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Meraki Unboxed Podcast

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Happy New Year! We're kicking off with something special. Holly Dowling is an Inspirational Thought Leader. She has infused her over 20 years of extensive management and leadership experience with her passion for inspiring others to discover their untapped potential and brilliance. Today we sit down with Holly and explore her secrets to untapping your potential, we explore staying connected in this virtual world, and how to create an inclusive work environment.

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Here we are at the end of 2020. This is a year we'll probably never forget, as much as might like to. In this final episode of 2020 we invite three guests from the Meraki Community to share their reflections on this crazy year, and look ahead to a new year and new projects. Thank you for listening to Meraki Unboxed in 2020. Stay safe and we'll see you back here soon!

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2020 has challenged us all in many ways, and although many aspects of our lives have been disrupted this year, our networks have kept on going and have never been a more valuable resource. Some things never change, and networks need maintaining and refreshing, even when there are practical challenges in the way. In this episode we discuss some of the dynamics around maintaining healthy networks with a special guest with many years of frontline experience, and also the product marketing lead for Meraki switches.

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Computer vision has enormous potential to help us see what's important in the world around us, without the need to be physically present. The Meraki MV Smart Camera opens the door to computer vision, especially thanks to its APIs, which allow developers to build custom applications that can exploit the camera's full abilities. One company that's done this particularly well is Everyangle, and in this episode we get into a fascinating discussion about the potential for the technology, as well as some of Everyangle's customer solutions.

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As we enter the holiday season we're reminded of the importance of giving, and giving back. Like any other company, we're part of a wider community, and Merakians are always pursuing ways to contribute to the local community, important societal causes, and raising awareness. In this episode we discuss Meraki Gives, our Employee Resource Organizations, and the timely topic of Movember! 

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Technology can only truly advance by embracing simplicity. IoT has been with us for years, yet the reality of applying IoT to business challenges too often means point solutions and complexity. That's just not the Meraki way, and so in this episode you'll hear all about how we're taking a different approach with our latest product line, sensors.

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Cisco Meraki was born in the cloud, in 2006. Since then the platform on which all Meraki products and features rests has grown beyond all recognition, and today is more capable and efficient than ever. A recent shift to an API-first strategy has set Meraki up for its next phase of growth, and also provides a wealth of opportunity to developers looking to take advantage of network programmability to build custom solutions to the world's challenges. Today's discussion covers all of this and provides pointers to how you can get started on your own Meraki Platform journey.

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This week we return to the topic of Meraki APIs, in a discussion with kontakt.io, a technology partner that has found a creative way to unite their beacons with Meraki hardware and APIs to solve some common and emerging business challenges. We also discuss the hub through which developers can share their solutions, apps.meraki.io

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We spend a lot of time talking about how Meraki products and features can solve real world challenges here on Meraki Unboxed, but we've never focused purely on the hardware. Today we're putting that right with an interview with our Head of Hardware, one of the earliest employees at Meraki, who provides some fascinating insight into what goes into developing and packaging the hardware we sell, along with some great stories from the early days of the company.

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As organizations contemplate a future with more remote working and learning, it's more important than ever to identify efficient ways to support dispersed employees and students at scale. For many years, Meraki Systems Manager has been supporting the management of up to tens of thousands of devices, regardless of their location, so it's more than up to the task at hand. In this episode we welcome back Amelie from our Product Marketing team to discuss some of the attributes and features of Systems Manager that can ease the burden of IT teams tasked with supporting large scale, and enduring, remote working and learning.

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One of the sectors to have suffered greatly in 2020 is unquestionably education. For students, faculty and staff alike, it's been an extremely trying time that has highlighted challenges with the use of technology for online learning, particularly in terms of access and, for those contemplating some form of in-person learning, safety. We are joined by two IT leaders from two large scale State Universities, for a discussion about their experiences and how they're looking ahead to the new academic year.

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Back in March, the whole team at Cisco, like so many companies around the world, migrated to working from home in response to the pandemic. It's been a turbulent time for everyone, in so many ways. What's vital for businesses everywhere is ongoing productivity, and IT is at the heart of it all in this new reality. For this episode we welcome back Ryan Ansley, our Head of IT at Meraki who joined us to share his career story in Episode 19. This time we're talking about how his team has adapted to the sudden shock back in March, both on a technical and human level.

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It's one thing to be able to work from home in the midst of a pandemic, but quite another to recreate an IT experience like being in the office. With authentication, performance and security to consider, IT teams are looking for solutions, not more headaches. In today's episode we focus on practical ways in which our teleworker appliance can transform the experience of working from home, or from anywhere!

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There's always been a case for flexible networking solutions, accommodating remote or temporary sites, and to provide backup. That case has been further strengthened by the pandemic, which has thrown up considerable productivity challenges for us all. The Meraki Cellular Gateway makes it easier to take advantage of cellular networks where regular ISP connectivity may be limited, or even to augment those with redundancy. Join us for a deep dive into the use cases and technology behind our cellular gateway.

