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How IT Director, Ken Huffman, leverages NinjaOne for both Government and Aerospace Industries

El Dorado Customer Story Featured

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The City of El Dorado, located in south-central Kansas, is home to about 14,000 residents and 5,000 households. It has an expansive recreation system, a higher education university, Butler Community College and many other public facilities. Ken Huffman, the Director of IT in El Dorado, works to support the Information Technology needs of the entire city. The fire department, police department, library, senior center, chamber of commerce as well as many other public entities in El Dorado depend on Ken and his small team for data security, equipment distribution, patching, ticketing and troubleshooting for its 200+ endpoints.

Security and Efficiency concerns

Ken’s team of two previously utilized WSUS to help manage their endpoints. WSUS worked for a while, but over time failed to support the IT team’s needs in El Dorado. “It stopped patching our legacy software, and there were pieces of the product that were not working well together. [Microsoft] was giving us a lot of problems and they just weren’t working for us anymore,” said Huffman.

In addition, because WSUS didn’t offer remote management, Huffman and his team spent hours driving to different endpoints to manually update, install new software and troubleshoot issues. “We’re stretched across the entire city,” said Huffman “Traveling from location to location to manage those updates was our biggest pain point.”

Travel time wasn’t the only inefficiency. Some of the entities Huffman’s team supports, such as the police station and fire station, are 24/7 services. Without remote monitoring and ticketing capabilities, Huffman remained on call around the clock to manage their IT needs. “If they have an issue, you’re supporting them,” Huffman said. “When the Police Department has a server problem on a weekend, guess who’s coming in to look at it?”

With the rise in remote work, various network breaches and security failures occurred throughout the government industry. Huffman felt El Dorado’s current IT infrastructure wasn’t secure enough to allow employees to work remotely. “Moving to a hybrid working environment meant we needed to improve security for our remote endpoints,” said Huffman.

Ken began looking for a solution that would not only help manage his endpoints and relieve the manual nature of his IT team’s current structure, but also allow for secure remote work.

“We looked at a couple of solutions,” Huffman said. “We looked at ManageEngine, but it was overly complex. The learning curve was going to be extremely steep and time consuming.”

“NinjaOne is all in one package and I can handle it remotely. I can log into the console in the cloud, and I can see all the PCs, I can see your server, I can see your backups, I can see all of that, and it costs the company less money in my time for travel.”

NinjaOne caught Ken’s eye with its remote management, ticketing and remote security features.

Security, Remote Management, Ticketing… Check, Check, Check

NinjaOne delivers the essential security measures required to empower remote workers effectively. “NinjaOne gave us the ability to do remote work the way it needed to be done,” said Huffman “People have their own login, set their own password for two-factor authentication, and I can assign them the PCs they need to get to.” The ability to control what users have access to across their city network also gave Ken peace of mind. “That’s a real advantage that NinjaOne added to our capability, the locked-down approach to remote work,” said Huffman “We give them our equipment, which we were able to lock down so users can’t go places they shouldn’t go.”

NinjaOne also provided Ken’s team the ability to remotely manage endpoints located all over the city. “We have reduced our drive time by over 90%. We don’t have to drive over to the fire station, or to the wastewater plant, or to the library. We can remote into all these places and have control as though the endpoint were right in front of us,” said Huffman “I can click into any PC while sitting in my office, and see the CPU, the memory, the volume of all the different drives, I can see their software and their processor. I can diagnose a problem without ever having to go to them.”

NinjaOne’s Mobile Application giving Ken flexibility

NinjaOne’s ticketing feature, used alongside the NinjaOne mobile app, improved support for city services that work around the clock. When issues with police station devices occur, Ken is notified and can fix them remotely. “If I’m in Wichita and I don’t have my laptop, I can remote in from my phone using the app,” said Huffman. “I get a ticketing email; I can look at what’s happening and then if I need to remote in I can.”

Not only has NinjaOne made Ken’s team more efficient, but it also keeps their workload manageable. “Being able to schedule patching has been really nice. It is more detailed than WSUS was. It’s also great to be able to see what has failed – if we have a patch that gets hung up, we can actually remotely reboot that server,” explained Huffman “I want my weekend if I can have it, so instead of reboots having to happen over a weekend, I automatically reboot my server on Tuesday mornings,” said Huffman.

One of the added features Ken wasn’t expecting when partnering with NinjaOne was the amount of support he received on day one. “Once the onboarding is done, now you have this unlimited support,” said Huffman. “I love the fact that the support is one hundred percent included with our subscription to the product, so I don’t ever have to worry about thinking ‘okay, is this going to cost me extra?’”

Taking NinjaOne to Aerospace

Ken saw the incredible impact NinjaOne made at The City of El Dorado and was confident it could help any company, so he brought it to an aerospace organization he works at part time. Ken explained to the CEO that “NinjaOne is all in one package and I can handle it remotely. I can log into the console in the cloud, and I can see all the PCs, I can see your server, I can see your backups, I can see all of that, and it costs the company less money in my time for travel.” The CEO’s response? “’Give Ken the credit card – what are we waiting for?’”

Huffman trusts NinjaOne to help keep their network running smoothly so the rest of the aerospace team can do their jobs effectively. “They just want everything to work,” said Huffman “They trust me to do that, and the exciting part for them is the ability to have everything in a single product.”

Regardless of industry, NinjaOne proved to be key in managing IT needs. “I can be almost hands off. Just remote in and take care of their entire network without having to drive to a different town,” explains Huffman “To me, that’s a testament to the fact that NinjaOne is good enough for what I do [in El Dorado], that I said, ‘you guys really need this over there.’”

When asked if he would continue recommending NinjaOne to his peers, Ken responded, “Absolutely. I really like the all-in-one, and operating in a single pane of glass, and all the different aspects of [NinjaOne]. I would absolutely recommend it to a peer.”

“To me, that’s a testament to the fact that NinjaOne is good enough for what I do [in El Dorado], that I said, ‘you guys really need this over there.’”

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