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NVergin
Rising Star I
Status: Winner

Name: Nathan Vergin
Title: Director of IT
Contact information: (in profile)
Company name: AkitaBox
Location:  We are headquartered in Madison, WI but have employees all across the country.

What solution (if any) were you using before JumpCloud?

Nothing - all our workstations (Windows, Mac, and Linux) were standalone and were using local user accounts.  We leveraged a variety of SaaS business systems such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Slack, Zoom, LastPass, Atlassian, etc…  but there was nothing from an IT perspective pulling it all together or managing access to those systems.


What was the challenge your company was facing that led you to consider JumpCloud?

When I started at AkitaBox nearly 4 years ago, there was no centralized internal IT infrastructure in place.  There were no standard naming conventions other than for the company email address, few policies were in place around passwords/security, and pretty much everything was done in an ad-hoc method as the mindset was more to simply “make it work” rather than to make it “work right” from a centralized, managed IT perspective.

My first project was to bring order to that chaos.  JumpCloud was the first new system that I brought on board in order to establish a centralized directory to manage our computer and user accounts.  After that first huge win, I kept the momentum going by systematically implementing additional features and capabilities offered by the platform. JumpCloud has continued to play a pivotal role in helping to secure, streamline, and transform the business in a wide variety of ways and as new features are introduced, we continue to implement them bringing further consolidation and standardization to our business.  To this day, when I am going through our IT onboarding orientation with new employees, I describe JumpCloud as the backbone of not only our IT infrastructure but by extension, the business itself.


What made you choose JumpCloud as the solution to your needs?

At the time we had an office that roughly 95% of our employees worked out of the majority of the time.  Full-time remote work was not a huge factor at that point but mobility was as there was a need for regular travel. So from the get-go, we have been a cloud-first organization with no on-prem infrastructure outside of the local network and a printer.  As such, we needed a directory solution that was not only cloud-based but one that would seamlessly support all 3 major operating systems.  Something that would allow mobility and an ability to easily scale and adapt to our business needs and operational requirements as we continued to grow.  I also wanted to find a solution from a company that was still young and agile enough that rapid innovation in the platform was still taking place and that real-world user feedback and feature requests would actually help shape the product.  JumpCloud was the only product that not only met those needs but went above and beyond them.


Could you tell us about your company’s environment? How many users? What resources do you manage, including devices + cloud/on-prem infrastructure + applications, etc.?

We currently have roughly 50 employees.  Over the past 4 years, we have seamlessly transitioned from an office-based mobile environment to being 100% remote literally overnight early on in the pandemic.  Recently we have transitioned into a hybrid environment with remote-first being the standard but with an office that can be used as desired.  Approximately one-third of our company now works out of state, most of which have never been to our physical office.  We recently transitioned most of our workforce to MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs.  We still have a subset of users who require Windows systems for specific AutoDesk products and also have a Linux user.


Please also list any integrations, features, commands, policies, and anything else you’re using. Now’s your chance to tell us how awesome your project is and why it should win!

  • We centralized and standardized our IT environment bringing order and manageability to the chaos that it had previously been.
  • Implementation of JumpCloud-based SSO has dramatically reduced the number of passwords our employees need to remember.  For systems we cannot yet natively attach to JumpCloud SSO, most allow Google authentication which then acts as a man-in-the-middle to provide seamless authentication into those systems while falling back on JumpCloud as the primary SSO/authentication authority.  This has made onboarding and offboarding much faster and easier from both an IT perspective as well as that of the employee.
  • We implemented JumpCloud SSO in securing our own AkitaBox SaaS application.  All of our employees leverage that when accessing our platform internally.
  • We have reduced the time it takes to build (or rebuild) computers from a purely manual process spanning multiple hours to a largely automated affair that now takes less than an hour in most cases.  With the move to Macs as our primary OS, we now leverage Automated Device Enrollment and JumpCloud MDM to provide a largely automated, “light-touch” build process with the hope for true zero-touch deployments in the future.
  • IT Onboarding and the creation of new user accounts have also been highly optimized by leveraging orchestration workflows in Freshservice (our IT ticketing system).  This provides easy repeatability and reduces onboarding overhead because HR can initiate the IT onboarding process through a simple form and standard accounts are instantly created.
  • All of our systems adhere to reasonable password policies, enforce full disk encryption, and leverage SSO via JumpCloud helping us to meet our security and compliance requirements.
  • We leverage JumpCloud Protect for both TOTP and Push authentication as well as conditional access which makes authentication much less intrusive for our employees.
  • Patch management has recently been implemented, helping to ensure our systems are up-to-date and again helping us to not only meet our security and compliance requirements but also to rapidly respond to and roll out critical updates when needed.
  • Software Management and Policy Management are both leveraged to help standardize and harden our systems.
  • Commands are also used to assist in performing remote tasks, provide reporting, and deploy some software packages.
  • We leverage JumpCloud RADIUS to secure our office wireless networks.

     

What are some results you’ve seen since implementing JumpCloud? What do you hope to achieve?

  • We have built out one of the best onboarding experiences that our employees have ever experienced.  (we are often told just how great it is)
  • We have greatly increased our overall security and compliance allowing us to more easily meet the requirements of SOC2 certification (Type 2, in-progress) and future certifications that are planned.
  • We can centrally manage our users and devices bringing standardization and simplicity to our environment which in turn means there are fewer issues overall and when problems do arise, it is much faster/easier to resolve them.  This results in higher employee satisfaction and happiness, and less stress for me from an IT perspective.
  • The overall end-user experience has been greatly simplified by using SSO to reduce passwords.  Paired with a streamlined MFA process leveraging conditional access and the JumpCloud Protect app we have been able to greatly increase our security with little burden put on our employees which leads to more rapid adoption and acceptance.
  • I have managed to retain my sanity as a Director of IT who functions as a department of one.  By simplifying, streamlining, and automating many of the day-to-day routine processes within the environment, JumpCloud allows me more time to work on larger impactful projects, plan out future initiatives, and focus on business-wide priorities such as security, compliance, software/licensing, budget, etc.
  • At the end of the day, there are a number of IT services that I rely upon to keep our IT infrastructure secure and running smoothly, but JumpCloud more than any other is mission-critical for us.

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Winner: Best Use Case