Like so many companies, we had to pivot to enable our employees to work from anywhere, and are figuring out ways we can help others who are also shifting the way they work. We are grateful to have a part to play during this critical time.
As new challenges are continuously changing our world and the way we work, nearly every company is needing to enable secure remote access to critical resources. BIC Graphic – one of the largest suppliers in the promotional products industry – is one of those companies. While their story started before the pandemic, their journey shines a light on how companies are adjusting during the COVID-19 crisis.
Enabling secure remote access for third-party developers
In early 2020, BIC Graphic engaged a third-party to rewrite the company’s ERM instance so developers overseas would have faster, seamless access to billing and order management functionality. To enable remote access for nearly 290 remote developers, BIC Graphic needed to provide access to its ERM hosted in the US. While the company wanted to make it as seamless as possible for those remote developers, it also wanted control over what the developers could access. However, it didn’t want to incur the expense of sending firewall or VPN devices overseas.
Until then, BIC Graphic had used F5 over site-to-site VPN to enable access for remote contractors. But the company’s IT group wasn’t satisfied with performance and reliability
According to Tommy Craddock, Information Technology/Sr. Unix/Linux Engineer for BIC Graphic, end users had to configure their own remote desktop clients. Additionally, Craddock and his team were frustrated by glitches during F5 updates.
“We needed a more reliable solution that was easier for our users. OneLogin’s solution for Remote Desktop Gateway (RDG) was the perfect alternative. It allowed us to quickly ramp up a solution for remote users without having to expand our virtual or physical footprint.” he says.
Extending the remote desktop for at-home workers
With the emergence of COVID-19, the CIO of BIC Graphic instructed Craddock to quickly set up half of the company’s workforce to work from home. One of the immediate issues with this plan was that not all of these workers had laptops they could use to VPN into the company’s systems. As Craddock explains, his team “sourced laptops locally, spun up five virtual machines to be RDS hosts, and used OneLogin’s solution for RDG to get their remote workforce up and running within one week.”
Both Craddock and the company’s remote workforce are happy with the new solution. “With OneLogin, we save on licensing and everything is encrypted with SSL to ensure no credentials are passed in clear text. Plus, it’s a seamless experience for our users. There’s no configuration – the OneLogin file automatically sets up the remote desktop session, and users enter their username and password only once to access all needed resources,” Craddock explains.
Now, it’s easy for BIC Graphic to provision access through OneLogin to the remote desktop gateway and remote desktop servers if more employees need to self-isolate or work from home. “We simply assign them to the appropriate Active Directory (AD) group, then they are given the remote access tile in the portal, and everything is correctly set up for them,” Craddock states.
Craddock also appreciates the ability to easily roll out multi-factor authentication (MFA) since it’s built into the OneLogin solution. “We’re relieved we can roll out MFA without installing a separate application on the remote desktop gateway,” he continues.
Expanding its vision and support for other organizations
Considered an essential business in the state of Florida, BIC Graphic is still operating production sites. It is also continuing to produce its hand sanitizer, which it sells directly to customers and donates to organizations on the frontlines. Moreover, it is producing antimicrobial versions of its promotional products, such as its BIC® Clic Stic®, which is in demand by hospitals. Additionally, BIC Graphic is selling products that make it easier for employees to work from home and for kids to learn at home.
“Like so many companies, we had to pivot to enable our employees to work from anywhere, and are figuring out ways we can help others who are also shifting the way they work. We are grateful to have a part to play during this critical time,” concludes Craddock.
To learn more about BIC Graphic’s use of OneLogin, check out their case study.
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