Case Study: Make-A-Wish With Meraki

Different organizations and companies have different types of missions and goals.  In this particular case study, we are going to focus on Make-A-Wish Foundation.  Make-A-Wish Foundation is a nonprofit with a powerful mission to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.  So with such a notable mission, having a stable, reliable IT network is crucial for this organization.

Jeff Pick, the Director of Technology for Make-A-Wish America, works at the National Office in Phoenix to support 62 local Make-A-Wish chapters around the country.  When he first started working at Make-A-Wish, each chapter had its own distinct networking gear, causing network management to be scattered.  In addition to this wide-spanning decentralized network, the organization was calling for an increase in cybersecurity.

Make-A-Wish Foundation chose to go with a Meraki setup at every location.  They initially did a trial and found it easy to configure.  At every Make-A-Wish Chapter, a Meraki MX Security Appliance, MS Switch and a number of MR Access Points can be found.  Each individual MX securely connects to other branch MXs in the Make-A-Wish network, and then back to a central MX400 at headquarters via Meraki Auto VPN.  Meraki’s site-to-site VPN connects chapters securely and automatically without manual configuration.  Because of this upgrade in network solutions, Make-A-Wish is able to securely share internal resources within the organization.

The Benefits Summarized

The initial issue was that each different Make-A-Wish location had its own distinct networking gear. It was difficult for the IT team of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to manage the network effectively.  After switching the entire network to Meraki, Make-A-Wish Foundation had a network topology that was centrally managed.  Jeff Pick and his IT team were able to view a detailed network map at any time.  Meraki Access Points have fixed 99% of the wireless errors they were having before.

Cisco Meraki is convenient cloud-based IT Management Solution.  In the case of businesses, it enables IT Managers to monitor their network from any location and scale their network.  Meraki is not only a networking solution, but it also comes with cybersecurity features as well.  Through Cisco Meraki, organizations like Make-A-Wish and other organizations can centralize cybersecurity, network management, while maintaining a lean IT staff.