At this time, we have between 30 and 50 users. It can scale up to 60.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not yet dealt with technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we used MR access points and we liked the user interface. We wanted to extend that to our switches. At the time, the switches were web-managed but they were not under the same dashboard. Switching to Cisco and Meraki brought everything together, from switches to access points, into a single dashboard.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in the installation and found that it was straightforward. The deployment took between one and a half and two hours, although we still had the problem with the licensing. That was a long wait.

What about the implementation team?

Our deployment team consisted of three people. There was one person on-site, another in India, and one in the UK.

We are just about to do some configuration with these switches.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product is quite expensive. The vendor might be cashing in on the dashboard because it's attractive, and nobody else is providing such a sophisticated dashboard. It has the IP, switches, routers, security cameras, and everything else included in one place. So, while the product is expensive, the features they provide are unmatchable.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I recommend for others.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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