Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are in a unique situation of needing to manage multiple distinct customer organizations in dashboard. These customers often need to have independently managed licensing, users, and VPN peers. This page outlines tools, best practices, and recommended steps for managing multiple organizations as an MSP.
To aid MSPs in the management of multiple customer organizations, the MSP Portal will automatically be displayed for any user account with access to multiple organizations. This consists of two components:
- Organization selection dropdown
- Displayed in the upper left corner of dashboard, to the left of the network dropdown
- Allows navigation between different organizations an account has access to
- This will only display organizations containing at least one network (even with zero devices)
- MSP portal
- This is accessible from the organization dropdown
- Displays high level status information about each organization, including licensing state, counts of device type and status, as well as other information
For additional information, refer to our documentation on the MSP Portal and how it operates.
Creating an Organization
In order to create a new organization for a customer/company, that will then contain their various networks, perform the following steps:
If the Organization dropdown is already present:
- Click the Organization dropdown in the top left corner.
- Scroll to the top and select MSP Portal.
- On the MSP Portal, expand the Organization list by selecting the arrow in the left corner of the list.
- Select the Add Organization button.
If the Organization dropdown is not present:
- Sign-out of Dashboard if already logged in
- Click Create an account
- Enter the same Email and Password that is currently used for the MSP admin account (the generic address mentioned above)
- Enter Company as the name for the organization (best used to identify the company/customer)
- This can be changed later if needed under Organization > Settings
- Address is optional and not required
- Click Create account
- The organization has been created. If a network needs to be created at this time, that can be done from this page.
- If a network is not created at this time, the organization will only be available from the MSP portal page, and not from the Organization dropdown
- It is recommended to create a network, even if left empty. It can be deleted or renamed at a later time.
If an Organization dropdown is not presented at this time, the account password may need to be updated in order to sync across organizations.
- Click My profile in the upper right corner of Dashboard
- Go to Change your password
- Enter the account's current password in all three fields
- Click Change password
- Click Sign out in the upper right corner of Dashboard
- Proceed to login, and an organization dropdown should be displayed
When creating new networks and organizations as an MSP, there are some best practices that increase the ease of management and prevent scalability problems as the service grows.
- Clone new customer organizations from an existing organization to preserve SP specific features
- Some settings, such as branding or EoGRE, must be enabled by Support. Cloning from an organization that already has these features will prevent an extra call to Support as the SP specific features are retained during the cloning process.
- Please see the linked article for information on what settings are carried over during the cloning process
- Create networks and organizations using a generic shared address, such as email@example.com
- Multiple admins can easily access and share this account
- As admins change, the account remains the same
- This account can be tied to a mailer list to ensure that, in the event of an alert or licensing issue, multiple parties are notified
- Additional admins can still be added with their own e-mails, after creation is done using the generic account
- Create separate organizations for each customer/company, since each organization will share the following across its networks/devices:
- User accounts
- Cisco Meraki VPN peers
- 3rd party VPN peers
- Licensing co-termination and feature set
MSP Features and Tools
There are a number of features and tools in Dashboard designed to aid new customer deployment, and make the MSP experience as seamless as possible. Please refer to the following articles for more information:
- Dashboard Branding for MSPs - Allows different elements of the end-customer's Dashboard to be customized, allowing for an MSP-branded experience.
- Using Configuration Templates - Templates can be used to bulk manage sites with similar configurations, or quickly spin up new sites.
- SSID-only Administrators - Provide a simplified interface for end customers to view statistics and modify specific SSIDs.
- Dashboard API - Designed to allow rapid provisioning and configuration of new and existing customer organizations.
Please refer to the following articles for more info about MSP resources:
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