Simplifying Systems Across Wix's Global Offices
Having multiple locations and solutions typically leads to a complicated IT environment, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We rejected the idea of unnecessary complexity, and instead worked to simplify our systems across international branch offices and a new campus. By doing so, we’ve enabled our business, Wix, to move faster.
Wix is a leading SaaS platform that allows users and professionals to create, manage, and grow their online presence, ranging from personal portfolios to an online store. Born out of the frustrations that our founders encountered building a website for a startup, Wix’s website builder makes the process seamless using a drag-and-drop interface and a variety of templates, design elements, and features. In addition to a free option, Wix offers a range of pricing plans alongside business solutions and mobile optimization.
Today, the company has more than 240 million users and is one of the largest website builders in the world, with around 5,500 employees across 12 countries.
When the company first started in 2006, we targeted individual users and small business owners who wanted to create their own website without the hefty price tag. We’ve since evolved tremendously and launched many products to cater to all kinds of businesses’ needs, including enterprises. We are making changes big and small to support our growth, one of those being the opening of our new global headquarters in Tel Aviv.
We Had Dashboards, but We Needed to See Everything in One Place
There were some technical hurdles we had to overcome on the way to this next growth phase. One of these hurdles was working with a mix of solutions and vendors. This meant that we managed everything separately, using different management consoles for different hardware. There was no easy way to monitor our environment because we couldn’t see everything in one place.
With the construction of our new campus for our 2,900 Israel-based employees, we saw an opportunity to move to a single vendor, unify our equipment, and streamline management.
We moved slowly at first. We implemented Cisco Meraki wireless infrastructure across all locations, starting with the smaller branches and working our way up to headquarters. By then, we began to replace our existing switches and access points with Cisco Meraki cloud-managed switching and wireless access points, and started implementing the full Meraki stack at our new campus.
It may sound like a small change, but it’s had a big impact on the business.
What Was Once a Minefield Is Now Calm
On a campus as large as ours, it could be a challenge to identify a specific access point that’s down or find out whether the access point has a throughput of 100 MB instead of 1 GB. Before, we would have to build our own campus map to know where every access point was located, and moving access points was like walking across a minefield: because you couldn’t see anything, you had no idea if a relic was still there from a previous installation.
It’s now easier to see when an access point is down or underperforming. With our new equipment, all that mapping is done for us, and if we move an access point, we can see exactly how that affects performance. This is very relevant when you’re trying to manage such a big, Wi-Fi-only campus. The Cisco Meraki dashboard offers total visibility, which makes all aspects of management easy.
One of the major points in our decision to go with Cisco Meraki was its zero-touch provisioning. Configuration isn’t rocket science, but it still takes time to configure each device, and that’s multiplied by all our devices around the world. Time saved on configuration is time my team and I could spend making other changes to further scale the business—and that’s exactly what we’re starting to do.
Managing the network from a single dashboard also means our networking employees don’t need the same level of skill or experience they once did. We still have a highly skilled networking professional at each of our locations, but Cisco Meraki requires fewer people. All the configurations come from the cloud-managed dashboard, so employees only have to plug in the necessary connection onsite.
The remote capability also allows us to provision and manage devices at one location from another. This has several applications in cases where there is an outage or colleagues are unavailable to make changes. If there’s an issue and a technician is hundreds of miles away, it’s not a problem—someone can address it on their phone while on the road. This has been especially handy as we’ve spun up new offices. That process of configuring and connecting everything used to take more than a week. Cisco Meraki’s capabilities have reduced that time to mere minutes.
We also have Meraki cameras and room sensors in some locations, and users can access camera footage via the dashboard. We can set permissions so users have access to only the cameras they need. Everything is stored in the cloud, allowing for better availability on the network while also improving stability.
Plenty of Room for Growth
The vendor selection process can be laborious and time-consuming, but it was simple for us given Cisco’s infrastructure capabilities and overall credibility. We were happy with the performance of the Cisco Meraki deployment, and by going deeper into the ecosystem, we got the full package that we wanted. Some vendors offered a dashboard for Wi-Fi management, others offered a hybrid cloud option, but these options still required a manual configuration of switches. Cisco Meraki offered a solution where we could manage everything from one place, which is a huge value for us.
Cisco Meraki has enabled Wix to do more with less: less time, less money, and fewer operational processes. We can improve our SLAs and grow without needing to add more people to support our growing infrastructure. Our new campus deployment isn’t over yet, but it wouldn’t have been as easy or as quick without Cisco.
Wix’s vision is to automate every part of our infrastructure. Cisco has a portfolio of solutions that we can leverage to do it all, such as Bluetooth connections to facilitate indoor mapping with Cisco Spaces. There’s a robust marketplace of integrations with Cisco Meraki, meaning we can use it to make our other solutions even more powerful. And when you’re scaling as fast as Wix is, that’s a necessity.