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Cisco, Logicom launch Meraki products in Middle East

Access points, switches and appliances, managed via the cloud, to be available soon

Cisco, Logicom launch Meraki products in Middle East
Ibrahim: We increase productivity for companies, and hence provide savings for them

Cisco Systems today launched its cloud-based network management suite, Cisco Meraki, in the Middle East, where the solutions will be distributed by Logicom.

At launch event held in Dubai today, Meraki and Logicom executives provided demonstrations of the cloud-based technology to resellers and end-users. It was announced in October that Logicom would be the distributor for Cisco Meraki in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and products are expected to be available soon.

Meraki is a set of hardware products, such as access points, edge switches and security appliances, which can be managed through a web-based dashboard via the cloud. Indeed, the cloud-based dashboard is the product line's main selling point - the idea is to enable plug-and-play branch deployments, which can be managed easily through the dashboard.

Seif Ibrahim, Meraki business manager at Cisco, said at today's event that the solutions provided enterprise-class networks for branch offices with the benefit of OPEX-based pricing.

"We increase productivity for companies, and hence provide savings for them" he said. "The controller is on the cloud, so it's a completely OPEX-based model - there's no need to invest in a lot of CAPEX for this network."

The product line includes the suite of MR wireless access points, the MS series edge switches, and the MX series security appliances. Ibrahim described the security appliances as Meraki's "Swiss Army Knife", due to the various features it provides through one box.

Cisco is also making Meraki's mobile device management (MDM) platform available for free. Ibrahim said that this was because Cisco's customers still struggle with mobility, and that the MDM platform would provide them with a good introduction to the Meraki dashboard.

"We're so confident with our dashboard that we think you'll want it elsewhere on your network after using the MDM solution. It's really a foot-in-the-door approach," he said.

Meraki was founded with a project known as the RoofNet network by two MIT students in 2006. Following some years of venture-backed development, the company was acquired by Cisco for an estimated $1.2bn in 2012. Cisco claims now that Meraki is one its fastest-growing business units, garnering around 100% growth per year.

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