The Netsurit Security and Operations Centre (NSOC) provides Nebula with proactive maintenance and prevention, anticipating problems before they can occur.

Nebula offers a unique set of next-generation technology solutions to give organisations enhanced capability to manage and optimise their technology and cloud spend, usage and performance. Its suite of products offers a range of powerful solutions to address various business technology needs, enabling enterprises to leverage the benefits of cloud and accelerate their digital transformation.

As a Netsurit client, Nebula was keen to try out the Netsurit Security and Operations Centre (NSOC).

NSOC is designed to provide proactive security monitoring and alerting for customers who have moved – or are in the process of moving – into the cloud. With a focus on Microsoft 365, Security and Azure, the solution specialises in proactively detecting potential security attacks. In other words, it prevents problems before they happen. The NSOC is run by a highly skilled central team who oversee monitoring, maintenance, and service enhancement.

“We wanted to test the benefits of this new product offering for our business,” says Andre Witte, Managing Director, SaaS at Nebula. “There are many Microsoft compliance, security and SSI portals that we needed to look at daily, which was proving to be time-consuming and laborious. The NSOC provides us with one centralised space to review all reports pulled from the various portals, instead of having to visit each portal individually. The NSOC allows you to focus more on actual alerts and mitigating the risks associated with these alerts. You can quickly ascertain where you need to focus – high risk versus low impact, or low impact but high risk.  Also, Microsoft portals change so regularly that it becomes time-consuming to have to navigate to a new portal each time.”

Witte says Nebula has a much-improved view as a result of the NSOC, and that accessing data is so much easier. During the NSOC setup process, the company enabled Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS), which provides rich visibility, control over data travel, and sophisticated analytics to identify and combat cyber threats across all cloud services.

“This has given us a lot more visibility into user profiles, allowing us to build a normal baseline,” says Witte. “Once there is a deviation from this baseline, MCAS alerts us about the changes and Nebula can take action on those alerts, changes in behaviour, and changes in usage. For example, let’s say a user has been logging in from a specific IP address in Cape Town daily, and suddenly there is a random login from Russia or somewhere other than the norm. This can be quickly identified and acted upon.”

Witte says that what he and his team appreciate the most about the NSOC is that you don’t know what you don’t know. The NSOC provides access to a risks analysis and features which empowers Nebula to increase its overall security position. With the Microsoft Security Administration Service, the business is safeguarded against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. As the window between an initial compromise and a full-scale attack is shrinking from months to hours, many companies cannot afford this risk. Having this service in a central facility allows the cost to be shared and thus significantly reduced.

“From a security perspective, the NSOC has become an important protector of our business and our data against unexpected problems and unwanted intruders. It makes our lives so much easier.”

Witte also noted that working with Jaco le Roux, Senior Cloud Infrastructure Consultant at Netsurit company Inobits, was easy and a pleasure. “It is amazing to work with someone who explains things well and ensures that the backend work is up to standard and provides meaningful data.”

Having the best IT infrastructure helps fleet management company achieve  optimal performance

Eqstra Fleet Management has outsourced its entire technology infrastructure to managed solution provider Netsurit, centralising the management and control of its entire network, increasing business efficiency and also freeing up time and money for the company.

The contract includes all desktops, servers, LAN, WAN, and peripheral devices. Netsurit also manages third- party IT suppliers for Eqstra,  and its professional services arm oversees its Microsoft solution stack, including Azure and Office365.

“We have had a long-standing partnership with Netsurit,” says Warren Daniels, Strategy and IT Executive, Eqstra Fleet Management. “Before contracting with the company, we had an in-house IT department managing our desktop and server infrastructure. While the call SLAs were being met, there was still a general dissatisfaction from the user base. Infrastructure maintenance tended to be more reactive than proactive because the team managing the area were always on the back foot and not always up to date with the latest trends and technology.”

Eqstra’s systems are stable and reliable and, thanks to the level of innovation achieved, moving the business from on-premises to work from home due to Covid-19 had almost zero effect on IT and the business.

