AO Partners is a risk advisory consultancy and accounting firm, with operations across North America and Africa. Founded in 1986, the company’s employees are entirely distributed and operate remotely, something that’s uncommon in the region. The company offers cyber security, risk advisory, consulting, and accounting services to clients across all industries, including finance, manufacturing, and hospitality.
Searching for a feature-rich device management solution
As a cyber risk advisory consultancy, AO Partners aims to set an example for its clients, particularly when it comes to digital solutions.
As a remote company, AO Partners was looking for an identity-centric device management solution that would give them more visibility and control over their own technology and networks. At the same time, they were searching for a solution they could advise their clients to deploy as well to protect their networks and devices. The key driver was to seek out a cost-effective solution to address the aforementioned objectives, without significantly increasing their technology stack.
With a diverse mix of clients, AO Partners needs to manage Mac, Windows, and Linux environments. As they began to research their options, they realized the perfect tool would give them deep visibility into their environments while enabling them to manage all operating systems from one pane of glass.
Finding the ideal solution in JumpCloud
As they began searching for a solution, the AO Partners team came across JumpCloud. After comparing JumpCloud with other tools on the market, they ultimately decided it was the best option for their needs — particularly since it offers tons of features.
“We found that JumpCloud would give us many more features than other solutions,” explains Ajibola Mathias Jacobs, cybersecurity manager at AO Partners. “For example, the remote patch management and software application deployment were juicy features that we found really useful, and that made us stick with JumpCloud.”
Additionally, AO Partners was drawn to JumpCloud because of its favorable costs and the fact that the team was able to test the platform before committing.
“We had some time to test it out and deployed JumpCloud on a couple machines,” Jacobs says. “We quickly became comfortable with it and said, ‘Let’s work with this.’”
Using JumpCloud to protect internal networks and solve client problems
AO Partners is confident they made the right decision to trust JumpCloud. Not only does the solution improve their own security stance and give them more control over their computing environment, it also enables them to deliver better service to their clients. With that in mind, here are some of the ways AO Partners has benefited from its investment in JumpCloud.
Strengthening device management
At a high level, the decision to use JumpCloud has helped AO Partners get much more control over their devices and networks — as well as their clients’ devices and networks. No matter whether the devices are Mac, Windows, or Linux, AO Partners has been able to achieve consistent results with JumpCloud.
“There’s a mixture of different kinds of operating systems, and we’ve gotten the same results across all of them,” Jacobs says.
Giving clients more visibility into their networks and devices
Thanks to JumpCloud, AO Partners is able to deliver more value to their clients. For example, the company recently helped a client with a team of developers spread out across time zones increase visibility into its devices, apps, and network.
With JumpCloud, that process was a breeze.
“JumpCloud has been a one-stop shop for a lot of features and has helped us to manage our interactions with clients very well when it comes to getting visibility on devices, the cloud, and who goes in and who goes out of applications,” Jacobs says. “We are very particular about having that visibility, and JumpCloud has really helped us manage visibility.” Furthermore, AO Partners was able to encourage their clients to leverage many of the product offerings and features in JumpCloud like password management, mobile device management (MDM), patch management, Directory Insights, and more to optimize client security posture, control implementation, and drive compliance with international standards. “Ultimately, by further optimizing the technology stack of our clients, they are able to spend more time focusing on innovation and securely building what matters most — unique products that solve problems.”
Offering a smooth client onboarding process
When AO Partners engages a new client, the company analyzes their requirements and then conducts an assessment to determine which JumpCloud features would work best in their environment. After enrolling users into the system in a staging environment, the team makes sure everything works before activating the new system.
“JumpCloud is pretty easy for our users,” Jacobs says. “Once they get an email, they log in and set themselves up, set up their multi-factor authentication, and then onboard their devices themselves.”
Automating patch management
JumpCloud’s feature-rich nature has enabled the AO Partners team to consolidate tools. For example, before JumpCloud, the company had to set up a separate solution for patch management.
“The original crude way of getting it done was having to talk to the user of the device, set up a meeting, and help them patch their devices,” Jacobs says. “Sometimes, we had to do that for 200 – 300 users at a go.”
With JumpCloud, what used to be a time-consuming, frustrating endeavor is now essentially an afterthought.
“Now, we do patch management on JumpCloud; in minutes you can get it done with just a push of the button,” Jacobs says, adding that the IT team has saved countless hours as a result. “We’ve automated the process. When any new update comes in, devices are patched automatically. We just check and make sure that everything runs fine. It’s that simple and seamless for us.”
Recently, there was a big update on MacOS. But because the team had automated the patch management process, “we didn’t need to worry much about it,” Jacobs says. “The devices that needed the updates got them automatically.”
Extending JumpCloud with integrations
According to Jacobs, AO Partners has been “playing around with a lot of features from JumpCloud.” To that end, the company has integrated JumpCloud with several third-party applications for itself and for its clients, including Google Workspace, as well as LDAP-, OIDC-, and SAML-based applications.
“The kinds of integration options that JumpCloud gives us has enabled us to connect different pieces here and there together to have clear visibility across all server platforms and systems with our clients,” Jacobs says, adding that integrating the platform is “very seamless.”
Additionally, AO Partners helps their clients achieve granular visibility, and integrate logical identity access management on both internal custom applications and vendor-based applications. These custom integrations via OIDC, LDAP, etc. help to significantly reduce the number of security incidents across their client base.
Making smarter decisions with data
AO Partners also utilizes System Insights and Directory Insights, giving them fast access to key data they can use to make informed decisions and generate actionable alerts for the security teams to investigate. This also helps drive proactive security management.
“These are features that we’ve deployed and actually enjoy using,” Jacobs explains.
For example, System Insights gives AO Partners device-level event visibility across all managed devices. As a result, they are able to see whether users logged in or logged out, where they logged in from, and what their IP address is, among other things.
“We get important insights that would have taken us time to dig into,” Jacobs says. “I can quickly pull information out of JumpCloud and use it how I need to. It’s shortened hours of work.”
At the same time, AO Partners uses Directory Insights to find out things like when a particular device was last authenticated in the field or when a user last logged into JumpCloud.
“It’s given us a lot of information, and it’s also helps us resolve some cases with our clients as well,” Jacobs says.
Any advice for someone considering JumpCloud?
“The product is great. JumpCloud has a lot of solutions, so you need to know what your needs are and then match them with the solutions from JumpCloud.”
Additionally, Jacobs suggests teams test out JumpCloud in their environments just like AO Partners did. “Just go ahead with it,” he concludes.
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.