How NaaS Helped a Cannabis Company Manage its Rapid Growth

April 14, 2020
Jon Lloyd
Director Solution Design

Many enterprises have turned to Network as a Service (NaaS) as a means to rid themselves of rigid, silo-laden, legacy network architectures. Not only is NaaS a lower-cost option, but provides the flexibility needed to compete in a rapidly evolving digital economy.

Start-up organizations do not have this problem, however, because they have no legacy networks to contend with. Today’s emerging company is purpose-built for advanced virtual and cloud-based infrastructure. For them, NaaS provides an altogether different, but no less significant, advantage: the ability to scale networks to support rapidly expanding workflows.

One of the fastest-growing industries these days is cannabis. Whether for medical or recreational purposes, the pot industry is growing by leaps and bounds even though it remains fully legal in only a handful of states.

For one company at the forefront of Michigan’s nascent cannabis industry, rapid growth had them in a bind when it came to sourcing and provisioning network infrastructure. With limited staff and a limited budget, expansion to multiple sites across the state, not to mention plans to branch out to other states, posed a heady challenge, both in terms of initial capital costs and ongoing licensing, maintenance and support.

Instead, the company chose to deploy NaaS as a managed service by CBTS. The overriding factor in this decision was one of logistics: while a traditional hardware-centric network required a great deal of time and implementation of complex technical solutions, NaaS can be deployed at the speeds needed in today’s economy. This is particularly important when the expanding customer base is dependent on the reliable delivery of a basic medical product that is vital to their quality of life.

As a matter of capital costs, NaaS provides a much more elegant solution to a greenfield network deployment than the complex process of selecting the right hardware, shipping it to dispersed locations, installing it, integrating software, followed by testing, debugging and a host of other steps—only to produce a system that will steadily lose value and provide diminishing performance with the passage of time. With NaaS, the enterprise is equipped with a state-of-the-art network that is continuously upgraded and backed by 24x7x365 support by thoroughly trained professionals. At the same time, companies can scale the consumption of virtual resources according to workload demands, thereby eliminating the need to maintain idle capacity during non-peak hours.

One of the key advantages of the CBTS NaaS platform is the Cisco Meraki dashboard, which provides the option to offload day-to-day management operations to CBTS technical staff even as the enterprise retains the ability to step in and implement its own management decisions when the need arises. The system provides deep visibility into networking conditions—everything from overall uptime, performance and application usage to detailed metrics on how users are engaging the system. This provides a thorough understanding of what is happening both internally and externally to the native network footprint so executives can make informed business decisions related to the impact on network consumption.

As well, network configurations can be designed around a number of security and redundancy features, including firewalls at each site and high-availability pairs at centralized locations to enable seamless failover in the event of an outage. Under this architecture, the enterprise is able to maintain virtual private networks between sites while still keeping confidential data secure.

With the pace of economic activity at a fever pitch these days, start-ups need to maintain single focus on growing their business, not building and maintaining data infrastructure. With a managed NaaS platform, fast-growing organizations are finding they can do just that. By handing off network implementation and management tasks to a provider, all company resources can be devoted to enhancing revenue streams, tapping new markets and optimizing core business processes.

For information on how CBTS can solve your networking problems, visit

Read how a cannabis cultivation company utilized NaaS to overcome its network challenges, support rapid growth, and offload day-to-day network monitoring to CBTS.

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