Cellulant uses technology to connect people and their resources, making it easier to do business across Africa. They are committed to creating prosperity and opportunity for the whole continent. They make commerce more streamlined and more reliable to ensure your hard work never goes to waste.
Before JumpCloud®, Cellulant used Active Directory (AD), but as time went on, AD was unable to keep up with the organization’s changing needs. “We had Microsoft Active Directory, but it was limiting,” said Michael Adesoba, former Cybersecurity Engineer at Cellulant. Because of these limitations, Adesoba began looking for alternatives, which is how he found JumpCloud.
After coming across JumpCloud, Adesoba said, “I tried it out and it made sense.” AD is primarily limited to on-prem infrastructure and Windows-based resources, whereas JumpCloud is cloud-based, flexible across operating systems, and includes a wide variety of features not found in AD.
“One of the main reasons I pushed for JumpCloud at the time was because it gave the information security team the flexibility to manage endpoints and users. So, the team could remotely sort out any end-user problem and/or any identity and access problem, as long as we had internet access which we could not do with Active Directory at that time. Active Directory was a pain to be honest.”Michael Adesoba, Former Cybersecurity Engineer, Cellulant
Cellulant had a heterogeneous IT environment that needed to be managed more centrally, and Active Directory couldn’t handle that very well. When discussing Cellulant’s current environment and how JumpCloud fits into it, Adesoba stated, “On the user side of things, we have a mix of Windows and Mac. For Mac, we’re able to do things like full disc encryption, [and] we’re able to do logging because we’re able to see logs from all of those endpoints.” This is a direct result of implementing JumpCloud over Active Directory.
- Organization: Cellulant
- Location: Africa
- Problem: Managing endpoints and users regardless of location
- Goal: Move away from AD and its limitations
Initially, Cellulant used a colocation facility to house its servers, storage, applications, and more, and that facility provided internet access for the organization. “The servers there are virtualized and mostly Linux,” said Adesoba. “All our servers were mainly doing stuff around financial services. We were vending airtime, doing bank transfers, utility payments as well.”
Cellulant needed a better cloud-based solution to manage users, endpoints, and data, which is what led them to JumpCloud. They initially used Active Directory which simply wasn’t cutting it anymore — they needed more capabilities and flexibility within their chosen directory platform.
Challenge: Breaking Past the Limits of AD
The primary challenges that Cellulant faced were:
- Replacing AD with a much more convenient directory solution
- Managing remote users and endpoints
- Onboarding and offboarding
With traditional Active Directory in place initially, Cellulant was having trouble managing all of its endpoints and remote users. They had a cross-OS IT environment and servers housed in a colocation facility, so their processes were not nearly as effective or efficient as they were after implementing JumpCloud.
In terms of JumpCloud making life more convenient at Cellulant, Adesoba said, “Convenience for myself was a top priority then, because that goes a long way for me to benchmark what needs to be done.” Active Directory was an inconvenient solution for the organization as a whole, but JumpCloud now provides them with one central pane of glass to view and manage their IT environment through, which is exactly what was needed. Efficiently managing remote endpoints and users saves massive amounts of time and money if you look at it from a bottom line perspective.
Onboarding and offboarding was another pain point that needed to be addressed at Cellulant. They needed a solution that streamlined these processes, provided automation capabilities, and connected to a wide variety of other tools, either on-prem or in the cloud. These needs also brought them to JumpCloud, because the modern, cloud-based platform makes onboarding and offboarding simple, efficient, and secure.
Solution: A Cloud-Based Directory Platform
When discussing management buy-in for implementing JumpCloud, Adesoba told us how he convinced them that JumpCloud was a solution that they needed. “I had to simply come up with proof. This is in the cloud, [and] it’s easy to roll out. I showed samples of one or two rollouts, which means I just grabbed the JumpCloud setup, put it on a machine, installed it there, and boom, it came up on the console, and I showed them. Then I applied policies to it, then attached a user to it and removed the user, and did all of those processes [through a few] clicks. And from there they were sold.”
After getting management buy-in, Adesoba said, “I did the initial rollout for staff, at that time we were about 50 users in Nigeria. It was pretty much doing everything I wanted — password management, identity and access management, enforcement, and it helped me with PCI DSS compliance and ISO 27001.”
As a JumpCloud user, we asked Adesoba what he would tell people that are on the fence about implementing JumpCloud. His response was, “Convenience is one [thing]. People have the opportunity to tune JumpCloud to whatever they want. JumpCloud will do what all of the other competitors will do, and more. As much as they can imagine, they can do it on JumpCloud. They can extend it, which means they can connect it with many other applications that they have, maybe internal or not.”
Onboarding and Offboarding Seamlessly
Regarding user lifecycle management, Adesoba mentioned, “We had G Suite for email management, and I tied G Suite into JumpCloud. So, onboarding is mostly seamless. So once staff come on board… it’s just a breeze. I provision their email, it connects to their computers, it connects to their JumpCloud access and all of their privileges, everything goes straight like that, then with multi-factor authentication on top of that.”
JumpCloud simplifies onboarding and offboarding by allowing Cellulant to tie everything back to JumpCloud identities, thus automating privileges, access levels, and account creation through federation. When asked about offboarding, Adesoba stated that it works as smoothly as onboarding — he said, “I get a notification from HR that staff X is leaving, then I go through that same offboarding process.”
Prior to implementing JumpCloud, Adesoba mentioned a focus on PCI DSS and ISO 27001 compliance that needed to be improved. “[JumpCloud] doubles as an asset management solution. [In JumpCloud] I can see all of my assets. [With] standards like PCI DSS or ISO 27001, asset management [plays] an important part. So, with JumpCloud we were covered with that,” Adesoba said.
He also said that, “In Nigeria, most auditors don’t know JumpCloud.” So when they come in for the audit, they often expect to see Active Directory; however,“ by the time we showed them the console and they saw assets and everything, they too were sold on [JumpCloud]. They didn’t know that something like that exists. So, [JumpCloud] really helped with compliance.”
Using JumpCloud’s powerful platform to achieve and prove compliance is a huge asset to any organization. Failing to meet compliance standards can have lasting impacts on an organization’s reputation and bottom line, and Cellulant recognized that. By implementing JumpCloud and using it to prove compliance, they are on the right track in the realms of security and compliance.
After implementing the JumpCloud Directory Platform, Cellulant found that it’s more cost-effective and just a better overall solution compared to alternatives. Quoting Adesoba, “In my opinion, [in terms of cost], I think JumpCloud is more affordable than the alternatives. Our colleagues in other markets such as Kenya initially were using Okta and we advised that JumpCloud is a better alternative. So, after a while they moved from Okta to JumpCloud as well.”
According to Adesoba, after adopting and rolling out JumpCloud, Cellulant received the support they needed from JumpCloud to remain secure and productive. “I get good response time, and they’re always there to support,” he said in reference to the support team. Being able to ask questions or report problems and get a quick response is an integral part of JumpCloud’s platform, and it exists to ensure that no issue goes unaddressed.
I’m a big JumpCloud fan to be honest.Michael Adesoba, Former Cybersecurity Engineer, Cellulant
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.
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