Building a Lean MSP with NinjaOne
with Brian Roemen, Principal and CTO, Brave North Technology
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With Ninja Since
Brave North Technology started out ten years ago with just Brian Roemen, Joel Barker, and their laptops. Seeing a gap in thoughtful and caring technology providers for small to mid-size businesses and nonprofits, Brian and Joel set out to provide best-in-class IT management and support to businesses in the Mid-West.
For the first eight years, Brave North primarily used a remote access tool, LogMeIn, to provide remote support to their clients. “As we grew, we started looking for tools that would help us support more clients more efficiently,” says Brian Roemen, Principal and CTO at Brave North. “We wanted something that gave us more control over endpoints and systematically keep tabs on devices. We needed a tool that would notify us when something was wrong, let us customize those alerts, and help us automate tasks.” After evaluating a few RMMs, Brave North chose NinjaOne, “Other RMMs we looked at had a few features that Ninja doesn’t. What really set Ninja apart for us was the great design, modern technology, and the new features that come out all the time.”
Building a Lean MSP
While Brave North has grown beyond two men with their laptops, they’ve maintained their leanness. “We’ve never paid for office space and we only buy what we need to support customers. Our philosophy is to push everything to the cloud, streamline everything, and keep costs low for our clients,” says Brian.
This mentality is one of the core reasons Ninja has been a good fit for Brave North: “Ninja helps us be lean and efficient by helping us to automate many of our repetitive tasks,” says Brian. By automating Windows patching across their book of business, using scheduled scripts to handle new device setup and maintenance, and deploying automations through dynamic groups, Brian and the Brave North team can focus on big-picture, high-value activities. “We leverage Ninja to automate many of the initial configuration and deployment steps when setting a new device. We’ve significantly cut down on the time we spend provisioning new devices for clients,” says Brian.
In addition to its automation capabilities, Ninjas enables Brave North to provide support without interrupting end users. By leveraging tools like ad-hoc scripts, the remote registry editor, and the remote command line, Brave North is able to provide support without interrupting business users. This helps make Brian’s team more efficient and improves the client experience.
“We just brought on a new technician, bringing us to about 150-200 endpoints per technician. It’s the leanness of Ninja that helps us support this scale effectively,” says Brian.
Ninja as a tool for growth
Ninja acts as a catalyst for growth at Brave North and this starts with the new client setup process. “With Ninja, it’s super easy to onboard a new device – we just send our client a link to download the installer and ask them to run it. It’s very unintimidating for non-technical users,” explains Brian. Ensuring a simple and easy onboarding process is key for building a relationship of trust with partners. “We want our partners to know that, even though its super easy, installing the Ninja agent will be the hardest IT task they’ll have moving forward.”
A foundational principal from Brian and Brave North is to always act and make recommendations as if their own money is being spent, which helps them hone in on ways to reduce client costs. “Just the other day, for example, Microsoft terminated support for Office 2010. We used Ninja to identify which endpoints had Office 2010, notified our partners, and provided proposals to upgrade those devices,” says Brian. Brian’s team regularly leverages Ninja to provide improvement recommendations to clients – and generate billable projects for Brave North. “Customers notice this stuff and it helps develop trust. They appreciate when you proactively identify issues and come to them with a solution,” says Brian.
“The biggest thing for Brave North is to create a positive experience for our clients and to help them see that technology is not an enemy. We’re trying to get their IT issues out of the way so they can focus on their mission. Ninja helps us help our clients more efficiently and effectively and this helps us grow.”
A True Partnership
Brave North’s lean and streamlined workflows paired with efficient technicians means clients often end up paying less than they would with competitors. By combining internal efficiencies with the ongoing hardware, software, and project-related cost savings that Brave North provides, Brian says they’re able to rely primarily on of word of mouth for their growth. “We really try to partner with our clients. More than anything, it’s our strong focus on great communication, friendliness, and customer service that’s helped us grow,” says Brian. “Our partnership with Ninja gives us the data and tools we need to delight clients and help us continue to grow.”