Cisco Meraki Networking Solution Gives New Vision to Nonprofit
Saving Sight, located in central Missouri, is a nonprofit organization focused on changing lives through providing hope to those with visual impairments. Founded in 1960, the organization has classified itself as an eye bank known for cornea donation and tissue preparation for transplant procedures to restore sight to individuals. Through a partnership with the Missouri Lions Club, Saving Sight is able to assist in eyeglass recycling as a collection and distribution center to help those in need get glasses around the world. They also have started a KidSight program to assist in screenings for children to catch vision loss early.
Saving Sight was looking to move from an MPLS to a fiber solution with increased bandwidth, which needed firewalls at every site for local Internet. Another challenge was nearly all the current routers were coming up on end of life agreements. Their local AOS team had introduced the Cisco Meraki solution to Tim Knarr, IT Manager, in 2014 and the name recognition of the Cisco acquisition was beneficial.
Knarr tested a home office unit and the ease of use sold him on the solution immediately. He decided to put a switch in for an expansion in their Kansas City office, and after the CIO assisted in the installation, the decision to move forward at the remaining locations was easy.
“Our end users are very happy with the speeds after the installation,” said Knarr. “The staff manages patient charts stored on a SharePoint database daily and send to other offices for labs or reviews. Ease of pulling up a chart and not having to wait forever to download has really increased satisfaction.”
One key to the success of the project was manageability. Ability to get the endpoints installed and switched over to the fiber in a fast timeline was important. Since each location utilizes shared files, being able to finish a site each day for a week was an added benefit.
“The knowledge of the AOS team was impressive, not only understanding the equipment but the overall networking,” said Tim Knarr. “The systems engineer was able to point out issues our Internet vendor was having and how to fix them.”
The quick response to customer needs and positive outcomes on projects are what keep Saving Sight utilizing AOS for their technology needs.