Cisco Meraki has made a name for itself as an innovator that provides powerful, scalable and above all, simple cloud-managed IT solutions for customers to use from deployment and beyond. If you’ve seen the Meraki dashboard, you might be wondering why anyone would want to bother with APIs, when everything is so easy to use in the web interface. While many may never need to check out Meraki’s API services, there are some compelling reasons to consider looking under the hood. Here are four reasons why learning how to use the Meraki Dashboard API service could be beneficial to your organisation or daily management.
1. Automate dashboard workflows
Do you always take the same 10 steps to set up a new AP, change port configurations, or update a password on an SSID? How much time would be saved in your next deployment or in your weekly/daily management if you could automate those steps across networks or dashboard organisations? Customers and partners are increasingly looking for ways to automate, integrate, and build on top of the Meraki dashboard. This requires access to Meraki’s growing API services.
2. Quickly report on cross-organisation trends, audit users/devices/status
If someone tapped you on the shoulder today and demanded an audit of all dashboard administrators (or uplink status across all deployed Meraki devices or content filtering rules or all of the above), how would you pull this information from the dashboard? How many clicks would it take to gather this from different networks/organisations?
3. Integrate dashboard data into other tools and applications
Would data from the dashboard provide insight in any internal applications or interfaces you’re using – to manage service desk tickets, access control, customer loyalty programs on your WiFi networks, etc.? Meraki API services can enable this rich integration with other technologies, through turnkey solutions pre-built by our technology partners or by providing the building blocks for other integrations.
4. Build new applications on top of Meraki technologies
Have you ever considered building a web form to allow your on-site staff to deploy new gear without logging in to the dashboard? Are there IoT initiatives in your office that rely on network integrations? Learning to use Meraki API services will unlock a world of new possibilities for you to efficiently and creatively leverage dashboard data and services in new ways.
Thanks to Cisco Meraki, they have provided open and extensible API services across Meraki products. Many of Meraki’s customers using the API didn’t expect to have that need when they invested in Meraki but as additional and often non-network related business requirements, projects and initiatives get piled onto their plate, having a programmable network infrastructure has proven to be a lifesaver.