Cisco Meraki - San Francisco
About a decade ago, Cisco, a leading global technology company, made a significant move by acquiring Meraki, a San Francisco-based startup renowned for its innovation in enterprise-grade networking equipment, ranging from firewalls to cameras and IoT sensors. Today, Cisco boasts a workforce of approximately 2500 employees worldwide, including those stationed at the Cisco Meraki office in San Francisco.
In the past year, Cisco Meraki embarked on a mission to enhance productivity and reduce friction within their own offices through the implementation of flexible workplace technology. We had the opportunity to sit down with Dennis Adams, a Project Specialist within Meraki’s Digital Workplace team, to uncover how they are leveraging the Room Navigator alongside a customized solution from PowerBx to craft intuitive and intelligent space experiences at their San Francisco headquarters.
Before the creation of the Webex Room Navigator, Cisco didn't utilize room scheduling displays to manage their spaces. Instead, they solely relied on booking spaces with Office 365 calendars. Recognizing the potential for increased productivity, Cisco sought a dedicated room scheduling system that seamlessly integrated with the full Cisco technology ecosystem, provided employees with greater visibility into available resources, and enabled on-demand booking. Thus, Cisco developed their own device, giving birth to the Webex Room Navigator.
“Unlike existing hardware or other platforms, the Webex Room Navigator pairs directly with the Cisco Webex device in the conference room and can reflect occupancy of the room using the analytics on the device," Adams explained. “The navigator can be paired as a room scheduling device or as a control panel for the device. It ties the experience from the door to inside the room on the same platform and hardware family. It also features a web engine built in to push digital signage to the door of the room.”
However, the Room Navigator had one limitation; it was designed to mount on drywall and glass wall only. When Cisco began planning a room scheduling project for their Chicago office, they quickly realized a door mounting option was needed. That’s where leading space management solution provider, PowerBx, enters the story. Dennis reached out to their general contractor for a custom mounting bracket and their contractor recommended PowerBx.
The design process with PowerBx was easy and straightforward. Dennis shared the device, measurements, and reference photos with the PowerBx team, working with Andrew and Kyle to design and implement. PowerBx offered two design revisions, but Meraki was pleased with the first design presented. The final solution was then deployed in Chicago and expanded to their SF, San Jose, and Sydney locations with a New York deployment lined up next.
“Working with PowerBx was a really great experience,” noted Dennis, “The brackets that we made with PowerBx look super clean. They blend right in with the product and the door mount, give us a better mounting option, and hide all the cables. No issues installing the brackets from our contractor.”
Like many offices, Meraki is practicing a hybrid work model and their meeting rooms are not being utilized to full capacity yet. However, the employees and leadership onsite have found it incredibly helpful to have visibility into room availability and the ability to book conference rooms while you're standing in front of them.
“I think the idea is decreased friction and increased productivity," Dennis shared, “Spending less time looking for a room when you can see standing at the door if it's available or not. Not having to pull out your computer and book it, but to be able to just use one button to book. Also, I think delighting our customers, who are the employees, just delighting them with this new tool, this new opportunity, was something that we didn't have previously.”
When asked for final thoughts, Dennis said “I would definitely come back to PowerBx for any custom bracket mounting needs. Working with PowerBx was super collaborative, but it was not a whole lot of collaboration because you guys just nailed it on the first round. The initial call was very collaborative, but from there the design was spot on. The bracket offered us flexibility where we didn't have it with the existing solution.”
Dennis Adams is originally from Texas. He studied at the University of Oklahoma before making his way west to San Francisco in 2007. As a Project Specialist, Dennis is responsible for deploying and managing workplace technology and AV solutions for Meraki's global offices. Before joining Meraki in 2017, he worked as a performing artist with ODC Dance.
Cisco Meraki is the leader in secure and scalable cloud controlled Wi-Fi, routing, and security. Click here to learn more about Cisco Meraki.