Hybrid Work Environments: Get your networks ready for the next challenge

More and more businesses have decided to embrace the long-lasting “Hybrid working model” – a new model of working that combines remote work with office work.

For this model to work out, companies must ensure their remote workers can get a consistent and performant, enterprise-grade work experience regardless of where they are. This brings new challenges for IT teams, who are responsible to build, deploy and maintain a hybrid workforce strategy.

The Cisco Meraki and Boundless Digital technology helps IT leaders create a network infrastructure that is ready to take on this challenge. Using the Meraki cloud-first, API-driven platform together with the Boundless Apps, you can streamline IT processes and create an “Hybrid Work” environment that is seamless, flexible and easy to manage and grow.

Cisco Meraki + Boundless Apps: A winning combination for Hybrid Work Environments

The Cisco Meraki dashboard is the foundation that enables business to create and maintain a performant “hybrid workforce” environment. For those customers willing to go the extra mile, Cisco Meraki provides a broad ecosystem of applications that expand Meraki capabilities and that includes the Boundless Apps.

While using Cisco Meraki technology helps IT teams simplify the deployment and management of your network infrastructure, as new co-workers come, and go your workload can still drastically increase. New networks need to be created, devices must be provisioned, and the complexity of the network doesn’t cease to increase.

How can you efficiently manage your Meraki network infrastructure as it grows, and avoid compromising your teams agility and capacity to react? The Boundless Platform can help IT leaders like you do just that.

Woman working from home

The Boundless Platform comprises a range of turnkey network management applications powered by the Cisco Meraki API.

These seamlessly integrates with your Meraki Dashboard so that you can benefit from all the benefits of automating your network operations easily and without headaches.

From hours to minutes: Cut down the deployment time

The Boundless Deployment App helps modern businesses launch hundreds and even thousands of networks consistently in just a matter of minutes.

It includes the Batch Network Creator, a built-in tool that lets you deploy multiple sites in Meraki and provision your network devices in just a few clicks.

How it works

The process is extremely simple, and should take you a few minutes. 

You first need to create a CSV file with all of the parameters for your network, such as tags, device, and templates — as you may normally do.

Then, you upload this file to the Boundless Deployment and define your own custom workflow for creating your new networks.

Once executed, your networks will be automatically deployed within your Meraki organization.

As a result, you can streamline the deployment process, saving hours of grunt work and getting your devices consistently configured.

And because you reduce accidental errors, this means that you can expect a lot less unplanned downtime for your networks, and resolve issues much more quickly.

Stay in control of your network

One particularity of “Hybrid Work” environments is the high quantity of networks and connected devices. When you have to manage a wide number of central and remote WLAN networks, enforcing configuration policies, provisioning devices, and keeping track of all connected client of all connected clients becomes a real burden. 

Whether you have to quickly push a new configuration setting across multiple sites, audit your networks to ensure your compliance policies are consistently enforced, or find a specific device across your whole organization, if you have to do any of these tasks manually, you’ll probably waste a lot of valuable time.

Since you certainly have better things to do, we’ve created the Boundless Automation App to help you do the most out of your time

Boundless Automation a network automation application that helps you manage complex infrastructures in Meraki, such as Hybrid Work environments, at scale.

How it works

When managing a large number of hybrid sites, the first thing you may want to do is to ensure each one of your networks is correctly configured, following the settings dictated by your company policies. However, configuration policies may vary depending on the nature of the network and its purpose, therefore making it difficult to run a successful audit. 

To help you simplify this process, the Audit and Compliance Tool allows you to create configuration design templates and compare them against a handful of networks with the click of a button.

Let’s say you want to ensure your L3 and L7 rules are consistently applied to all your HQ MXs, but not to the home office sites. 

In this case, you just need to create a new Security Rule Set, enter the configuration settings that should apply, and select the group of networks you want to audit.

Now that you have audited your networks, you realize that 47 of them aren’t compliant with your policies. You therefore need to make sure the configuration of these site is rapidly updated to avoid any potential incident.

For that, you can use the FlexTemplates, another tool included in Boundless Automation, which will allow you to push out changes to multiple networks in one go and without having to bind your sites to any Meraki Configuration Templates.

Audit the configuration of your Meraki networks and receive alerts

Once your networks are standardized and in compliance with your policies, you may want to move on to the next task: finding how many devices are going end of service in the next few months. 

For this task, you can use the Monitoring feature, which allows you to retrieve all of the client information from your Meraki organization and get a list of all of the devices that have connected to your site on one centralized screen.

You can use the search bar and advanced filters to narrow down your research by MAC address, IP address, or tags. You can also filter a client device research using other parameters such as switch port, VLAN, or SSID, to name a few.

As a result, you can quickly track down which devices are connected to your sites, filter them and run more advanced searches, hence improving your efficiency and productivity.

Conclusion

Hybrid Work models will be the future of many companies worldwide. But to ensure this model continues working out in the long-run, business must consider the implications it may have from an IT perspective, and get the right tools to support the new challenges to come.

Empowering your Cisco Meraki infrastructure with the Boundless Apps can help your business take the leap towards a Hybrid Work model, without risking to overload your IT staff or compromising their capabilities.

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