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Open Mesh’s CloudTrax Makes Network Management And Monitoring Easy

Open Mesh is on a mission to make smarter, simpler networks. They make it easy for IT pros and managed services providers to deliver enterprise-grade WiFi across large areas or multiple locations and manage them all in the cloud. You’ll find Open Mesh in hotels and resorts, retail and restaurants, small and medium-sized businesses, multi-family complexes, homes and pretty much anywhere else. Open Mesh helps customers manage more than 80,000 networks serving millions of wireless users around the world daily. Below is our interview with Ryan Detwiller, Marketing & Design Lead at Open-Mesh:

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Q: Open Mesh is on a mission to make networks smarter and simpler; what makes Open Mesh a good choice?

A: Open Mesh makes it easy to deploy professional, secure WiFi networks in businesses, hotels, restaurants, apartments and pretty much anywhere else at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional networks. We’ve designed hardware that is really simple and reliable, so it can easily be installed by the non-tech savvy, but is powerful enough to meet the needs of IT professionals.

We actually started in the non-profit space, and needed to provide a WiFi solution that was incredibly reliable, easy to install, easy to manage and didn’t cost a lot. It turns out a lot of businesses are interested in that type of solution as well.

One thing that really sets us apart is our ease of installation and our free cloud-management tool, CloudTrax. While our competitors have high up-front hardware costs and then additionally charge monthly or annual licensing fees, Open Mesh keeps a low upfront cost with zero ongoing fees.

We’ve also done some really cool things, like allow customers to login to a business’s WiFi by checking in to their Facebook page, and we integrate with a lot of third-party services that are doing interesting things in location-based marketing.

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Q: You’ve recently announced the launch of the S Series line of cloud-managed switches; could you tell us something more?

A: Until now, Open Mesh has focused primarily on WiFi access points managed through our cloud-based software-defined-networking platform, CloudTrax. By adding a switch line, we’re simplifying more of the network for IT professionals who can now manage switches and access points through a single pane of glass. We kept hearing from our customers that the switches Open Mesh access points were connected to were a significant pain point because they require additional vendors, management tools and potentially high annual fees for cloud-managed solutions. We’re eliminating this pain through our switches.

The S Series integrate seamlessly with Open Mesh access points and CloudTrax, making it easy to deploy remotely and scale up worry free. Just like our access points line, our switches can be configured from anywhere without ever touching them; once a switch has power and Internet, it’ll connect to CloudTrax to get its configuration and start reporting data. The S Series also features a generous PoE power budget, so they can power all kinds of devices, such as WiFi access points, phones, IP cameras and more.

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Q: Could you explain the function and advantages of your cloud-based software-defined-networking platform, CloudTrax?

A: CloudTrax is our free cloud-based network management platform that helps professional installers build, manage and monitor their wireless and wired networks from anywhere. Through the CloudTrax web, iOS and Android applications, customers can easily create new networks, configure and monitor access points and switches, and gain powerful data about their networks.
CloudTrax shows exactly what’s happening on each network in near real time, so customers can manage users, access points and bandwidth across large areas and multiple locations.

We have some users who have deployed hundreds of access points across dozens of cities in a matter of days, and CloudTrax makes it easy. We also have users who just need to deploy a couple of access points in their home or office to eliminate dead spots and get enterprise-quality WiFi, and CloudTrax works great for that too. Nobody offers the ease of use and level of functionality CloudTrax does today without significant ongoing licensing fees. We aim to offer virtually all the functionality of enterprise solutions at roughly 20% of the price.

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Q: What are your plans for the next year?

A: We’ve been around since 2007 but really started growing our team in the last two years. In the next year we’ll continue to scale up our team significantly in order to introduce more products and services in the networking and IoT space. There are a lot of great products in the pipeline that will help us continue the pursuit of delivering enterprise WiFi easier, faster, and at a lower total cost of ownership.

Q: Who is your ideal customer and why?

A: We really focus on professional installers, such as IT managed service providers (MSPs), IT consultants and AV integrators. Anyone who needs enterprise-grade WiFi that’s easy to manage across large sites and multiple locations. Our typical customer manages 20 to 100 networks for their customers in small and medium businesses, hotels and resorts, food and beverage or retail establishments, so they’re interested in a reliable, quality system that helps them provide great service to their customers and won’t break the bank.

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