AkitaBox is a software company that builds and implements applications designed to help organizations optimize facilities management. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, the company has roughly 50 employees, some of whom are scattered across the United States.
Managing a Cacophonic IT Environment
When Nathan Vergin, AkitaBox’s director of IT, joined the company nearly four years ago, there wasn’t a centralized internal IT infrastructure in place. All of the company’s workstations — including Windows, Mac, and Linux machines — were using local user accounts. At the same time, AkitaBox was relying on a number of SaaS tools, including Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Slack, Zoom, LastPass, and the Atlassian suite.
“There was nothing from an IT perspective pulling it all together or managing access to these systems,” Vergin explains. “Pretty much everything was done ad hoc as the mindset was more to simply make it work than to make it work right from a centralized, managed IT perspective. My first project was to bring order to that chaos.”
Bringing Order to Chaos with JumpCloud
Since its inception, AkitaBox has been a cloud-first organization without any on-prem infrastructure outside of a local network and a printer. To solve the problem, Vergin began searching for a cloud-based directory solution that would support all three major operating systems. The right solution would also support mobility and be flexible enough to adapt to evolving business needs and operational requirements.
“I 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,” Vergin continues.
After researching the market, Vergin found that “JumpCloud was the only product that not only met those needs but went above and beyond them.”
Becoming the Backbone of the Business
After deploying JumpCloud, Vergin quickly established a centralized directory to manage all of AkitaBox’s devices and user accounts.
“After that first huge win, I kept the momentum going by systematically implementing additional features and capabilities offered by the platform,” Vergin explains.
Since then, JumpCloud has continued to play a pivotal role in helping to secure, streamline, and transform the business in a variety of ways.
“As new features are introduced, we continue to implement them, bringing further consolidation and standardization to our business,” Vergin says. “To this day, when I’m 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.”
With that in mind, here are some of the additional benefits AkitaBox enjoys thanks to using JumpCloud to manage its IT environment.
Happier, more productive employees
JumpCloud enables AkitaBox to centrally manage users and devices, bringing standardization and simplicity to the environment, which results in fewer issues overall.
“When problems do arise, it’s much faster and easier to resolve them,” Vergin says. “This results in higher employee satisfaction and happiness, and less stress from an IT perspective.”
Since happier employees are more productive, the entire AkitaBox team accomplishes more.
Support for a remote workforce
When the pandemic struck, AkitaBox seamlessly transitioned from an office-based, mobile environment to being 100% remote “literally overnight,” Vergin explains. Subsequently, the company has now embraced a hybrid environment. While remote-first is the standard, the company maintains an office employees can use when they desire.
“Approximately one-third of our company now works out of state, most of whom have never been to our physical office,” Vergin says. With JumpCloud in place, supporting a hybrid workforce and ensuring devices work properly is a cinch.
Single sign-on (SSO)
The AkitaBox team implemented JumpCloud’s SSO solution, which “dramatically reduced the number of passwords our employees need to remember,” Vergin says.
As a result, employees can easily move between applications swiftly and securely, and AkitaBox can rest comfortably knowing that only authorized users can access tools and systems. What’s more, JumpCloud SSO has helped the company secure its own AkitaBox SaaS application.
“All of our employees leverage that when accessing our platform internally,” he continues.
Increased IT productivity
Thanks to JumpCloud, AkitaBox has been able to significantly reduce the time it takes to build and rebuild computers.
“We went from a purely manual process spanning multiple hours to a largely automated affair that now takes less than an hour in most cases,” Vergin explains.
Currently, the company is in the middle of migrating to Macs as their primary operating system. Vergin is now leveraging Apple’s Automated Device Enrollment and JumpCloud MDM to provide a largely automated, light-touch build process.
“We hope for true zero-touch deployments in the future,” Vergin says.
AkitaBox has optimized its onboarding processes using JumpCloud. By leveraging orchestration workflows in Freshservice, HR can easily initiate the IT onboarding process through a simple form, which creates new accounts instantly. Not only does this create a repeatable process, it reduces onboarding overhead considerably.
“We’ve built one of the best onboarding experiences,” Vergin says. “New employees often tell us just how great it is.”
Security and compliance
JumpCloud has enabled AkitaBox to significantly strengthen its approach to security and compliance.
“All of our systems adhere to reasonable password policies, enforce full disk encryption, and leverage SSO via JumpCloud to help us meet our security and compliance requirements,” Vergin says.
Additionally, AkitaBox uses:
- Patch Management to help ensure systems stay up to date
- JumpCloud Protect™ for seamless multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Software Management and Policies to standardize and harden systems
- JumpCloud RADIUS to secure office wireless networks
“We’ve greatly increased our overall security and compliance thanks to JumpCloud, allowing us to more easily meet the requirements of SOC 2 certification and future certifications that are planned,” Vergin says.
Peace of mind
By simplifying, streamlining, and automating many routine IT processes, JumpCloud enables Vergin to spend his time on more impactful projects, plan out future initiatives, and focus on the most important business priorities instead of tedious tasks.
“I’ve managed to retain my sanity as a director of IT who functions as a department of one,” Vergin says. “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.”
Learn More About JumpCloud
JumpCloud changes the way IT administrators manage their organizations by providing a comprehensive and flexible cloud directory platform. From one pane of glass, manage user identities and resource access, secure Mac, Windows, and Linux devices, and get a full view of your environment.
Experience JumpCloud for free with a free account for 10 users and 10 devices.