One of the most important requirements for Eqstra was an IT platform that would provide the service and functionality to enable the business to focus on its core processes, rather than being hindered by IT issues. Instead of relying on internal IT staff to work through high-volume projects and experiencing downtime while they manage their workload, Eqstra’s IT needs are taken care of a team of specialists who provide a more efficient turnaround.

“In an advanced fleet management organisation like ours, IT is highly strategic and innovation is a key differentiator for us in our market,” says Daniels. “Building the business on a solid base with zero downtime, online tools, and 24/7 support, without breaking the bank, gives us full control without having to physically manage servers and other equipment at your business. Our in-house technology professionals can focus on innovation and strategic initiatives.”

Daniels says Netsurit became Eqstra’s partner of choice because of its strong technical capability and excellent client references. The team is friendly and professional and is always willing to go the extra mile. Acknowledging that no company ever gets it right 100% of the time, he says true character is revealed on those occasions where things don’t go as they should. Netsurit show that character time and time again.

“The number one objective set for Netsurit was user satisfaction measured by our Net Promoter Score (the percentage of customers rating their likelihood to recommend a product or service), which always exceeds 90%, both from end-users as well as IT management,” adds Daniels. “Our user satisfaction levels are well above industry norms and overall maintenance is far more proactive than reactive. Second to that was a very heavily weighted scoring around innovation and delivery of that innovation.”

​“We have had a long-standing partnership with Netsurit,” says Warren Daniels, Strategy and IT Executive, Eqstra Fleet Management. “Before contracting with the company, we had an in-house IT department managing our desktop and server infrastructure.

Netsurit became Eqstra’s partner of choice because of its strong technical capability and excellent client references. The team is friendly and professional and is always willing to go the extra mile”

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a non-profit organization that focuses on protecting reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world, has outsourced its helpdesk to managed services provider (MSP) Netsurit. Headquartered in New York, the Center partnered with Netsurit in 2017, and has since enjoyed benefits such as reduction in IT infrastructure costs, redirection of its IT team’s skills to key areas, and increased user satisfaction.

The Center is a legal innovator seeking to fundamentally transform the landscape of reproductive health and rights worldwide. It has defined the course of reproductive rights through its victories in courts around the world, as well as at the United Nations.

“We have staff stationed all around the country and the world,” says Timothy Dedman, IT Operations Manager at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic having a reliable, single point of communication we can confidently provide to staff has been integral to our success. Our prior helpdesk company was not as communicative or as proactive as we needed, to continue to do important work regarding international human rights.”

Dedman says the Center was seeking higher levels of communication and accountability from its helpdesk provider, as well as more consistent service delivery and the ability to partner on projects. This was becoming increasingly important as the organization continues to grow and has to leverage its helpdesk to deliver required services to its staff.

Netsurit’s commitment to end-user functionality, and incident management and escalation services, are designed to resolve user issues and requests as quickly as possible. With Netsurit, the Center’s helpdesk system has been optimized to minimize user wait times for incidents and requests, deliver decisive solutions as quickly as possible, and maintain function of the organization’s IT infrastructure.

“I have been with the Center for six years and have worked with many external contractors in that time as well as three helpdesk providers,” says Dedman. “In my experience, Netsurit is easily the best and most responsive and responsible of those three and is at the top of the list for all external contractors period. While a helpdesk relationship is by its nature always a work in progress, I am heartened that after three years management continues to be responsive and receptive.

Dedman says Netsurit was chosen as the right partner for the Center based on the services and pricing the MSP is able to offer, and also because speaking at length with the management team provided confidence in their ability to meet the Centre’s needs.

“Netsurit has been a good partner, open to constructive feedback and to evolving our relationship as our needs have changed,” he adds. “Having an existing IT presence at the Center has been a challenge for some companies we worked with in the past, but the Netsurit team was receptive and adaptive to this model, and has always been highly communicative when it comes to requests that may need to be escalated to us for internal resolution or review. Having Netsurit on board has helped us to share the IT workload, both for daily issues and for routine upkeep matters like patching. This allows us more time to focus on other, more strategic, IT issues.”

