By R2 Unified Technologies
With every franchise expansion, the pressure on IT resource increases. Administrations costs double, business and user needs increase in complexity, and security becomes even more unpredictable. Yet, organizations cannot operate without networking; every operation and customer interaction relies on it. So, what's the best recommendation for a company with multiple locations or branches to manage?
Enterprise based networking is the answer. Specifically, Meraki, a leading cloud network provider. From reducing the management burden of IT infrastructure to optimizing your connectivity speed and network security, Meraki is the preferred IT solution for organizations like auto dealerships, multi-site retail locations, and franchise retail stores who need centralized IT management and/or oversight from a parent company.
The Meraki cloud network is built for performance, visibility, and simplicity. Here are the 10 compelling reasons to use Meraki for branch management.
1. Enhanced security
Today, the functions of an IT manager can be unbearably taxing, given the complex business and user needs on networks. With the rising level of data breaches, enterprises are kept on edge, trying to bolster data security. Implementing multi-layered security protections complete with real-time monitoring and incident response is a costly affair. It may require the outsourcing of IT.
Meraki makes it easy; no outsourcing needed. The management of your networking solutions is in a central place. From a single dashboard on a web browser, you will be able to monitor application usage and enforce security controls.
Better still, the Meraki network comes pre-installed with Cisco's latest security tools, including anti-malware, access authentication protocols, and firewalls. No threat can pass through.
2. Reduced IT responsibilities
Enterprise networking lets your business reap the benefits of automation and white-glove vendor support. The experts over at Meraki will do most of your IT work, enabling your team to focus on accomplishing your mission-critical goals.
Some of the functions Meraki will take off your hands include bandwidth and traffic prioritization, device connection, and access management. Your business software and Operating Systems are rolled out automatically. Application performance is similarly monitored in real-time and optimized for all your business devices in all locations.
3. Standardization of technology
Cloud networking opens the door for seamlessness, simplicity, and synchronicity in your dealership sites. Maybe, your internal IT team often has to work double when handling device management, traffic prioritization, and switching in your various branches. It's likely that each of your sites has a different interface, and that seamless communication and data transfer are hard to achieve.
You can rest change that with Meraki. You get a single management interface for your networks. Your devices communicate with each other in the same place. Your IT team gets increased visibility into your connectivity speed and performance in all branches, device behavior, and security concerns. No more downtimes or an overtaxed IT department.
4. Easy mobility and enhanced customer experience
Mobile connectivity is a new trait for both customers and employees. Businesses that accommodate a mobile workforce have an edge over those stuck with legacy desktop systems. With Meraki Enterprise Networking, wherever your workers are in the world, they will be able to submit reports, close deals, and do much more.
Remember, too, that today the purchasing force for all commodities from consumable to automotive rests with the digital natives. As car buying behaviors follow in the footsteps of Amazon, enterprise networking can help you create an omnichannel customer experience.
From the moment they start their research, visit your outlet, and select cars, Meraki has every solution to improve the customer experience. It begins with fast and reliable connectivity, customer preference data measurement, in-store messaging, and possibilities for reality augmentation. The Meraki ecosystem similarly supports long-term customer relationships over the life of the vehicle and beyond.
5. Lower cost of ownership
Maintaining a cutting edge IT infrastructure for each of your branches can turn out to be financially infeasible. Car dealerships are competing to drive out these costs through the adoption of cloud-managed networks. Meraki is the leading provider.
Think about the initial cost of your hardware and software plus the servicing and maintenance they will require through the years. Meraki network management and tools have an advantage; they are all maintained by the provider.
Better still, you can maintain a lean headcount. With the simplified multi-site management on a single platform, one IT specialist can manage several branches.
6. Re-imagined visibility
Meraki is the ideal technology approach for businesses that have multiple locations mainly because visibility and performance metrics are integrated into the solution. Switching to Meraki Enterprise Network allows your sites to have the data they need for customer transactions, business communication, and remediate actions.
From a single dashboard on a standard web browser, you will have access to the performance and health metrics of your wireless connectivity and application transactions. You can easily create and update IT policies, prioritize traffic, and determine failover criteria.
7. Access to a full set of features for your branches
The Meraki networking solution and its products come with a complete set of features for your business. There is no additional software to download. Likewise, no extra hardware is needed to leverage the Meraki advantage.
Through cloud management, Meraki ensures that its technology solutions remain efficient to give you a competitive edge. There is even a 'Make a Wish' feature on the Meraki dashboard that allows you to request custom network/solution changes based on your business's needs.
8. Troubleshooting made easy
Network administration and troubleshooting for franchises require a corps d'elite IT team with several data collection and analytics solutions. Meraki simplifies the troubleshooting process by giving your team total visibility into the infrastructure layout. The solution enables remote running of cable tests, access point troubleshooting, or cycling of ports; all these can be done from the headquarters without IT having to be on site at the branches.
Meraki loves alerts and analytics. Your small in-house IT team will get instant alerts whenever there is a network issue. You can similarly track the performance of your access points and identify and diagnose problems before they cause a crippling downtime.
9. Disaster proof networks
Contingency planning in IT infrastructure is a costly undertaking. Meraki makes it easy to plan for disaster recovery and failover. The system features built-in tolerance and automated failover processes for your site-to-site connectivity. Meraki's VPN connections, multiple data centers, and software-defined wide area network technology make it the most reliable and agile cloud network.
10. Easy to set up
Meraki networking solutions are plug and play. Perhaps your IT team usually has to do a painstaking installation process for your network infrastructure. Meraki solves such frustrations with its zero-touch provisioning. For your access points, video cameras, or VoIP phones, you can pre-configure them before they arrive on site.
Once the devices get to you, configurations instantly download when you plug them. Through virtual stacking, your team at headquarters can bulk-configure ports on network switches in branches all across the world.
Your Life Made Simple
Cranky old IT infrastructures cannot keep up with the challenging demands of the modern business environment. A single security incidence or downtime means staggering losses for your business. The Meraki cloud-managed network and IT solutions deliver the speed, reliability, and security needed for companies that operate in multiple sites.
Everything is managed on the cloud, thus reducing the network administration burden and costs when it comes to data protection, performance optimization, and bandwidth prioritization, among other functions.
With its additional features like mobility and location analytics, it's possible to steer an enjoyable customer journey at each of your auto dealership branches. Ready to try it? Schedule a demo now to get started.