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The FCC in the US recently announced a signifcant expansion of radio spectrum reserved for use by Wi-Fi technology. In a world filled with mobile devices and appliances, this specturm will help to ensure we can continue to enjoy good performance, with less congestion, for years to come. In today's episode we discuss the merits of Wi-Fi 6E and look forward to its adoption in the years ahead.

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The global pandemic has forced unforeseen challenges on us all. The teams at Cisco Meraki are no exception, where from early March we've all been working remotely. In this episode we're in discussion with our Support Lead for EMEA, talking about the experiences of his team in this trying time, and how they pulled together to maintain a consistent support experience for customers.

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Just a mention of the word 'troubleshooting' to a network administrator might be enough to send shivers down their spine. Everyone has a story. The truth is, troubleshooting can be a painful exercise. At Cisco Meraki we strive to make every aspect of network administration easier, and troubleshooting is at the heart of that. In today's episode we discuss new, intelligent enhancements to our suite of troubleshooting tools.

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Thoroughly securing a network involves many elements, and providing a consistent experience for users as they move between buildings and sites can create a mountain of complexity. In this episode we look at a creative solution to this challenge that we call Adaptive Policy. This feature significantly reduces the administrative overhead associated with securing a dynamic network environment.

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Version control is a fundamental component of Product Management, providing focus for development teams, and helping our customers clearly understand what versions deliver what capabilities. At Meraki we're moving to versioning for our dashboard API, and in this episode we talk to a couple of the prime movers making that happen.

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Building really large networks is far from trivial work. There are the physical considerations, especially when working across multiple locations, and then there are the protocols that enable the reliable flow of data, and finally maintaining the equipment itself. John Fuller looks after a substantial Meraki estate at a huge school district and in this episode offers some reflections on his work.

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Challenging times, and even though the whole of Cisco is working from home – as many are around the world – the show goes on, and at Meraki we're continuing to develop our products and features to help solve real-world challenges. In this episode we're in conversation with Scott Wierstra, one of our wireless product managers, learning what's happening in Wi-Fi.

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There's enormous potential for solving real world challenges using Meraki APIs. Today we're in discussion with Splash Access, who have taken full advantage of this potential to solve a common challenge in the higher education sector.

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The Meraki Security team recently joined our security-focused friends across Cisco at RSA in San Francisco. In today's episode we're talking to Rahul from the Meraki Product Management team who walks us through some of our recent security-related announcements and how we contributed to the world's number one security event.

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Ryan Ansley leads the Digital Workplace team at Cisco Meraki, and he's got a great story to tell about his journey through various IT roles in which he's provisioned, deployed, recommended and been a customer, before joining Meraki. At every stage he's experienced the benefits of a Meraki solution from a different perspective, so he was an obvious choice for a discussion on Meraki Unboxed. If you've made your career in IT, or are thinking about a career in IT, this one's for you.

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Meraki APIs provide integration with other IT tools AND the opportunity for technology partners to develop their own innovative solutions to address emerging technology challenges. Today we're in conversation with Armis, a Meraki technology partner that focuses on better security for IoT devices. Learn more about the Meraki Marketplace at https://apps.meraki.io

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It's easy to underestimate the vital role that switches perform in every network. And like every other area of the Meraki portfolio, our switches have been adding new capabilities that both simplify deployment and empower the network administrator with more granular tools than were hitherto available. Today's discussion with two esteemed Product Managers from the Meraki Switching team lifts the lid on some of these new capabilities and how they can make a difference in the real world.

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The Meraki Community gives our customers, partners and employees a place to mingle online, to share ideas, help one another, and provide feedback. As with every community, there are a few standout characters who really help to stoke discussion and contribute disproportionately to the conversation. In today's episode we bring 3 of our Community All-Stars together for some fascinating insights into their worlds and the value they derive from the Community. Check it out at https://community.meraki.com

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This week we are in discussion with Imran Idrees from Meraki Product Marketing, talking about our latest product line, the Cisco Meraki Cellular Gateway, that seamlessly transposes a wireless cellular signal to wired Ethernet for primary or failover connectivity. With the Cellular Gateway there's no longer any concern about cellular signal reach into a building, and Imran helps us understand the use cases where it will make a real difference.

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Organizations have been using device management in many different ways for many years. Sometimes it's purely for inventory, sometimes for more advanced device management. Meraki Systems Manager's integration with the rest of the Meraki portfolio presents new opportunities for integrating security measures that help to protect users' devices and the networks they connect to. In today's episode we dig into recent developments of this cloud-hosted software and how they can be implemented.

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The world of IT security never stands still, and Cisco is at the forefront of helping to protect its customers in support of a productive and healthy online experience. At Cisco Meraki we've been incubating a range of new products and software features that help lower the bar for providing a secure network and in today's episode we talk to Jeevan, our head of Product Marketing, to learn more about what we've announced.

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About Meraki Unboxed

Join @merakisimon and guests from both inside and outside Cisco Meraki for casual discussions covering the technology, people, and culture that drive the business.

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