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Cisco Meraki in the small business

25 Jan 2014 5:45 PM -
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As our prime focus is the small business we are always looking for ways to provide big business functionality for the small business.

A quick show of hands, please: how many of you are running guest WiFi for your organization? Free WiFi is now available in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, hospital waiting rooms, and retail locations across the country. These days, customers check for — and expect — wireless access.

Cisco Meraki already provides an intuitive, easy-to-configure solution for secure guest WiFi that many customers have deployed. But what if you want to provide a more seamless sign-on experience, or increase brand exposure via your guest access deployment?

Now you can do all of this, thanks to Cisco Meraki Presence, a suite of cloud-based location analytics and engagement features which includes Cisco Meraki WiFi with Facebook Login.  This feature lets your customers connect to WiFi by checking in on Facebook, using your organization’s Facebook Page as a splash page.

Here are some benefits: first, you get access to aggregate and anonymous demographic data Facebook provides about your Page and on check-ins — statistics like the age and gender of those groups of people connecting. This helps you understand more about your audience, which can help you tailor customer experience and advertisements. For example, what if you’re a coffee shop and discover that the majority of your customers are women in their 30s? Maybe you make some changes to your coffee and food menu, or tune the type of music playing in your shops, or update the content of your Facebook Page to better suit their tastes.

When guests check in on Facebook, a story may post to their News Feed, viewable by their Facebook friends. People can see that their friend visited your location and “like” this story, thereby promoting your organization with virtual word-of-mouth recognition. And if friends of your guest are close by, they now know about your business and may decide to visit as well.

A newly introduced feature is the ability to block certain types of traffic at certain times of the day on an individual or group basis such as blocking Facebook and YouTube but prioritising video and Voice over IP.

Another newly introduced feature is the ability to assign na network tag to one or more locations to allow administrators to create logical groupings in an organisation. This allows administrators to rapidly filter through hundreds of locations and find the group of sites they are interested in. Now with reporting by tag, reports can be created on the top applications, users on a per-tag basis.

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