Founded in 2014, AdImpact is a marketing agency that provides media intelligence and marketing analytics for political campaigns.
AdImpact was splitting from Virginia-based Smart Media Group (SMG), and it needed an efficient and secure solution to meet their back-office resources, including their Microsoft tenant. It also needed to onboard employees quickly and securely during the election campaign season.
Ciracom Cloud helped in the following ways:
"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. 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." - Michael Schader: Chief Technology Officer
In 2021, Ciracom Cloud undertook an initiative to disconnect AdImpact’s IT from SMG’s, 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, Ciracom Cloud deployed Microsoft 365 Business Premium, which allowed AdImpact to add large numbers of users quickly. Business Premium included Azure Active Directory Premium (Plan 1) and Microsoft Intune, which enabled Autopilot. Autopilot associates the computer/hardware permanently, unless manually deleted, to the user’s organization. Microsoft Intune was used to expediently deploy all the necessary software to that user’s computer.
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 was not 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.
After Ciracom Cloud eliminated 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.
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, secure environment. With that in mind, Ciracom Cloud deployed Advanced Defender, an email defense that comes with Microsoft Business Premium, as well as other cybersecurity and antivirus solutions that detect endpoint, network and cloud threats and also block malicious activities through whitelisting, content filtering, and further blocking known bad sites.
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 more than doubled in size and anticipates adding more staff rapidly in the near future. Once Ciracom Cloud deployed Autopilot, onboarding employees became a lot less challenging. The company now has an automated and simplified process for provisioning work equipment to its users.
“One thing Ciracom Cloud’s done--which 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 are 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.
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 modernizing your IT? Book a free assessment with one of Ciracom Cloud’s experts today!
Get quality insights on the technologies you use. Leverage services. Save on costs.
Read how we have partnered with organizations to digitally transform their businesses and increase their impact.