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Executive Summary: Ciracom Cloud Deploys Windows Autopilot to Help Startup Marketing Agency AdImpact Onboard Staff Effortlessly and Securely

About AdImpact

Founded in 2014, AdImpact is a marketing agency geared toward providing media intelligence and marketing analytics for political campaigns. Its goal is to create actionable information to help advertisers make better, faster decisions by tracking TV ads and placements across broadcasts and cable outlets. Recently, AdImpact deployed a smart TV tracking tool to capture data on every platform, including streaming networks and smart TV applications.

Customer Issues

AdImpact was previously a part of Alexandria, Virginia-based Smart Media Group (SMG). Because the organization was growing and the two offered slightly different services, AdImpact and SMG decided to become entirely separate entities. This created a need for AdImpact and SMG to split their back-office resources, including their Microsoft tenant.

Additionally, AdImpact wanted a better process to onboard employees and provision work laptops within short lengths of time, as the agency tends to ramp up during notoriously busy periods, such as election seasons.


AdImpact agreed with Ciracom Cloud’s recommendations to address its needs through:

  • Deployment of Microsoft 365 Business Premium with Intune and Endpoint Manager to enable Autopilot
  • Elimination of on-premises hardware so staff could work remotely
  • Migration to SIPPIO and Microsoft Teams for easier access to calls/meetings on users’ mobile devices
  • Creation of a more secure work environment by utilizing Microsoft Defender for Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium Plan), installing Cisco Umbrella, RocketCyber and Webroot, and having backups in place
“Partnering with Ciracom Cloud has really been a critical step in our evolution. Without that, I don't see how we would be the growth company that we are today.” - Michael Schader: Chief Technology Officer

Deployment of Microsoft 365 Business Premium with Intune and Endpoint Manager to Enable Autopilot

In 2021, Ciracom Cloud undertook an initiative to disconnect AdImpact’s IT from SMG by creating a parallel service setup and establishing AdImpact’s very own Microsoft tenant, allowing users to have their own email accounts completely independent from SMG.

Furthermore, AdImpact was constantly challenged by adding large numbers of users quickly, as necessitated by increased business activities during campaign seasons. Ciracom Cloud alleviated the stress by deploying Microsoft 365 Business Premium; this comes with Azure Active Directory Premium (Plan 1) and Microsoft Intune, which enables Autopilot. Autopilot associates the computer/hardware permanently, unless manually deleted, to the user’s organization. The role of Microsoft Intune, which is part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, on the other hand is to expediently deploy all the necessary software to that user’s computer.

With Autopilot, AdImpact has now made the process of provisioning work equipment and setting all of it up for its users automated and simplified.

Eliminating on-premises hardware and migrating to the cloud

Prior to working with Ciracom Cloud, AdImpact housed racks of servers in the office and previously worked with a part-time IT support company that helped take care of its IT needs. It was when a hurricane was approaching that AdImpact realized how susceptible its work environment was to internet and power outages.

“We were trying to think about how we could work remotely through that,” recalled Michael Schader, AdImpact’s Chief Technology Officer. “We realized we were really dependent on power and internet in that one building in our one location, right where the hurricane was going to hit. That was our real catalyst for wanting to migrate everything off of what we had on site and into the cloud, instead.”

Ciracom Cloud started by migrating AdImpact’s on-premises email server (Microsoft Exchange) to Office 365. AdImpact’s on-premises equipment wasn’t really doing much other than acting as an active directory to create users. This is actually what hindered AdImpact from working remotely and adding machines more efficiently. So Ciracom Cloud designed a process that would enable AdImpact to adopt a pure Azure Active Directory environment. In a snapshot, this new environment is where computers are directly connected to Office 365 and deployed very easily with Autopilot. Through these measures, Ciracom Cloud succeeded in eliminating all its on-premises server hardware and retaining just some network equipment for the office.

SIPPIO and Microsoft Teams

After Ciracom Cloud eliminated all its on-premises servers, AdImpact brought up how its staff also wanted to eliminate landlines and utilize mobile phones instead to access Microsoft Teams, since majority are now working remotely and some of them move around a lot. To solve this, Ciracom Cloud set up and migrated users to SIPPIO and Microsoft Teams’ standard license. After the migration, AdImpact’s staff were no longer using desk phones and could productively and uninterruptedly work wherever they wanted.

Create a more secure work environment with Microsoft solutions, Cisco Umbrella, RocketCyber and Webroot

Political media is central to AdImpact’s business, so it often takes on clients who engage in sensitive internal communications and/or are dependent on the real-time delivery of vulnerable data. The nature of the business requires AdImpact to maintain a locked-down, secured environment. With that in mind, Ciracom Cloud deployed Advanced Defender, an email defense that comes with Microsoft Business Premium; Cisco Umbrella, a cloud security solution that blocks all malicious activities through whitelisting, content filtering, and further blocking known bad sites; RocketCyber, a managed Security Operation Center platform that can automatically detect endpoint, network and cloud threats; and Webroot, an antivirus solution.

Additionally, a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) was put into place, along with a policy called “BitLocker” which is a whole disk encryption that allowed Ciracom Cloud to better encrypt laptops.

Backups were also established for AdImpact’s SharePoint and its entire Office 365, making data available and restorable in the event something unfortunate happens to its tenant. Its QuickBooks and Azure servers have also been backed up off-site.


Beginning as a 15-person startup, AdImpact has now grown into a 30 to 40-person growth company and anticipates adding more staff rapidly in the near future. Once Ciracom Cloud deployed Autopilot, onboarding employees became a lot less challenging.

“One thing Ciracom Cloud’s done that might not be the first thing you think of, but that's been critical to us, is the onboarding of new employees. At AdImpact, we’re just transitioning and we’re expecting to keep adding people pretty rapidly. When you hit that stage, there's all kinds of new challenges to work through. Having Ciracom Cloud with us meant that all the stuff related to IT onboarding, of provisioning and issuing laptops, of setting up user accounts, of introductory security awareness training, all that sort of stuff, they just take care of it. If they weren't doing that, there would potentially be weeks of delays before new hires could become productive. Instead, they walk in the door and we're able to issue them the laptop right there, because Ciracom Cloud's already taken care of it in advance,” Schader shared.

He also commended Ciracom Cloud for being the first to help AdImpact transition from physical servers housed in office closets into the cloud itself.

“The biggest thing that Ciracom Cloud did for us was to remove this constant source of worry and concern over the hardware that was there on our premises and the accompanying need for 100% uptime,” he said. “To have actual professionals taking care of managing all that and doing it in secure facilities that are well-protected with redundant power and true experts of managing all the physical infrastructure was just a great relief. It was one more thing that we didn’t have to worry about.”

Ciracom Cloud not only addressed concerns AdImpact had about onboarding staff, but also concerns related to keeping data safe and secure, which has always been a priority.

“Ciracom Cloud well understands exactly what our industry situation is and has always worked closely with us to keep all of those processes working smoothly,” Schrader said. “Every company, everyone with an internet presence, needs to be careful these days. With Ciracom Cloud and their critical help, we're now in the upper bracket of proper IT care. They made sure to take all of the necessary steps in securing our email infrastructure, our public-facing websites and, probably most importantly, the management of our internal assets. They’ve helped prevent spear phishing attacks from compromising anything, with how to make sure that our internal user laptops are properly locked down, and all while still allowing people to get their jobs done. Partnering with Ciracom Cloud has really been a critical step in our evolution. Without them, I don't see how we would be the growth company that we are today.”

Interested in updating your business’s Microsoft technologies and migrating to the cloud? Book a free, 15-minute appointment with one of Ciracom Cloud’s experts here!