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Case Study

Meraki solution helps bus tour operator make all the right connections

Solutions Provided


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The client is a leading global provider of open-top, hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours, with more than 150 buses, operating in 23 cities and 11 countries. It has a particular focus on delivering a quality customer experience to its 4 million+ users. It sets itself apart from the competition through providing on-board internet connectivity and informed commentary offering fascinating insights into many of the world’s major cities.

Open top bus


  • Global provider of open-top bus City tours
  • 4 million+ customers across 23 cities and 11 countries
  • Focus on delivering the highest levels of customer service

The Challenge

With such a focus on delivering an optimal customer experience, anything that undermines that experience needed to be quickly and efficiently addressed. Its existing Meraki wireless solution was causing multiple problems. The Sierra Modems the solution relied on were failing to deliver consistent on-board connectivity and licences had been sourced through different providers, making them onerous to track and manage.

The client lacked a dedicated in-house networking team, meaning its IT manager needed to make multiple site visits to troubleshoot and resolve ongoing connectivity issues. This was unsustainable in the long term, and combined with the threat of reputational damage from failing to provide the customer experience users expect, it needed to source a reliable, sustainable, and cost-effective solution to make it fit for the future.

Critical success factors

  • Eliminate issues with unreliable connectivity
  • Consolidate licensing to facilitate easier management
  • Minimise the risk of reputational damage through poor user experience

The Solution

Working closely with the client, Softcat’s specialists assessed its current provision and proposed an alternative solution that would eliminate many of the challenges it faced. It recommended moving to a five-year Meraki Enterprise Agreement as it would enable all licences to be consolidated into a single agreement. In doing so, the client would gain access to a dedicated Meraki Dashboard providing increased visibility of ongoing problems to facilitate more rapid and effective centralised issue resolution and cost control.

Through migrating to an Enterprise Agreement, it would also be able to eliminate unnecessary licences and facilitate more effective strategic budget planning through a fixed pricing agreement incorporated in a Cisco Finance deal. Softcat also worked extensively on defining a roadmap for the client’s UK, US and European rollouts over a 6 to 12-month timescale.

Solution highlights

  • Close collaboration to identify issues and source suitable alternative solution
  • Enterprise Agreement to improve visibility and eliminate ongoing licensing cost overruns
  • Define a roadmap for global rollout

The Benefits

With a fixed pricing agreement in place, the client can now confidently predict the ongoing cost of its networking and camera portfolios for the next five years. If additional licences are needed, it has the flexibility to increase capacity, while simultaneously ensuring a reduction in ongoing cost of around 30%.

Access to the Meraki Dashboard ensures high visibility and facilitates remote central management to significantly reduce the need for costly and time-consuming site visits to rectify issues. It has also helped to reduce the time taken to manage the system by around 50%, thereby freeing up time for IT staff to concentrate on added value activities. And to ensure ongoing value, the Enterprise Agreement will be monitored monthly to ensure costs and management complexity are kept to a minimum.

A client spokesperson said, “We love Cisco Meraki – their flexibility, innovation, and ease of management is a key part of our global expansion. Remote management and having the visibility to guarantee reliable, high-quality internet to our customers is critical for our reputation and achieving our roll-out plans in a cost effective and sustainable way.”

Benefits at a glance

  • Fixed pricing agreement providing predictability and flexibility to expand services
  • Meraki Dashboard delivering enhanced visibility and centralised issue resolution capabilities
  • Significant reduction in the need for costly and time-consuming site visits

Why Softcat?

Softcat’s team of network security specialists and account managers, combined with its longstanding relationships with leading technology vendors, ensures it can provide cost-effective, fit-for-purpose solutions across diverse industries. Every engagement is characterised by close engagement and collaboration with clients and vendors to guarantee its solutions deliver on the most pressing business needs, while enabling the flexibility and capacity to confidently prepare for future challenges.