Cisco Extends Meraki Cloud to the Enterprise

Vendor introduces a cloud-based telephone product and services in the Meraki line, as a step in its transformation to a cloud company.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

May 24, 2016

2 Min Read
Cisco Extends Meraki Cloud to the Enterprise

Meraki, which started out delivering cloud-based WiFi management, is becoming a linchpin of Cisco's future cloud strategy. The company is taking a step Tuesday to extend Meraki's reach, introducing a new cloud-based telephony product and services.

Founded in 2006 as an independent company providing cloud-managed WiFi, Meraki was acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) in late 2012. Since then, Cisco has broadened Meraki to mobility management. The long-term vision is to transform Meraki into a platform for cloud-managed IT, transitioning Cisco's revenue from product sales to recurring subscriptions. Meraki has gone from 15,000 customers at the time of acquisition to more than 120,000 today, Pablo Estradi, Meraki director of marketing, tells Light Reading. (See Cisco Looks to Beat White Boxes Where They're Strongest and Cisco Builds Its House on the Cloud.)

Jasper Technologies, a cloud-based IoT management company, is another driver of Cisco's strategic shift. Cisco acquired Jasper for $1.4 billion in February. (See Cisco Looks to Jasper Acquisition to Transform Enterprises – & Itself.)

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On Tuesday, Cisco introduced a new Meraki cloud-based phone system. Of course, Cisco already has a telephony line, but the new line is designed specifically to be managed in the cloud by Meraki, for ease of deployment, monitoring and management, with integration into Cisco's Spark collaborative software and services.

Available immediately, the hardware device lists at $599 for a desk phone with a full high-resolution touchscreen display with handset. Meraki also provides a cloud license for management and control, as well as SIPP services from IntelePeer Inc. in the US, with international partners rolling out worldwide.

Cisco is also introducing new WiFi access points with support for the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard for greater device density, and, to connect those APs to the physical network, all-fiber aggregation switches.

— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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