Creating the “Ideal” Network for a Cloud-based Workforce with Cisco Meraki

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Updated:June 10, 2021

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Updated:June 10, 2021

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It’s not a stretch to say technology is at the very heart of Ideal, a growing Toronto-based software development startup that’s been in business for six years. The company was founded by Somen Mondal and Shaun Ricci, who thought the recruiting and hiring process didn’t have to be so hard – especially not with the amount of data and machine-learning processes that were emerging at the time.

With a team of diverse subject-matter experts, Ideal created an AI-powered talent screening and matching system that went beyond a “gut-feel” approach to hiring, using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to process and analyze vast amounts of customer data – as well as Ideal’s own augmented data – to find candidates that are an all-around best fit.

However, as the startup started to find success – growing their team and adding international enterprises to their client roster – Matt Sergeant, Ideal’s CTO who doubles as the startup’s IT manager, realized the current network infrastructure simply wasn’t cutting it. That’s when Cisco Meraki was brought in to provide a reliable network foundation upon which the business could continue to grow.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: Ideal

Industry: Professional Services

Location: Toronto, Canada


  Growing business was outgrowing their consumer networking solutions.
  Frequent VPN and access issues reduced productivity of Ideal’s team.


  Cisco Meraki MX84 routers, MS120 switches and MR33 access points created a reliable, flexible and secure business environment, so employees can work without interruption at the office or at home


  Ideal’s network infrastructure is now futureproofed – so they can continue to add new people and sites as needed
  The technology helped Ideal secure ISO certifications, giving them a leg-up on the competition when it comes to attracting customers

A need for a network of the future

Cloud rules everything at Ideal, making the internet the startup’s bread and butter. Without it, their entire business would grind to a halt.

“Everything we do is in the cloud, right down to the tools our sales and software development teams use,” says Sergeant. “We don’t run anything onsite. From the get-go, we’ve used cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools. We’ve even outsourced our user management and logins to be administered remotely.”

After moving into a larger office, Sergeant realized the high-end consumer router they were using at the office was reaching its limit. For example, the VPN solution they used wasn’t compatible with the router, leading to access issues with their cloud computing service. It was creating other problems too – frequent disconnections and error messages started to run rampant and threw a wrench into the entire team’s productivity.

With a growing employee count and no dedicated IT team, Ideal needed network technology they could count on to keep workers productive and secure, so they could focus on developing their own tech and growing their business around the world.

“After doing some digging on my own, I found Cisco had the rest of the network picture the competitor was missing.”

-Matt Sergeant, CTO, Ideal

Finding a solution in the cloud

Sergeant isn’t a network engineer, so when he reached out to his network about potential solutions, friends and former coworkers suggested he look at Cisco Meraki.

“After doing some digging on my own, I found Cisco had the rest of the network picture the competitor was missing.”

With a Cisco Meraki MX84 router, MS120 switch and two MR33 access points deployed, Ideal was able to bulk-up security, add guest access and enable fine-grained control over its users, devices and applications. As the company had just moved into a new office with network ports at every workstation, having switches in place allowed for the simple connection of printers, laptops, phones and more. Management of these devices also became easier through the Meraki Dashboard, which provides centralized management and improved network visibility, so new access points could be securely added to strengthen any weak spots.

A network with peace of mind

For the team at Ideal, Sergeant says things couldn’t be more different: “The best thing for us, was that all the error issues our employees were experiencing just went away.”

Ideal is now in constant hiring mode, with no plans to slow down. Lissa Ricci, VP of small business at Cisco Canada, says having the right technology will be crucial as they continue to grow.

“Businesses, and especially start-ups, need to get ahead of the technology platforms that they rely on day-to-day, so they can be prepared to scale quickly. After this initial investment with Meraki, Ideal can have confidence in the security, reliability and scalability of its network for quite some time,” says Ricci.

The company is also exploring remote work options for employees and expanding locations, both of which are easier to support with the newly deployed Meraki solutions. Cisco’s solutions also played a role in helping Ideal secure a sought-after ISO certification, lending additional credibility to their business and sharpening their competitive edge.

“Cisco Meraki wasn’t a name I was familiar with at first, because you don’t see it on the shelves at your local electronics store. But now that I’m aware of it, I wouldn’t change a thing,” says Sergeant.

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