The 2020-21 school years have been like no other year we’ve seen. Since the national shutdown in March 2020, K-12 and public libraries have been forced to make constant changes, school districts and library systems across the U.S. had to be adaptable. Some embraced a full virtual model, others were forced to open, and still, others created a hybrid model. Whatever the case, Cisco Meraki helped manage, secure, and maintain networks and endpoints to address these new models.
We recently spoke with Ezequiel Rios, Product Business Manager for Cisco Meraki at SYNNEX Comstor, about the importance of flexibility and ease of management of IT systems across the education sector.
“At the start of the pandemic, school districts were scrambling to ensure that all students and staff had the devices they needed to teach and learn from home,” Rios said. “Large and dispersed school districts often have to manage locations that range from cities to the mountains and remote areas, each bringing its own unique challenges.”
With so few IT administrators in the school system, they need “an eagle’s eye view of the network.” Rios explained that this is where Cisco Meraki shines.
“Leveraging a single pane of glass, the network administrator can manage the network and endpoint devices that connect into it.” This ease of management is critical, especially now, when districts are in the midst of so much change and often managing devices in-school and at-home in this new hybrid world.
Additionally, Rios explained that network administrators also have the flexibility to allocate resources, which has become very necessary in a hybrid environment.
“With students accessing school devices remotely, bandwidth has become a real concern,” he noted.
For example, students may try to access YouTube or stream content that isn’t appropriate. Not only can that impact performance, but it also is a major security concern if the sites are unauthorized. With Meraki, administrators can limit excessive bandwidth usage, define access and permissions by grade level, and keep mobile devices up-to-date and secure remotely.
For partners and VARs looking to support their K-12 and public library customers, Rios recommended that they take advantage of the current Cisco Meraki Ed-Vantage incentives that are in place through July 2021.
“It is important that our partners know that their education customers are still trying to adjust to the new normal that is still evolving in this pandemic,” said Rios. “Between now and the end of July, through the Ed-Vantage incentives, these partners will receive additional discounts for their K-12 and public library customers. Our team is here to help them get the discounts and incentives they need.”
To learn more about the Ed-Vantage incentives, email the SYNNEX Comstor team here.