Genuine Technology Group, based in Hillsboro, Oregon, is a mid-sized managed services provider. The company offers a complete spectrum of IT services—from 24×7 technical support from its top-notch engineers, to providing training, to serving as a company’s virtual CIO, complete with quarterly business reviews and helping to plan and implement infrastructure and software deployments.
Because the company provides flat-rate pricing, it needs to maximize the efficiency with which its engineers can work. Defining and implementing policy for its customers—including those who operate under a range of regulatory requirements—had long been a significant time drain for its engineers. The company wanted to find a better way to implement Group Policy, but needed a rock-solid solution in order to ensure the high quality service its customers had learned to expect from whatever services Genuine Technology Group provided.
“Especially for our smaller clients who did not have an on-site server, we had to go through and manually apply policies to every workstation or computer,” recalls Ernest Murry, CTO and Co-Founder of Genuine Technology Group. “So if a client decided to change their password policy, or if a new regulation came up, we would have to go through and touch every single one of those computers manually to deploy those kinds of policies, or put together a script with management software, which could be unreliable. So policy was time-intensive for us.”
For Genuine Technology Group, PolicyPak was love at first sight. “As soon as we saw PolicyPak Cloud, we knew that it was the answer to all of our policy troubles,” recalls Murry.
Asked if he had tried any other products, he says: “I’m not aware of any other product that does what PolicyPak does.”
Genuine Technology Group deployed PolicyPak Cloud beginning December 2017 and has since used it to create customer-specific policies and push them out to all of their clients. The company’s customer base includes a number of organizations that must comply with regulations including for Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) security policy, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry (PCI) and other mandates.
The company especially likes the cloud-based implementation of PolicyPak.
“Those of us who are in IT, know how powerful Group Policy is, and we know how important a role it can play when properly deployed to manage all of the various aspects of an organization’s computer systems and their networks,” Murry says. “So when I saw that there was an option for a cloud-based Group Policy, it was eye-opening. With PolicyPak Cloud we are able to provide that same powerful benefit of Group Policy regardless of a client’s size. We are able to standardize policies across all of our customers.”
Genuine Technology Group has found a number of benefits since deploying PolicyPak Cloud, including centralized policy administration, the ability to match browsers to applications, cleaner installs with PolicyPak Start Screen Manager, stronger security, and a 90% reduction in policy-related help desk calls.
Centralized Policy Administration with PolicyPak Cloud: “What once took 20 hours is now accomplished in 5 minutes”
“The centralized management we get with PolicyPak Cloud is critically important to us,” Murry says. “We can build policies specific to our HIPAA clients or CJIS clients, or for any other specialized group, and then push them out from the cloud.”
The centralized management has proven a huge time saver for Genuine Technology Group.
“Pushing out policy for some of our customers used to involve 20 hours or more over a period of a week or two,” Murry says. “With PolicyPak Cloud, what used to be a 20-hour Group Policy effort has been reduced to just five minutes.”
Customers appreciate the speed with which Genuine Technology Group can accomplish policy updates. “As soon as a customer asks us to deploy a new policy, we’re able to do it within minutes, and the policy is deployed consistently across all of their sites.”
PolicyPak Cloud also gives Genuine Technology Group the ability to proactively update policy, even before a customer becomes aware of the need to change.
“We can use the centralized administration of PolicyPak to proactively apply updates whenever an issue arises,” Murry says. “If a CJIS update comes in we can proactively apply it across all of our CJIS customers to keep them all up to date.”
Avoiding User Frustration with PolicyPak Browser Router
Customers of Genuine Technology Group are big fans of the PolicyPak Browser Router feature, which enables policy definitions that specify which browser is used when specific websites are opened.
Just about all of the customers Genuine Technology Group supports use online banking—including scanning checks into their bank accounts. Often the check scanning requires specific software that only runs on a specific browser—often Internet Explorer. Problems arise—and help desk calls occur—when users who are accustomed to using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox forget to use Internet Explorer when scanning checks.
“By using PolicyPak Browser Router behind the scenes, we are able to ensure that when they open their banking website, it always opens in the CORRECT browser; not the browser they just happened to be using.” Murry says. “This spares users from a lot of frustration, and has greatly reduced scanner-related help desk calls from people who might be scanning checks just once or twice a month and without PolicyPak would forget that they need to change browsers.”
Cleaner Installs with PolicyPak Start Screen Manager
Genuine Technology Group uses the PolicyPak Start Screen Manager to allow its customers to define the suite of applications it wants loaded on computers for various work groups. Along the way, the company also removes all of the ads and bloatware commonly found on new computers. Start Screen Manager can also be used to set policy that limits what applications—if any—that users within a defined group are able to add to their computers.
“Our customers greatly appreciate the way we can clean out the extraneous applications and ads,” Murry says. “And they like the ability to define through policy the tools that various teams are given to work with.”
The security features built into PolicyPak enable Genuine Technology Group keep their customers safe and secure. PolicyPak helps ensure security in a number of ways, including:
- Preventing user-generated security loopholes with settings lockdown & auto-remediation.
- Preventing vulnerabilities found in off-the-shelf applications.
- Ensuring IT and corporate security settings and preferences are used.
The company especially values PolicyPak Least Privilege Manager, which it uses to lock down administrative rights and protect against malware, unknown software, and other malicious threats.
“We use PolicyPak Least Privilege Manager and PolicyPak Applications Manager to lock down what a user can do,” Murry says. “Our customers are becoming more and more concerned about security. They are very interested in whatever we can do to strengthen their layers of security, which is what PolicyPak helps us to do.”
90% Reduction in Policy-Related Help Desk Calls
The efficiencies of PolicyPak Cloud have provided a win-win scenario for Genuine Technology Group and the customers it serves.
The ability to easily update policies, passwords, to remove obstacles through using PolicyPak to map printers, or ensure that applications always open in the proper browser, and in other ways protect users from encountering frustrations that can sap productivity, Genuine Technology Group is able to keep its customers seamlessly up and running.
One of the wins for Genuine Technology Group is that PolicyPak works so efficiently the company has enjoyed an estimated 90% reduction in policy-related help desk calls since deploying PolicyPak.
PolicyPak is an enterprise software company with a focus on managing and securing end-points. Our software solves complex and challenging IT security and settings management problems, while providing affordable solutions for businesses of all sizes. PolicyPak reduces desktop management and helps ensures standardization, while increasing end-user productivity.
PolicyPak Software has been included in the Top 20 most promising Citrix Solution Providers for 2015, according to Enterprise Technology Magazine CIOReview.