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WATCH: Cisco Meraki GM Discusses What’s Changed Since Its Purchase

Cisco Meraki General Manager Todd Nightingale says Cisco’s acquisition has given them power. Nightingale discusses the biggest changes ahead of the six year anniversary of their purchase.

December will mark six years since Cisco’s $1.2 billion bet on the wireless networking startup Meraki, an acquisition that allowed Cisco to tap into the small-to-mid-sized company market with a simple cloud strategy. As for Meraki’s benefit? Power.

“Cisco really builds the most powerful components in the world. We were able to leverage its intellectual portfolio and really drive power into our products,” said Cisco Meraki General Manager Todd Nightingale in an interview with CRNtv. “We launched ultra-high density Wi-Fi, stackable switching, fiber and all of this stuff, so that we could make the most powerful technology on the market simple.”

Meraki offers SD-WAN capabilities and unified management of cloud resources, mobile devices, PCs and other networked components from a centralized dashboard. Nightingale says Meraki’s cloud architecture has given the company an enormous data set, which has allowed Meraki to gain valuable insight into how its products are being used. With Cisco’s help, Meraki is now investing heavily in AI and machine learning. Latest advancements include performance management products like Meraki Wireless Health and Meraki Insight. Meraki Insight is designed for WAN and application performance.

“There’s a lot of AI research being done at Cisco across the board we can leverage, but really across the industry and academia that we are able to pull into the portfolio and build a simple solution for real problems, like understanding how many people are coming through your facility, if people are by the register or by the desk. We can get that information by people counting and analytics off the system easily and in a straightforward way, using motion search, using WIFI analytics in order to make everything simpler,” said Nightingale. “When you take this new technology like AI it needs an application and for us that application is simplicity, simplicity in IT.”

Simplicity is at the core of Meraki’s mission and that hasn’t changed since joining Cisco. Nightingale says the company achieves that by focusing on problems – not technology.

For more of CRNtv’s interview with Nightingale, watch the video included in this article.

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