How Cisco Meraki Enabled a 2-Person IT Team to Manage Security Technologies of Over 200 Stores Nationwide
Stratus Information Systems, a certified Meraki consultant, played an instrumental role in the planning, deploying, and implementing a centralized IT management system for one of the country’s largest independent retailers.
We modernized MobileOne’s in-store security and surveillance systems, befitting the company’s status as a top retailer of one of the country’s leading telecommunications brands.
MobileOne is one of the biggest T-Mobile retailers, with over 200 locations in 14 states. Each retail store follows precise specifications for floor layouts, inventory displays, and even video camera placements.
MobileOne used a legacy system of network video recorders (NVRs) for each of its branches. While these systems served the company well for many years, they’ve become sorely outdated in the face of current trends for security technologies and increasing demand for greater flexibility, remote management, and centralization of in-store video cameras and security systems
By replacing these old camera systems with Cisco Meraki solutions, MobileOne gained a modern security and IT system that can save the company $500,000 over the next five years.
Legacy surveillance systems with dated cameras and limited functionality have become inefficient and a burden for organizations.
Kade Clifton, MobileOne’s IT Manager since 2020, faced the challenge of updating the company’s aging NVR systems with something more robust and cost-effective that could support the company’s aggressive expansion plans following its acquisition of seven retail dealers in 2020 (which grew the company’s locations to more than 300 at one point).
Here were the main concerns with the company’s legacy security systems:
- Network ports for each location must be manually configured through a firewall, and the IP addresses individually encoded into the regional managers’ phones so they can review footage from one of their stores remotely.
- The risk of video footage becoming corrupted or deleted if someone disabled an on-site NVR.
- Store and regional managers had to assign staff to monitor cameras and security systems constantly.
- Troubleshooting cameras and other devices had to be done manually in-store. If a branch didn’t have an individual who is experienced in NVR or able to troubleshoot a malfunctioning camera, that store could run the risk of operating with insufficient surveillance coverage.
- The company rented the NVR devices installed across their 1,000+ locations, and these ongoing costs proved expensive given the devices’ limited and fast-aging functionality.
- Whenever a new location opens, a new network must be added to the IT manager’s already long list of networks to oversee in a limited capacity.
With his previous experience deploying Cisco Meraki products for school campuses, Clifton was already familiar with the benefits of using Meraki networks for multi-location enterprises. He sought out a Meraki reseller he could trust to provide for MobileOne’s needs and become a legitimate partner in improving their dated security and IT infrastructure.
Cisco Meraki helped MobileOne step up its game for on-site surveillance and security.
Clifton conducted on-site trials to thoroughly test the Cisco Meraki products’ compatibility with MobileOne. He then consulted with Stratus Information Systems, a Meraki reseller and channel partner that works with businesses and organizations needing cloud network specialists and professional services.
Stratus helped assess MobileOne’s on-site security requirements and recommended replacement Meraki MV smart cameras for the legacy video recorders. We also procured and installed all Meraki hardware used for this large-scale project. From the start, we were fully committed to helping the client modernize their company’s camera and security systems and incorporating cloud network technology into their everyday IT operations.
- Replace MobileOne’s network video recorders and upgrade all existing devices in 230 locations with brand-new Meraki MV systems.
- Streamline all camera systems and consolidate all devices across locations into a centralized dashboard so that Clifton’s two-person IT team can efficiently monitor and manage over a thousand pieces of security equipment daily.
Stratus Information Systems was responsible for visiting all MobileOne locations to unlink the old camera systems and install Meraki MV hardware into each store. This may sound daunting, but everything was made easier by Meraki’s plug-and-play solutions (universally acknowledged as one of the strengths of Meraki networks). As a result, it only took Stratus less than three months to visit and deploy Meraki cloud networks and devices in 230 locations across South Central, Southwestern, and Western America.
MobileOne and Stratus Information Systems demonstrated the benefits of working with authorized Meraki partners to multi-location enterprises.
Clifton provided Stratus with blueprints of the locations for each store’s cameras, switches, access points, and security sensors. As Stratus installed each camera, Clifton could see the device appear on the Meraki Dashboard as it went online. He immediately configured each device and connected them to other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Stratus communicated daily with Clifton and tracked the workflow we established together on a spreadsheet saved in the cloud. This fuss-free collaboration enabled us to perform our duties as Meraki consultants and demonstrated Meraki cloud networks’ convenience and incredible flexibility.
Stratus Information Systems and Cisco Meraki supported the client’s growth with reliable, modern technology that improved their locations’ efficiencies.
As a Meraki reseller with extensive knowledge of the brand’s lines of devices, Stratus developed standard camera systems that could be applied to all MobileOne locations: four strategically mounted cameras, door sensors that notify managers, and Cloud Archive for backup storage.
These functionalities enabled store managers and staff to reduce billable hours on manual monitoring, troubleshooting, and device provisioning while strengthening store security.
Here are examples of how the Meraki MV smart cameras, sensors, and cloud improved security and efficiency in all locations:
- Installation of new devices was quick and easy, as Stratus demonstrated (we replaced and deployed brand-new camera systems in all stores in less than three months).
- Clifton had visibility and remote access to all 1,000+ devices – cameras, sensors, entry points, etc. – in all locations across the country. He could troubleshoot devices and fix network issues from anywhere at any time.
- Store managers get real-time notifications if an inventory safe door is left suspiciously open. With smart cameras and sensors monitoring the inventory safe and sales floor, staff can spend less time watching monitors and more time assisting customers.
- Store managers can review real-time and recorded video footage of the sales floor to examine customer behavior. Moreover, the Cisco Meraki MV cameras have advanced analytics features like heat mapping and traffic counting. The IT staff can easily collect and quantify this data to get valuable insights like where in the store customers linger the longest, which displays attract the few or least people, and areas on the sales floor that need better traffic management.
Stratus Information Systems delivered client expectations as a Meraki reseller and maximized the brand’s product lines to solve MobileOne’s IT challenges. More importantly, we helped the client achieve a streamlined and highly efficient infrastructure that matched the company’s rapid growth and expansion plans.
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Stratus Information Systems can upgrade your existing security systems or cloud network into something more streamlined, centralized, and boasting advanced features that can reduce hours of manual work into a few mouse clicks.
Contact us for a consultation today.