With a presence in 12 countries, 130 cities, and growing, Cabify is dominating the transportation network industry in Latin America, Portugal, and Spain. In fact, Cabify grew 500% last year and 3,000% the year before that. But growth is not without its complications. In order to scale their IT infrastructure, Cabify realized it was time to get a better handle on securing users and their access to IT resources. Cabify reached out to Intelligence Partner, a Cloud Computing Consultant near their headquarters in Spain, who recommended JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. Fortunately, JumpCloud turned out to be exactly what Cabify needed to centralize their global, fast-growing, heterogeneous IT environment.
- Organization: Cabify
- Size: 1,500 Users
- Location: Madrid, Spain
- Problem: No directory, rapid growth, decentralized global workforce
- Goal: Centralize global IT infrastructure, remain 100% cloud-based
When Enrique Salgado came on as Cabify’s Global IT Director, he was charged with implementing JumpCloud and standardizing Cabify’s IT infrastructure and user management for their 1,500 employees.
“I manage the global corporate IT infrastructure, and that includes networking, cybersecurity, and anything that does not have to do with the production of our apps,” Enrique informed. “Right now IT is a team of seven, and we are 100% focused on setting up user access and cybersecurity for our 1,500 users and systems.”
Rapid growth, a mission to remain in the cloud, and the use of a wide variety of IT resources has made setting up user access and cybersecurity a tough task for Cabify.
Enrique explained, “Cabify is a very different company compared to the normal, run-of-the-mill Fortune 500 company. For one thing, we’re 100% cloud-based. It may not be that new in the U.S. or Canada, but in Spain, very few companies are 100% cloud-based.
“Another unique aspect is we grew 500% last year and about 3,000% the year before with little to no warning. So far this year, we’re onboarding between 30 and 50 new employees a month.”
This exponential growth has resulted in users adopting a wide range of IT resources, making it difficult to create a centralized IT environment.
“We’ve grown so fast in so little time that we outgrew the standards we had in place, and some never had time to be in effect” Enrique expressed. “For example, we have different computers from different vendors with different operating systems, and that’s just the start.”
Clearly, Cabify had a tall order to fill in finding a directory service that would enable them to remain 100% cloud-based, adapt to a wide range of IT resources, and secure their global employee base. After some direction from an MSP, why did they opt for JumpCloud over the behemoth in the space, Active Directory®, or an open source solution like OpenLDAP™?
The Cons of Active Directory
Enrique recalled, “We decided not to use Active Directory for a couple reasons. One, you cannot use Active Directory with Windows® Home Edition, and that’s what around 80% of our PCs use. We would have needed to upgrade about 1,500 PCs to Windows Pro. At about $80 per system, the sheer cost of that made it impossible to go with Active Directory. Also, we’re a heterogeneous environment. We use Mac and Linux in addition to Windows, and Active Directory doesn’t work well with either of them.”
Besides a high price and not being able to support Cabify’s heterogeneous environment, Cabify also knew Active Directory would end up slowing them down in the long run.
“Another reason we decided not to use Active Directory is that it’s built on top of layers and layers and layers. It’s not like JumpCloud’s LDAP solution that has been created from the ground up with modern lightweight standards in mind,” remarked Enrique. “Active Directory is simply too heavy. It has so many features, but you only end up using five percent of what you can do with Active Directory.”
“With a company like ours, implementing Active Directory would have been like putting a big dinosaur in the middle of the room.”
“We don’t actually need that. What we need is flexibility and speed. At the same time, we want to be secure, but not at the cost of being slowed down by too many features. Active Directory is rarely the fastest way to move forward, unless you already have it set up and have been using it for a long time.”
The Difficulty with OpenLDAP
An open source directory service, like OpenLDAP, wasn’t an option for Cabify’s seven person team either.
Enrique explained, “We didn’t consider an open source solution like OpenLDAP because we wanted a directory service that was ready to use out of the box. We don’t have enough people to get something complicated running and JumpCloud was ready to go from the beginning. OpenLDAP would have required a lot more configuration, so we didn’t consider it very seriously anyway.”
