The information was leaked about a month ago, in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Cisco was providing letters of Attestation regarding a product called the “Meraki MC74”. Why is this important on launch day? Well keep reading
The only thing we knew then – was that it was some kind of WiFi Device.
Today I am extremely excited to show you something that will in my personal opinion – change the face of small and medium business IT. It’s no secret, I do work for a Cisco partner, and I guess I do drink the Cisco sauce a little bit.
This is the new Meraki MC74 – a cloud managed VoIP telephone. Meraki has not told us that it has WiFi inside, but FCC documents reveal this device does have Wireless inside, and the device DOES have bluetooth support – but comments about DFS compatibility, could that mean this has a WiFi chipset in it Meraki has not told us about?
- Streamlined Deployment
- Simplified Management
- Delightful End-user Experience
The easy deployment and management of all Meraki products will still exist, including the one portal to rule them all.
This will be the “Premium” experience phone, and we should expect lower end phones coming at some point.
The intention is that you will be able to ship this DIRECTLY to a user, with no admin intervention from the device. The unboxing process has been “optimized” to provide a clean user designed unboxing.
Meraki’s launch team tell us that it was “Painstakingly Designed and Built” and will provide a 7″ IPS Display which will give them a blank canvas to create features. They will continue to iterate features from customer feedback, and will be the first in a series of telephones from Meraki.
They will have IVR and Auto Attendant type services available, and Directory Services are handled using a few options, one of which is CSV. Google Apps integration will also be offered.
The handset has a magnet to assist with location of the hook switch, which is also IR instead of the mechanical hook switch
Built in stand, and wall bracket which does include the Meraki bubble level if you want to wall mount it.
The key for Meraki in this new product is software integration and they are telling us that features will be announced in the coming months.
This is huge. I don’t even think Meraki realizes how huge this is. Today this means I can have Switching, Wireless, Security – and now Phones – in a single pane of glass, with a single interface. The interface is easy – very easy. This will reveolutionalize how small and some medium businesses see and use IT. This will drive the sales of additional Meraki services.
With more and more businesses moving to the cloud, Office 365, SalesForce, and the other cloud type SaaS providers, small businesses can now be agile. With the growing cost of IT, one of which is the people cost, the SMB market continues to try and do more, with less. Let us be honest here, many SMB’s operate with a single IT resource, or a single contracted resource. This means agility. This means servicing end users from anywhere, anytime and from a single pane of glass.
Ahh, the single pane of glass thing. We have all heard that one before, where a single pane really means looking through 8 single panes and then pretending to be a single window, which really just results in a foggy image of that single pane. Not this time.
This will be a big deal – ok now for some more details.
Features will include
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Persistent conference bridges
Directory Integration – CSV, Google Apps
End User Web Portal, for Call Forwarding, Voicemail and Outbound Calls for access to this information when the user is away from the phone. Call logs, play voicemail all from any browser anywhere.
Click to Call Integration – Users can click phone numbers on their PC and the MC74 will dial.
There are three parts you need. The phone, the Meraki Cloud license – and the SIP Service. At launch it will be offered in USA only. Meraki WILL NOT be setting themselves up as a SIP provider, you can use a SIP provider in the USA.
Extension to Extension calls are “Not an Issue” so there is some indication that phone to phone calls are possible without the service.
Just like looking at switches or access points, phones are no different. There is a very consistent look and feel.
Day 1 there will be service through IntelePeer but the plan is multiple service providers in the USA and around the world.
You will be able to order numbers directly from the Meraki Dashboard, confirm and activate immediately.
IVR Programming will be very easy.
That’s it! Cannot wait to get this in my hands to try it out.