Large-scale companies with a distributed salesforce face numerous challenges when it comes to providing timely IT support and ensuring that monitored endpoints adhere to company policies. However, for IT teams, managing these issues can be an arduous task. Jones Plastic, for instance, struggled with choppy communication methods to remotely handle IT issues. And when onboarding new employees and installing the necessary software bundles, they demanded a physical office presence. To overcome these challenges, the company realized it was time to look for a new solution. Atera proved to be the perfect solution for Jones Plastic and Engineering, enabling them to streamline their IT operations and overcome the challenges they faced.
Jones Plastic: a robust manufacturing operation
Behind every item we use daily is an entire production flow that we take for granted. But there’s more to a camera case or an ATV panel than meets the eye. Jones Plastic is a global leader in assembly and injection molding with over half a century’s worth of experience backing them. They possess over 800 employees spanning six international sites – three in the US and three in Mexico.
What helps them manage all their internal IT issues – software updates, employee device onboarding, hardware issues, network issues, and more – is a nimble team of 14 IT personnel, but only seven of them answer help tickets submitted by employees. It’s easy to imagine that an average of 115 employees per IT technician can slow response times, yet that only prompted Rick Moreschi, IT Director, and Carl Romines, IT Manager, to look for a solution. This solution would propel the IT team and Jones Plastic to scale and become more agile than ever.
Effectively supporting company employees, both remote and on-premises
Jones Plastic has a large salesforce supported by only 14 internal IT personnel, which is challenging to help effectively. “Supporting them was difficult, at best,” relayed Rick. They found the IT team emailing links, scheduling virtual meetings, and trying to fix computer issues through these methods of choppy communication. It wasted time and resources of both IT technicians and end-users alike. When it came to onboarding, they faced similar issues of taking time to install software packages that were specific for each site.
With a remote salesforce, it was a priority for Jones Plastic to be able to access their end users’ devices remotely, not just the devices on their networks which required being in the office itself. Rick and Carl searched for a solution to this pain point of accessing devices remotely. However, they didn’t find anything that truly fit their needs until an internal cyber incident set them on a course in search for a secure and effective platform, directing their attention towards Atera.
How Atera propelled the work of IT
Quick, secure remote access
The IT management platform options that Rick and Carl were familiar with were not up to their standards in terms of supporting devices not on their office-specific networks. This lack of accessibility was a massive pain point, slowing down Jones Plastic’s ability to scale their remote workforce fast and safely. The biggest win for the IT team was Atera’s secure solution that enabled them to reach employees wherever and whenever they needed help, without increasing their team headcount.
No more awkward calls, no more asking Did you try turning it off and on again? A quick and easy onboarding onto Atera gave Jones Plastic the freedom and control to access any hardware remotely and see several factors that help them make quick IT decisions, regardless of where the device is. “[Atera] Allows us to see what apps each site’s workforce uses, the amount of space left on hard drives, which patches were done, processor details….” Rick listed, noting that this information enables the IT team and engineers to be proactive. The IT managers set alarms and get notified before a computer escalates into a problem. They can get alerts for the core temperature of hard drives, for hard drive space available, and customize it to specific thresholds. They also use Atera to run the process of therapeutic reboots: “We’ll put computers in certain groups, and we’ll have them reboot once a week, which helps keep our servers and computers going,” said Carl.
Deploying software bundles with ease
The main burden for Jones Plastic’s IT team was the effort behind scaling the company’s employees and onboarding new hires. Rick elaborated: “Each organizational unit [company site] has its own scripts that get pushed once a new device is in onboarding. Every site has unique products and processes, its own services, and servers as part of Jones Plastic.”
In a few clicks, an entire computer is ready for use, and a salesperson can jump on wherever they are in the world and begin working. And when their software is ready for an update, the IT team can send it out to every computer and have it automatically updated without effort from the end user. It also makes it easy to install new software as the company scales.
With a remote workforce located across North America, a priority of Jones Plastic was to ensure that the company compliance is maintained, and all endpoints to their networks and systems are secure. Atera exceeded those expectations with their ability to integrate the IT software installations and patches with security partners that offer antivirus software, cloud backups, email security, and more.
Jones Plastic just added a new VPN software to their tech stack to maintain their high level of security, and Atera allowed them to do it smoothly and securely: “We recently implemented a new VPN application, and we’re pushing out the software with Atera.”
Meeting business objectives on time and on budget
The IT business is more than often a thankless job. “You really don’t hear anything unless it’s bad. You know my computer’s broken, and everything is slow,” said Carl. But thanks to metrics, the IT department can see their positive impact on the company, and their senior management can see it.
“Our upper management wants to see how many tickets we have coming in on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and how fast we resolve the ticket,” he continued. The industry standard for ticket response time for internal IT teams is between 4-6 hours and often contains clunky or repetitive fixes. Jones Plastic’s average response time is under one hour per ticket, and they don’t have any recurring problems because they can deploy necessary fixes to other devices. “That’s because of how we interact with our users and machines: through Atera, says Carl.”
Onboarding new IT technicians with ease
The onboarding to the Atera platform itself was seamless. “We talked to the technicians at Atera, and they helped us. They held our hand through the whole process…we just renewed our contract. When we brought in IT members from the acquisition, it was very easy to onboard them to Atera because of its intuitive interface and the built-in onboarding flows.”
Looking ahead at Jones Plastic
The company plans to continue scaling with Atera by its side. The next feature of Atera they want to take advantage of is the help desk. “We have the ability to reach out to any device as long as there’s an internet connection. If I want to know whenever the servers use more than eighty percent of a processor, [Atera] has that capability and can send out the alarms. And now it can also create tickets,” said Rick.
The key for Jones Plastic, like many companies, is scaling efficiently. And with Atera, the 7 IT technicians answering tickets now have the time to make an impact with actions only they can do, onboarding new users in minutes and supporting the rest of their 800+ end users with excellent, impressive response time and proactive servicing.