Pima College’s Network Transformation with Cisco Meraki Switches

Pima Community College logo and emblem

Implementation of Cisco Meraki Switches For Network Transformation

In a remarkable endeavor to bolster its educational offerings, Pima Community College underwent a rapid and comprehensive network transformation. With a focus on innovation, Pima seamlessly integrated 400 Cisco Meraki MS switches and 1,000 Meraki MR access points across its 12 campuses, catering to a diverse student base of 20,000. This ambitious initiative not only improved the network’s reliability but also streamlined day-to-day operations, allowing the college to swiftly adapt to new and innovative educational use cases. Furthermore, this overhaul significantly enhanced the overall security posture of the network infrastructure, ensuring a safer digital environment for both students and staff. Let’s delve into the details of this transformative journey and explore the pivotal role these advancements play in shaping Pima’s educational landscape.

Modernising Network Infrastructure With Cisco Meraki Switches

Pima Community College, a vibrant two-year institution, serves a diverse student body across 12 locations, boasting over 30,000 students. Facing an outdated network infrastructure, Jack Satterfield, Chief Technology Officer, sought a transformation. The college transitioned from a complex multi-vendor network to a streamlined, unified solution. Choosing Cisco Meraki for its simplicity and intuitive interface, Pima deployed 400 Meraki MS switches and 1,000 MR access points. This overhaul extended to security with the implementation of Cisco’s SecureX, Umbrella, and other security tools.

Cisco Meraki Logo

Seamless Deployment of Sensors at Pima College

In a swift nine-month period, Pima’s IT team successfully integrated Meraki equipment across all campuses, even amidst ongoing classes. The highly secure wireless network greatly enhanced user experience, offering seamless connectivity. Meraki MT sensors enabled innovative applications, such as monitoring classroom temperatures and supporting Wi-Fi-enabled commercial ovens. MV cameras facilitated remote learning in specialized programs, including healthcare.

Pima’s Network Revolution

Pima’s transition to Meraki significantly reduced complexity, consolidating operations to a single-vendor solution. The Meraki dashboard streamlined management, ensuring quick issue resolution and minimizing disruptions. The college utilized Cisco ThousandEyes to monitor internet transit, enhancing user experience further. With fewer resources required for network management, Pima reallocated manpower to strategic IT projects. Embracing Meraki’s versatility, the college explored diverse applications, from air quality monitoring to PoE-enabled lighting, supporting its commitment to innovation.

Jack Satterfield, Chief Technology Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the cloud-based platforms, empowering his team to explore innovative possibilities beyond network troubleshooting. Pima now boasts a secure, scalable, and user-centric network, supporting a wide array of educational initiatives and a diverse community.

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