It’s been a tough twelve months for IT departments all over the world. As well as the usual support and administration workloads, they’ve also needed to facilitate a whole new level of remote working and data access capabilities for users. And now that workforces everywhere are making a gradual return to premises, and businesses move ahead into the future, the folks in IT need to ensure that their network – and network management tools – are ready to support them to the fullest.
In this blog, we’ll explore four vital criteria that you should look for in network management tools. If an enterprise network solution’s tools tick all these boxes, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’re well prepared.
1. Simple User Interface
Many older, less advanced network solutions require you to interact with them via a command-line interface (CLI) – an antiquated method which relies on text input. But it’s the 21st century and graphical user interfaces (GUIs) have been around a very long time now. CLI? More like LOL – am I right?
With a modern enterprise network solution such as Cisco Meraki, you can access all the essential network management tools via a simple but powerful graphical interface. Meraki is renowned for its dashboard, which sets networking’s standard for intuitiveness.
Meraki’s single easy-to-use dashboard provides at-a-glance control across all your networks and devices, across multiple locations, making administration as fast and easy as can be. It’s so simple to understand that even non-technical staff are able to perform some network admin – it really is that easy. Compare that to the old text-based interfaces of the past, which aren’t exactly user-friendly for even the most hardcore techies.
So, that’s the first consideration: keep it super simple.
2. Cloud-Based and Web-Accessible
These days, flexibility is the name of the game. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the business world was becoming more flexible in terms of where and when people worked. Today, it’s vital to ensure everyone can be productive wherever they’re working – and that includes IT personnel.
With Cisco Meraki, you can log in and access network management tools via a web-based portal – so IT admins don’t have to be sitting at their desk to complete management tasks. Think about the possibilities:
- Working from home or business premises that aren’t their “home base”
- Remotely fixing issues that occur after hours, such as on weekends/evenings
- Staying off-site to limit on-site numbers (e.g., to meet social distancing needs)
When network management isn’t tied down to a set location or access point, it provides a whole new freedom to IT staff. And that not only makes their working lives better but also allows them to support users – and the business itself – more effectively.
3. Powerful Reporting Capabilities
As well as providing control over your network, the right enterprise network solution will also offer a high level of visibility. Cisco Meraki succeeds here too, with advanced reporting capabilities that help IT staff get to the root of issues, speeding up troubleshooting and helping them to keep operations running as smoothly as possible.
Meraki provides useful dashboard alerts for device connectivity. Admins can be notified of all kinds of device status updates, including the following:
- Device is unreachable (and for how long)
- Bad internet connection
- Misconfigured domain name system (DNS)
- Unable to find a gateway to the internet
- Configuration is out of date
- Device has never connected to Meraki Cloud
Capabilities like these can really make a difference for your IT department and your business. Cutting down or eliminating downtime, getting workers back up and running quickly and easily – these things make a big difference for users and administrators and can deliver a serious boost to overall productivity and profitability. It’s one of the areas where having the right network management tools can have the most noticeable impact.
4. Streamlined Enterprise Mobility
As we said earlier, flexibility really matters these days. As well as empowering IT staff to do their work wherever they need to be, the same goes for all the other workers in your organization. Your enterprise network solution needs to support that – in a way that’s as simple as possible for administrators.
Thanks to its Systems Manager, Cisco Meraki offers simplified, centralized enterprise mobility management. It includes functionality such as:
- Robust security policy enforcement
- On-device content management
- Scalable endpoint configuration
- Secure bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support
- Automatic device classification
…and more. Mobile devices, PCs, Macs, and your entire network can all be managed from the same dashboard. With lesser network management tools, juggling all those could be a real headache at times – but not with Cisco Meraki.
Succeed With the Right Network Management Tools
We hope this article has been useful in explaining the benefits of choosing a modern enterprise network solution like Cisco Meraki. But they say a picture paints a thousand words – so how many does a real-life demonstration paint?
The best way to learn what Cisco Meraki is capable of – and how valuable it can be to your business – is to see it in action. Why not check out an on-demand webinar? You can also schedule a free 60-minute consultation with one of our engineers – a Power Hour™ in which we’ll explore how your organization can harness technologies like Cisco Meraki.
Let’s see what we can do for your network – and the future of your business.
Want to discuss network management tools and enterprise network solutions like Cisco Meraki? Get in touch with the team at Worksighted now.