A leading player in the kids and entertainment market in Vietnam, N Kid Group owns and operates kids edutainment as well as retail and distribution networks of leading toy brands. One business arm of N Kid Group’s operations is tiNiWorld, a family edutainment centre where kids can play at safe an indoor playground under the supervision of their parents. Khoa Do, Chief Technology Officer, is responsible for the building a reliable network this fast-growing organisation with over 25 centres and 2,500 employees.

Original Networking Challenges

While the kids are playing inside the centres, the parents are inside with them and they request WiFi to help them pass the time. Do and his team initially installed consumer-grade wireless access points, but they faced issues with performance, parents had trouble connecting as they were unable to serve a large number of clients at peak times.

Customers would complain about not being able to connect to the Wi-Fi or that the Wi-Fi was slow. “Often at peak times, employees would also hear that customers were being kicked off the Wi-Fi,” said Do.

With up to 500 customers connecting at the same time, Do and his team needed an enterprise-grade wireless solution at their centres. With just three members on the IT team, and distributed sites across Vietnam, Do needed a solution that would simplify networks management and allow for remote troubleshooting.

Why Cisco Meraki?

Do was at a local coffee shop in Vietnam when he went to log onto the Wi-Fi and saw a Cisco Meraki splash page. He read up on the Meraki story, adding “I come from a tech background, so that’s why I think the Meraki story coming up with the idea of managing networks on the cloud is exciting. This made me excited to learn more about the company,” said Do.

Do and his team decided to give Meraki a try, saying “We liked how cloud-managed networking is so easy and straightforward — we are able to run the whole network from at one place.” Do also liked that Meraki could help them future-proof their centres and provide advanced analytics. ”We were looking for an enterprise grade solution that would be able to support a larger number of clients with more advanced features such as analytics and location heatmaps, and those were some of the incentives of choosing Meraki” Do said.

The IT team reached out to a local partner in Vietnam and requested a proof-of-concept with the Meraki MR33 wireless access point.

It is so cool, so easy, and straightforward. We don’t have to install anything. We can run all of the network from one place,

Khoa Do

Chief Technology Officer, N Kid Group

The Deployment

Do and the team started with three MR33 wireless access points to trial at their flagship tiNiworld centre in Ho Chi Minh City, located inside the Takashimaya department store. “With three access points, we were able to test different parts of the site to see how the systems benefit from having the Meraki technology,” Do explained.

During the Meraki proof-of-concept, the team was able to demonstrate the ease of management while supporting a larger number of clients. “It is so cool, so easy, and straightforward. We don’t have to install anything. We can run all of the network from one place. We can see if they are down, or if they are up, how many connections they have,” said Do. In addition, Do saw improvements in wireless performance for a high number of clients something that their previous vendor was not able to provide.

After this successful proof-of-concept, the CEO allocated budget to deploy Meraki wireless at one of their new Tiniworld centres.

The Results

Since switching over to Meraki from their previous solution, Do and his team have noted that they have less complaints from centre employees around customers trying to connect to the WiFi. “Customers are now able to enjoy a more stable wireless experience since we moved over to Meraki,” said Do.

Thanks to the Meraki dashboard, Do and his team now have additional insight into their customers. “We now can see how many customers have iOS, and how many have Android. In addition, the dashboard provides information in terms of visitor frequency and loyal, which tells the business how often certain customers visit certain centres. This kind of insight helps us understand our customers more, and we now have more data around customer behaviour to allow us to market to our customers more effectively.”

Deploying Meraki has improved the network at N Kid Group. “I think what I like best about Meraki is the centralized management and the transparency of all the features. You can access everywhere anytime — whether that be on the website or on mobile device, and it works really well,” said Do.

Until now, Do and his team focused on using Meraki to support as many clients as possible at the centres. Moving forward, Do and his team are looking into the other features with Meraki, like splash pages. “We always wanted the landing page setup for our customers for local marketing. We haven’t done it yet, but in the coming months, we will be preparing to deploy our custom landing page using the Meraki network,” said Do.