Now, Enrique and his team are at work implementing JumpCloud. They’ve been busy adding all of Cabify’s corporate users and systems, and integrating G Suite and other applications.
“Right now, we’re using JumpCloud for G Suite and for a SAML connection to a Tableau® server. We’re also using it for system management, although, we’re still working on deploying JumpCloud to all of our systems. There’s only seven of us in IT, and there are 1,500 users, so it’s important that we rollout JumpCloud slowly. Eventually, our plan is to add RADIUS, Salesforce® , some of our local applications, and Meta4, which is our HR application. It’s just going to take a little time to get there since all of our users have to be integrated into LDAP first. Once everyone is in LDAP and up and running, we’ll start adding more IT resources, and have JumpCloud as a base for onboarding and offboarding employees.”
One tool in particular that Enrique and his team utilized to ease importing users was JumpCloud’s PowerShell Module.
Enrique clarified, “We successfully integrated some users by using JumpCloud’s G Suite Integration tool in the admin console. However, we preferred using the PowerShell Module because it made the overall process faster.
“I don’t have a PowerShell background, but by using the user import tutorials that were on JumpCloud’s website, we were able to easily import our G Suite users. I’m not a very technical person. So if I could do it, almost anyone can.”
“I think it would be fairly simple for just about any IT admin to use the PowerShell Module.”
In addition to adding users and setting up G Suite and certain applications, Enrique has been busy reigning in users’ systems.
“One of the biggest concerns when I first came on was the fact that everyone was logging on to their systems using local accounts,” Enrique told us. “Some of them were generic, and there were no sufficient tools to enforce password security. Coming from an older company, this was sort of a shock. With JumpCloud, we’ve been able to clean that up, and it’s been huge for us to move users away from using local accounts on their Windows and Mac systems. Our environment is much more secure, especially now that we can enforce the password standards that we want.”
Cabify’s implementation is still underway, but in the meantime, Enrique has already noticed JumpCloud’s positive impact on his team.
Enrique told us, “It’s nice that you don’t have to be very technical to use JumpCloud. In fact, right now most of our onboarding is not done by IT. For example, the business intelligence (BI) team needed to onboard users to Tableau, and I asked them to do it themselves. I created an admin account for them, and they were able to onboard their users to Tableau without my help. People in the BI team know some aspects of IT, but they’re not full IT people. So, it was nice that they were able to use JumpCloud pretty easily, and that I could delegate that task to them instead of doing it myself.”
In addition to offloading a few responsibilities, Enrique has also enjoyed gaining a centralized IT environment.
“It’s been nice having centralized control over our global IT environment. We have 30+ offices across 12 countries, and there are only seven of us in IT. Some of our offices don’t have their own IT department, so we have to manage their environment remotely. It’s been incredibly helpful to have a cloud directory service with a web-based console that enables every Cabify IT administrator to easily manage an office’s IT environment regardless of where the office is.”
“If an IT issue occurs in one of our Brazil offices, I can take care of it from my office in Spain.”
Advice for IT Admins
For organizations looking to implement a directory service and/or make the shift to the cloud, Enrique had a few pieces of advice.
“My biggest piece of advice would be to look at the benefits of working in the cloud and compare that to the old way of IT. In my opinion, it’s amazing to have everything centralized in the cloud, and it’s very nice not having to worry about the local infrastructure. I don’t have to concern myself with interlinking each server and such. Instead, I just have to manage the connectivity of the offices,” Enrique said.
“I’m a big supporter of moving into the cloud, and I think the sooner, the better. Everybody knows that the days of the domain controller and Active Directory are gone. It’s just a matter of phasing them out.”
“My next piece of advice would be to try JumpCloud’s cloud-based directory service because you get 10 free users,” Enrique told us, “especially if a company plans on being cloud-based and flexible, they should definitely give it a shot.”
Enrique concluded, “I know for Cabify, we want to grow with JumpCloud, and the most important part for us is that JumpCloud is paving the way for how we envision our future IT environment.”
If you would like to learn more about how JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service can act as a core directory to help your organization with scaling, global user management, and much more, drop us a note at [email protected].