November 1, 2020
About the client
With over 700 employees across 18 offices, Snow Software is changing the way organizations understand and manage their technology consumption. Their technology intelligence platform provides comprehensive visibility and contextual insight across software, SaaS, hardware and cloud. With Snow, IT leaders can effectively optimize resources, enhance performance and enable operational agility in a hybrid world.
CHALLENGES PHASE 1
When Snow Software’s CIO, Alastair Pooley first engaged with Itergy, he was looking to move to a Zero Trust Architecture model using identity as the gating factor to secure their 130 applications. He wanted to be able to rely on Microsoft Active directory (AD) for identity management and to provide their more than 700 users at the time with strong authentication and Single Sign On (SSO). The main challenges were that many people on the IT team were relatively new and that they had inherited legacy systems which had been built by a third-party firm and employees who had left the company. There was no confidence that the AD infrastructure (on premises and Azure AD) was configured correctly, and that Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) was set up properly. With the complexity of AD and the possibilities of misconfiguration, the company was concerned about exposure to important security risks.
“We wanted to make sure we weren’t missing anything because you don’t know what you don’t know. Itergy does this in lots of different companies and knows what good looks likes, and what the best practices are. It was just so valuable in building the expertise within our own team, so we would know how to maintain it.”
Alastair Pooley, Chief Information Officer
CHALLENGES PHASE 2
In 2019, Snow Software acquired a Canadian cloud management platform to improve their offerings to their customers around cloud usage analysis. With a new separate AD environment, siloed applications, separate user base, and its own Microsoft Office 365 tenant for their users to communicate and collaborate through, Alastair and his IT team faced the following challenges:
- Inefficient collaboration because of multiple-domain structure
- Increased complexity to support disparate user groups and applications
- Increased security risks across multiple IT systems
- Increased IT management and support costs
The priorities for this migration was to give Embotics users the functionality to SSO into Snow apps such as Zoom, GitHub, and Jira by January 28, and a secondary priority to allow users to send and receive email from the snowsoftware.com domain for company branding purposes. As an initial step, Itergy needed to complete a detailed discovery of these environments.
Solutions and Benefits
ITERGY’S SOLUTION PHASE 1
At a conference, Alastair met with Itergy and was impressed with the deep knowledge, expertise, and, most importantly, the experience Itergy had helping clients build strong AD infrastructures for maximum security.
Itergy performed an audit of Snow Software’s on-premises and cloud AD infrastructure to provide a focused view into their current setup and configuration and to help identify high-risk issues that needed to be dealt with to ensure their integrity. It included an assessment of:
- AD environment and infrastructure
- ADFS infrastructure
- Azure AD and Azure AD Connect infrastructure.
As well as assessing the security status of the set-up, Itergy also took a long-term, strategic view. Based on Snow Software’s goals, they evaluated the environment to advise them on the best technology configuration to achieve the roadmap.
Alastair was particularly impressed by Itergy’s flexibility in allowing Snow Software’s IT team to carry out the remediation project work while leveraging the experts to verify the work. This provided the department with very valuable knowledge transfer and enabled its members to manage their AD systems once proper configuration was done. To ensure that the company’s AD and Azure AD infrastructure was modernized, optimized, and secured as per best practices, Itergy conducted a reassessment and provided recommendations to further secure it for the future.
“Itergy was very diligent in making sure knowledge was transferred,” Alastair emphasized. “They were extremely flexible about including my team to do the set-up, and then they checked their work. They didn’t just leave a manual. This absolutely fitted with what we needed to do.”
With a relationship of trust in place, Snow Software turned to Itergy again to perform a discovery assessment of the current environment to understand the assets in place better, their configuration, network configuration, security requirements, and, most importantly, the obstacles that may present themselves during a project, and allow for a more accurate representation of the actual work required to achieve the desired results.
After the completion of the assessment, Snow Software retained Itergy’s services for a full Office 365 tenant migration. To do so, Itergy built the migration solutions for Exchange online, ran a pilot test of 10 accounts, conducted a migration test of 10 production user accounts, and migrated the rest of the mailboxes. Finally, Itergy moved the domain embotics.com to the Snow Software tenant.
This allows users to continue to receive emails from their old addresses (Embotics) but with the new snowsoftware.com domain for company branding purposes. By completing the migration task to bring both Embotics and Snow Software under one 365 tenant, Alastair and his team were able to have one company-wide productivity platform that helps:
- Increase employee productivity and efficiency by using one platform for communication and collaboration
- Increase IT security and mitigate risk and threats across IT systems
- Reduce IT management and support costs and complexity
These results are directly linked to Itergy’s expertise: “Having an external team, who has seen a variety of use cases and perspectives, gives you a broader base of experience to help you leverage certain types of software,” concludes Alastair. “The average in-house developer could not have found the solutions we have for our departments. And Itergy keeps looking to improve on the strong solution they’ve provided.”