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How Cisco Meraki helped BT manage regional operations

How Cisco Meraki helped BT manage regional operations

Implementation facilitated better remote management, reduced operational costs and offered more room to scale operations

Credit: Dreamstime

BT has collaborated with Cisco to help manage and standardise internal teams and IT infrastructure across 18 sites, spanning Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

With more than 2,400 employees across the region, and an IT infrastructure that was complex and widely dispersed with no remote central management infrastructure in place, troubleshooting and support was often a complicated process.

BT’s existing system meant that it was often difficult to keep a standardised procedure for setups and security policies across each site, in addition to tracking visitors on site locally. It also meant that smaller sites with limited resources had to keep up with managing the different layers of Wi-Fi infrastructure as part of day-to-day operations.

Furthermore, infrastructure change management was often a lengthy process with multiple teams involved, often resulting in long approval processes.

Leveraging the vendor's channel ecosystem, BP rolled out Cisco Meraki in a bid to simplify infrastructure and support, as well as overcome resource management challenges on smaller remote sites. A reduction in troubleshoot time was also a priority, as well as the standardisation of sites across the region through the implementation of centralised monitoring and management.

Ultimately, Cisco Meraki was chosen for this project due to "versatility and the ability to adapt to new challenges and deliver new innovation to customers".

"After doing our research on the different products, we tested the Cisco Meraki devices and, from our results, we are happy with its capabilities, simplicity, and security features, all powered by the intuitive Meraki dashboard,” said Steve Dzeparoski, head of IT across Australasia, BT.

Wi-Fi strategy

Once on-boarded across all of the 18 regional sites, BT then leveraged the built-in configuration tools of the Meraki dashboard to design and launch a full range of Wi-Fi offerings across all sites, as well as the MX Security Appliance for protecting users from malicious content.

Going forward, Dzeparoski said BT is considering the deployment of Meraki CCTV devices in the near future, which will provide physical security across all sites.

Once a complicated process, the entire Wi-Fi environment is now managed by local IT instead of multiple teams, freeing up resources to focus on other important tasks.

Consistent security policies were now implemented across all of the distributed locations, with setup simplified and improved bandwidth leveraging the built-in traffic shaping tools, as well as better control, visibility, and management of licenses, which were bundled into the dashboard.

“We saw a positive organisational impact with reduced complexity and reduced resources required to support the infrastructure,” said Dzeparoski. “With the centralised dashboard management, the team now has more time to focus on other important tasks. Overall, the Meraki solution has greatly simplified, standardised, and improved our Wi-Fi environment."

Dzeparoski said the implementation also facilitated better remote management, reduced operational costs and more room to scale operations, as well as enhanced customer experience.

“Meraki helps us adapt to new IT challenges as they arise and allows us to offer the latest innovations to our customers,” said Dzeparoski. “We love the unified platform, as well as the centralised licensing. It makes everything much easier to manage."

Globally, BT serves customers in more than 180 countries, with their managed network IT services division, Global Services, providing security, cloud, and networking services to multi-national organisations through a team of over 17,000 employees.

In Asia Pacific, the provider houses 2,400 employees, with regional headquarters located in Hong Kong, however, a new Singapore office, which opened in 2019, acts as a regional cyber security hub.

The new Singapore office includes a customer experience centre, providing an interactive experience showcasing global connectivity services, cloud migration as well as cyber security services.

The new office in Singapore is designed to enable the firm to further strengthen their position as a leading player by providing expertise on cyber security solutions to countries and businesses across the region, employing 300 staff.


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