How Vital Service became a NinjaOne partner, tripled their technician efficiency, and scaled their MSP-business
Stephen Murphy, Head of Managed Services and David Jamieson, Managing Director, Vital Service (North East) Ltd.
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The team at Vital Service has been using NinjaOne for over five years. In this case study, we look at how they get the most out of NinjaOne and what has kept them from switching all this time. Stephen Murphy, Head of Managed Services, and David Jamieson, Managing Director, share their experience and knowledge.
“Do not be afraid to ask for help. The strength from our point of view is, there are benefits to having Ninja as a product, but at the same time the real benefit is in the relationship. That is something we cannot replace. That is the real benefit of Ninja.”
As an SME, Vital has three team members who are customer facing. By leveraging the efficiency and scalability of the NinjaOne tool, the team has been able to deliver their service to a rapidly growing and demanding customer base. Stephen explains, “We started with around 500 endpoints and now service around 2,400 endpoints across the UK.”
Before NinjaOne, the team at Vital Service had been using other RMM software. In the beginning of 2016, Vital Service’s then-RMM supplier was going through a change in strategy; their overarching platform was no longer as dependent and became more sales focused. “At the time, we were reasonably embedded into their platform and ecosystem, but the moment that they were bought, we saw issues with the platform and a degradation in their service," Stephen says. "Within weeks of this, we were having conversations with Ninja and, within a couple of weeks, we switched.”
Many people take to public community boards when it comes to finding the answers in search of the right tools. Vital Service is no different. Regarding the influence of Reddit and its wider community voice, David shares, “When we initially started looking, there was a buzz around a new RMM platform. We started seeing some good things from participants within the community. The feedback was that NinjaOne was very quick, it was file-based, and it provided the single pane of glass we needed. We could do everything that our customers required of us whilst aligning with our business model. NinjaOne allowed us to manage all devices without the need for additional toolsets and endpoint installations. This is why we decided to investigate further and have a demo with NinjaOne.”
After the first demo, the team at Vital Service learned how to use NinjaOne to increase their efficiency rapidly using IT Automation. Proven to be champions in this field, and with an average of over 500 endpoints per technician, they can use NinjaOne to the fullest. “It’s the combination of the policies and being able to have maintenance runs on a regular schedule," Stephen says. "And the visibility of ensuring that all scripts are running and triggering to specific events and client requirements. As well as being able initiate settings via PowerShell. We can ensure that every system is standardized and has a universal customer experience.”
Before Covid-19, many businesses had been doing a lot more face-to-face and on-site interactions. Covid-19 prevented this, and was initially seen as a potential risk to Vital Service's business model, Stephen notes. “However, we onboarded a customer at the beginning of COVID without seeing or without visiting their premises. We have literally replaced their entirety of their IT infrastructure in terms of the desktops and laptops, with NinjaOne reinforcing all of the RMM aspects. All they have done is put an email address in!”
"Remote registry, the remote command line, being able to ensure that you can do the remote file view — those tools in other RMMs feel kind of clunky, while it is a fresh and modern take in NinjaOne."
— Stephen Murphy, Head of Managed Services at Vital Service
NinjaOne offers technicians the ability to provide their services all from a single-pane-of-glass and is accessible from any location. “I would say the entire remote tools aspect combined with the speed is making it possible for us to deliver a better service to our customers," Stephen says. "Remote registry, the remote command line, being able to ensure that you can do the remote file view — those tools in other RMMs feel kind of clunky, while it is a fresh and modern take in NinjaOne. It is literally one of the quickest tools we have experienced in terms of those remote management aspects. I can take a phone call, and I can be working on someone’s issue in 10 seconds.”
The setup of NinjaOne is highly customizable and partners can personalize the NinjRMM agent to their preferred way of working. Many technicians may be on the road a lot of the time and may use NinjaOne in different ways than technicians who work only from home or the office.
“When on the road we use the mobile app a lot, but it even triggers on my watch. So, the Apple watch tells me there is an issue somewhere or you need to look at this. It really does feel like a seamless experience from the technicians’ point of view," Stephen explains.
"My watch gets the alerts, my phone gets the alert, you can have a check immediately and decide if it needs actioned. I can load it up a mobile hotspot and have it up there and working in seconds. Even with less-than-ideal signal you still get to the platform and work.”
There has been a lot of development in the RMM space over the last five years. Yet, Vital Service has decided to use NinjaOne continuously. Why? “I've got to be honest, it's probably the relationship between ourselves and the Ninja team," David says. "From the day Ninja took our account they always had a positive attitude. We had less than 500 agents, but I have had meetings even with the CEO. I imagine there are much bigger managed services providers, but the team never looked at us that way. You are a customer, and we are going to get your views across. They are always about the relationship.”
Stephen says looks at the experiences of trials and demos that other vendors provide and is often disappointed in the sales approach some companies take. “The rep at another supplier kept me on the phone for two hours and basically it turned out it was kind of half-truths to get a sale. Even to the point where I had to show him screenshots to explain 'you've promised this,' but this is completely the opposite of what you sent, and there was just silence from that representative.”
Comparing Ninja with other providers in the space, Stephen notes that, “You have got to keep your eyes open for what is happening out there. I feel like Ninja is one of the market leaders as how technology is being developed and deployed.”
What does the future look like for Vital Service and NinjaOne?
“There is an element of independence at NinjaOne. I think again it is the art of trying to do something different. There is that synergy between independence, the partnership approach, and that startup mentality," David says. "Those things kind of appeal to me, it is more relational. It works brilliantly for us. It will just scale as we grow and develop and hire new staff.”
Ninja also provides granular user privileges you can use to give full or limited access to the NinjaOne platform to end-users, technicians, or client stakeholders. NinjaOne facilitates co-management and enable partners and end-users to self-manage.
As an example of a recent experience with a new education client, David shares that, “We also brought the on-site IT presence into the platform and enabled [clients] to access and see what we were seeing. They were used to a very, kind of convoluted product. It was slow, sluggish, and there was a server needed to run it on. Now they found a professional-looking tool, with reports in their inbox on the schedule that they want.”
David explains that Vital Service uses NinjaOne as a tool to build and maintain their relationship with their customers.
“It has developed the relationship a great deal. in just being able to have that conversational element. For example, [one] client was even able to scale up literally, 300 people in four days. You can appreciate the scale that you are able to grow with Ninja in that short scale of time. Soon there will be another 400 endpoints within a week."
"They allow Ninja to call external scripts, and have it run custom checks. Is this device in the UK? Is this device meeting compliance regulations? Does this device match what we expect? Can we manage the device, etc? It’s been advantageous from that perspective for us, but from the customer's point of view, as well. They are an organisation based in Scotland, but operate nationwide. They are reaching people all over the UK."
In conclusion, we asked Vital Service to share what advice they have for MSPs and IT Professionals that do not know NinjaOne yet.
“Do not be afraid to ask for help, David says. "The strength from our point of view is, there are benefits to having Ninja as a product, but at the same time the real benefit is in the relationship. That is something we cannot replace. That is the real benefit of Ninja."
"The tool is fantastic, and it lets us do our job, but I think the key thing is the relational aspect. I had an incident once where it was a cold December evening. There were issues happening, and I rang the US support team on my mobile phone. It was after hours in Europe. But there were no issues that I was an EU or UK customer. It was, ‘Let's fix it.’ What more can you ask from that point of view?