Xceptional improves SMB clients’ cybersecurity posture using JumpCloud

Xceptional is a premier technology solutions partner that brings enterprise discipline, technology, knowledge, and engineering capabilities to small- and mid-sized businesses. The company, which was founded in 2007 and has 21 employees, has offices in San Diego, California and Longmont, Colorado, with some team members working remotely. Xceptional is a JumpCloud partner.

Needing a cloud-based solution for identity and device management

As a premier technology solutions partner, Xceptional is laser-focused on providing the best IT services to clients as possible and helping them secure their systems and strengthen their cybersecurity posture. To this end, the team is always on the lookout for modern solutions to IT challenges. 

In 2022, Xceptional made the first acquisition in its 15-year history, gobbling up Colorado-based Altitude Integrations, a managed services provider.

“They had this cloud-focused, cloud-first business, which was attractive when we first started evaluating them as a candidate for acquisition because we were still a hybrid between a more traditional, on-premises model,” says Chris McKewon, Xceptional’s founder and CEO.

As the Xceptional team continued evaluating the potential acquisition target, they learned about JumpCloud, which Altitude was using to manage identities and devices for clients.

“A lot of our customers need to be more nimble and flexible or need to remove their current dependencies on on-premises infrastructure, like Active Directory,” McKewon continues. “Altitude’s cloud-first approach added more seriousness to my interest in the acquisition, and we ultimately decided to get the deal done.” 

Implementing JumpCloud training as a requirement for service desk employees

After hearing about JumpCloud, McKewon’s interest was piqued and he began learning more and more about the service.

“I went and got certified right away so that I could speak about it with authority,” he says.

McKewon no doubt loved what he learned. Today, his employees have to follow that same path.

“Every member of our service desk team is now required to get trained and certified on JumpCloud. That’s a pretty big shift in a year-and-a-half, right?” McKewon says. “I think we’ll see more and more adoption and deployment of JumpCloud for customers who need identity management and device management rather than legacy or traditional products.” 

Optimizing client IT footprints with JumpCloud, a ‘one-stop shop for technology solutions partners’

Over the last 18 months, JumpCloud has become a key piece of Xceptional’s product offerings. 

“We are leading with it; it’s included in our bundled solution,” McKewon explains. “XceptionalCare Complete comes not only with managed detection and response and user security awareness training, but also a JumpCloud license. We’re excited about that. We want to sell more of that and we want to help our clients get started on a good cybersecurity journey.” 

Typically, Xceptional offers two phases of JumpCloud deployment; phase one includes identity and device management, and phase two expands the JumpCloud footprint from there.

“After we’ve imported users into the environment, that’s our springboard to look at policy management and patch management and access management.” 

Device management made easy

As a premier technology solutions partner, Xceptional manages a diverse mix of environments.

“If it’s education, high tech, or science, it’s usually going to be all Mac or mostly Mac with a couple of Windows machines,” he says. “For general businesses, though, we’re seeing more market share going in the direction of Windows.”

Whether clients are all-Mac, all-Windows, or somewhere in between — or whether there are any Linux machines in the mix, for that matter — the Xceptional team can manage all devices using JumpCloud’s device management capabilities.

Identity management simplified

Whether clients use Google or Microsoft as a business productivity suite, JumpCloud streamlines identity management.

Google and JumpCloud complement each other nicely,” McKewon explains. “But even in a Microsoft environment with 365, Intune might not meet their needs, and JumpCloud is a nice complementary fit to that as well.” 

Improving security with policies

Many of the clients Xceptional works with have nascent security policies — if they have anything in place at all. 

“Once we’ve taken care of identity and device management, we start developing policies that are reasonable and up to standards but not too disruptive to their end users,” McKewon continues. “Then we figure out how to enforce compliance against those policies.”

Upselling made easy

Recently, Xceptional deployed JumpCloud to a client’s end users but not to their devices. At the time, the client didn’t have any device policies in place.

“We were going through a cybersecurity questionnaire with them, and we said JumpCloud can do this, JumpCloud can do that, JumpCloud can also do that,” McKewon says. “So, it was easy to get them to transition from phase one to phase two.”

At the time, the client was in the process of getting cyber insurance. The provider gave them coverage for 90 days, but the company needed to implement several security controls for coverage to continue after that.

“They said, ‘We want you to deploy all these JumpCloud technologies to our environment to make us compliant so we can keep our cybersecurity insurance,’” McKewon explains. “There was a clear need, a clear solution, and just a little bit of professional services to get them there. Happy client, happy cyber insurance company, and happy technology solutions partner.” 

Zero trust security

Xceptional works with a couple defense contractors that need to adhere to complex regulatory requirements, including the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and NIST 800.

“These are very high standards to meet,” McKewon explains. “You’re flipping the script. You have access to nothing unless it’s granted.” 

Using JumpCloud’s zero trust capabilities, Xceptional has helped these clients meet and maintain compliance.

“Making it easier for users and more secure at the same time is a win across the board,” he says.

An exceptional partner experience

The Xceptional team has had a positive experience being a JumpCloud partner and hopes to continue strengthening the relationship.

“Recent changes have been very beneficial to us, and the engagement we’re getting with our partner account manager and access to resources with JumpCloud has been refreshing and good,” McKewon concludes. “I’m very hopeful that we’ll continue to develop this relationship and deploy the product to more and more clients.” 

As JumpCloud continues to roll out new features, it’s becoming an even more integral part of Xceptional’s operations. In particular, McKewon believes that Remote Assist brings JumpCloud one step closer to being the undisputed “one-stop shop for technology solutions partners.” 

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.

Get started with JumpCloud today.

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