How To Utilize the Secondary Market to Augment Cisco/Meraki Long Lead Times
Supply chain problems associated with Covid-19 shutdowns are wreaking havoc on customers looking to deploy new, or, upgrade aged Meraki networks. While the secondary market cannot overcome all issues for new deployments; having a coherent strategy working within the VAR/New order system and the secondary market has helped many companies to fill the gaps.
Many Meraki admins and MSP’s are using their traditional channels of buying new to forecast forward demands, either for their own use or their clients; and then engaging with the secondary market to fulfill immediate use requirements. By adopting this dual strategy, they are both meeting deployment times needed for current projects, and knowing that they have a plan for future ones.
The licensing aspect of Meraki dictates that networking designers and installers must take into account transferability and interconnectivity of licenses with other deployments in their network. Although, many of these are able to be managed. The paragraph below is a case in which we assisted with deployment.
Client A has 15 installations over the next 12 months at new store openings. This client is generally standardized on MX68 firewalls, MS120 series switches and wants to install 802.11ax (Wifi6) in all new facilities. With each of these families being on 3-10 month lead-time for new Meraki, we worked with them to come up with a manageable plan to meet the timetables on the most pressing installations. First, we were able to supply the firewalls and switches required, from our own stock. In the case of the WiFi6 wireless access points needed, those were not available. We worked with them to determine what they had previously standardized on for wifi, and supplied those same products refurbished to match the quantity needed. Because of the transferability of the licensing on Meraki’s MR line, when the new WiFi6 access points do become available, the licenses can be transferred with no loss of term. We then put in place a buy back plan. The plan was to take the older units back into our stock once they had their new ones deployed. This client now has a cohesive strategy for current and future deployments throughout the year.
Planning a course of action to combat unforeseen problems that arise, is the best strategy to implement at the forefront of any project.