Spectrum Enterprise taps Cisco Meraki's cloud platform for new Managed Network Edge offering

Spectrum Enterprise is out of the starter blocks with a new managed network solution that's based on Cisco's Meraki cloud-based platform.

Spectrum Enterprise's Managed Network Edge (MNE) was designed to provide mid-market and large enterprises nationwide network connectivity options, modular add-ons and a user portal. The goal for MNE was to simplify the implementation and management of single and multi-location local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs).

"MNE is another key component of our WAN 2.0 service evolution," said Satya Parimi, group vice president of product for Spectrum Enterprise, in an email to FierceTelecom. "Spectrum Enterprise has been working with Cisco since last year on the design, testing and prototyping of the service."

The MNE offering includes managed routing, security and software-defined SD-WAN powered by Cisco Meraki. Proactive monitoring, service level agreements (SLAs) and professional installation, as well as a single, integrated user portal for real-time monitoring, are all part of the base MNE package.

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Additional services and features could include: Wi-Fi, network switches and smart cameras. Spectrum Enterprise is using a range of Cisco Meraki MX appliances for the service and also offers additional Meraki devices for Wi-Fi, smart cameras and network switches.

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MNE is offered as a packaged solution that integrates connectivity and Unified Communications (UC) options, and all of which can be delivered nationally with monthly billing.

"The MNE service offers as an add-on LTE-based Wireless Internet Access provided by Spectrum Enterprise," Parimi said. "This 4G/LTE wireless access may be configured as primary WAN or backup. The solution also supports Spectrum Enterprise private network (Ethernet) as an underlay option for hybrid WANs.

"In addition to integrated security, application segmentation and intelligent route optimization are very important capabilities inherent to the MNE solution. Businesses have the freedom to manage application prioritization via the portal or they can rely on the 24/7 support provided by Spectrum Enterprise. The portal offers real-time visibility and control for businesses to quickly and easily identify and resolve trouble related to oversubscription and overutilization."

Because of the modular approach, businesses can add in other features or make  tweaks to MNE based on their evolving needs. Last year, the coronavirus pandemic accelerated businesses' digital transformations, which has included more cloud-based applications and services.

By blending the Spectrum Enterprise Unified Communications (UC) service with MNE, businesses can pick from multiple options for redundant connections for the UC service. Traffic-shaping gives UC applications priority on each network interface to ensure that voice and video are prioritized over lower-priority network traffic.

By adding the Managed Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch service, IT professionals will have a full view of end-to-end voice and video performance from the desktop to the external network connections

Prior to the MNE launch, Parimi said Spectrum Enterprise offered a range of managed services such as routers, security, Wi-Fi and SD-WAN using different vendors' point solutions.

"With this launch, we will offer most of these services from a single, extensible platform for businesses without complex requirements or needs," he said. "We still plan to offer our current, specialized managed services for enterprises with complex routing, security, Wi-Fi and SD-WAN requirements."