All of Meraki’s products that an organization buys, are registered/associated into a “Cloud Portal” called the Meraki Dashboard which is accessed via authorized email accounts as ID’s. Each authorized user has permissions assigned (to view, edit, manage, etc.), as appropriate. IT resources such as Spectrum Global technicians are added. In fact, each IT technician (or any user) gets presented with all the Meraki organizations they have a role in supporting when they login, so they can do one login, then select which organization and device to work on.
All Meraki core products (not accessories) are comprised of 2 mandatory components:
- The actual hardware (which has a limited lifetime warranty)
- One or more Meraki Enterprise License subscriptions
- Hardware will only operate for 30 days without a license, and when the license expires, it will stop operating.
- The Enterprise License Subscription includes cloud services, software upgrades and support (including advanced next business day replacement) and is available in terms of 1,3,5,7, or 10 years (with the longer the term the more the discount). All of your license subscriptions are calculated out by Meraki so that your entire subscription (no matter how many products in it or what terms were purchased with each product), all end on one date (so whenever a product is added, that date is automatically re-calculated. The calculation is based on the value of the subscriptions so is completely fair).
- The MX line (firewall/security appliances) are also recommended (by Meraki and us) to have an Advanced Security Services Subscription (see below for what this includes). If this is purchased, it INCLUDES the Enterprise License and it does not need to be purchased separately. The Advanced Security Subscription seems always to be 2x the price of the underlying Enterprise license, but it includes ALL the security services that are offered, including new ones that get added within scope (and they can get turned on or off, configured, within the Meraki Dashboard).
- The decision to purchase Advanced Security applies to all MX appliances in that organization (portal). It is possible to have different portals for the same organization, but management is more time consuming, and certain features like AutoVPN don’t work except within the same organization. Advanced Security also cannot be downgraded or converted to just an Enterprise license, except at renewal.
Cisco Finance is always prepared to “lease to own” their product (OAC). The licensing always counts as hardware. 30% of the product + licensing can be added as a “soft cost” and also financed at the same low rate as the product (often there is a promotional offer of 0% on this). Term is normally 3 years, but Meraki Enterprise licenses of any term can be included. Other non-Cisco product can be added to the lease on their approval at very competitive rates (never 0% though).
SGC typically recommends a 5 year term subscription as a balance between cost savings and when a faster appliance might be needed to address faster Internet speeds and throughput and technical advances in hardware that are sure to arrive in that time frame.