Cisco Meraki - San Francisco
Roughly 10 years ago, global technology leader, Cisco, acquired a San Francisco based startup known for innovating enterprise grade networking equipment from firewall to cameras and iOT sensors, Meraki. Today, Cisco employs roughly 2500 people globally including their Cisco Meraki office in San Francisco.
This past year, Cisco Meraki set out to decrease friction and increase productivity in their own offices with flexible workplace technology. We sat down with Dennis Adams, a Project Specialist for Meraki’s Digital Workplace team, to learn how they're using the Room Navigator with a custom PowerBx solution to create intuitive and smart space experiences at their San Francisco HQ.
Before the Webex Room Navigator was created, Cisco didn't use room scheduling displays to manage their spaces. Instead, they relied on booking spaces with Office 365 calendars alone. Cisco knew a dedicated room scheduling system would increase productivity, but they wanted a solution that didn’t exist yet; a room scheduling panel that directly integrated with the full Cisco technology ecosystem, gave employees more visibility into available resources, and allowed for on demand booking. So, Cisco developed their own device and the Webex Room Navigator was born.
“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.