Cisco's New Meraki Access Point Means Recurring Revenue for VARs, SIs, MSPs

By Kelly Teal Comments
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Cisco's Cloud Networking Group recently unveiled a Wi-Fi access point that's managed purely from the cloud and features the new 802.11ac standard, which is nearly three times faster than 802.11n.

For channel partners, sales of the new Cisco Meraki MR34 access point mean recurring revenue, thanks to a software licensing model.

The device, developed thanks to Cisco's December 2012 Meraki acquisition, lets businesses support more network users, provide secure access and, most of all, manage the access point from their browsers. That's key as BYOD and mobility take over the enterprise. Now, with the MR34, organizations can support video conferencing and mobility, and more, at the same time, and the network "won't melt down," Kiren Sekar, Cisco's vice president of marketing for the Cloud Networking Group, told Channel Partners earlier this month.

Security protections include a dedicated radio that's always scanning the airwaves, and automatic detection and correction. That makes the device a fit for channel partners selling to security-conscious users such as retailers, and health care and financial services firms, Sekar said.

And, for MSPs, the MR34 is "managed-services ready," Sekar said, and that means such partners will enhance their recurring revenue streams.

But you don't have to host a data center to offer the MR34. Systems integrators and smaller VARs with niche practices, for instance, also are able to sell the access point.

"All of the heavy lifting is hosted by the Cisco Meraki data center," Sekar said. "What you really need is understanding of networking and relationship with customers."

Demo units are available for free.

"We find that the way that partners can most effectively sell this is by actually installing a pilot or evaluation unit in their customers' environment," said Sekar. "Customers are just blown away and love the experience."

The MR34 will be generally available soon for a list price of $1,399. It comes with a lifetime warranty.

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