Working remotely became a necessary reality in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The companies that have effectively managed the disruption will not only be well-positioned to maintain business operations throughout the outbreak, but they’ll be better prepared for the future too.

That’s what prompted Andre Vos, IT Project Leader at RSC (Reinforcing Steel Contractors) to turn to Netsurit. RSC provides reinforcing solutions to the construction, civil, mining and engineering sectors and has track record of delivering the highest quality products and service to customers.

“With our employees working from home, managers have a greater responsibility than ever to help shape workplace culture and behaviours wherever that work takes place,” says Vos. “The global pandemic forced us to revaluate how we manage our user IT experience. Aspects about the workplace that were interesting, trending topics of discussion – like how productive people are when  working from home – suddenly became a reality for us. These were now business-critical elements that shifted our perception regarding the user experience.”

Vos goes on to say that South Africa is a country of paradox and paradigm mixed to create opportunity.  “We still believe that face to face meetings are the only effective way to interact and we manage by ‘whoever shouts loudest’. There is even fault in my preferred saying, ‘my favourite users are the ones I didn’t even know existed.’ That was why we needed a tool that to help employees be productive and engaged while working remotely. Netsurit Productivity Monitor (NPM) has  provided us with immediate insights and reporting to help us identify trends and capacity within the organisation.”

RSC now has insights not only about productivity, but also about potential burnout, as well as under-utilized, or time-wasting employees, and improved understanding of its company work patterns, and an ability to track employees and monitor all of them equally, in a non-invasive way that does not compromise trust.

“NPM encourages a healthy work-life balance in your organisation, empowering your employees and business to learn together,” says Vos. “It’s quick to deploy and there is no training needed.”

Vos has identified three key benefits of NPM:

  • NPM allows you to know how much time your employees are spending on their PCs and which applications consume their time.  It does this without invading their privacy or harvesting private information, while still telling you everything you need to know.
  • It allows you to dispel perceptions around what tools really are adding value to your business.  This destroys another arch villain in business – the strong personality who overrides what the data says.
  • There is no unnecessary detail.  Unlike competitor product offerings, NPM is fully customisable to allow you to see as little or as much detail as you need.  Netsurit understands and easily supports the fact that your business needs more than an off-the-shelf product.

“I recommend NPM to any business that uses computers,” Vos adds. “ For the first time in my career I have a product that delivers a cure for a disease I did not know we had. It’s affordable, and you only pay for the users you monitor per month.”

Rusk Renovations safeguards systems, moves to the cloud with Netsurit

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, investing in cybersecurity is crucial for businesses of all sizes.

When Rusk Renovations, a high-end residential construction company doing business in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Riverdale and Westchester, had a cyber security scare in 2018, founder and partner John Rusk turned to Netsurit.

“Our provider at the time had let us down, and we were looking for a company that was as dedicated to client service as we are,” says Rusk. “Netsurit’s team stepped in the day of the breach and guided us through the process of securing our systems and preventing unauthorized access to our data. It was a time of significant stress as we realized that our previous provider had put few security protocols in place, but Netsurit restored our peace of mind.”

Rusk had met Louwki Coetsee, managing director of Netsurit in New York, through a business networking group and knew that Coetsee’s team provided IT support, strategy, and system design. Rusk also knew that Netsurit had the systems and resources that his business required.

“We were looking for a provider with rigorous and robust processes and procedures in place,” says Rusk. “It was important for us to work with a provider that could evaluate our systems, assess the threat landscape, and come up with a solution tailored to our needs.”

Once Netsurit had secured Rusk Renovation’s IT infrastructure against cybercrime, the provider also insisted on employee training.

“Employees who are untrained in proper security practices are a vulnerability,” says Coetsee. “Companies of all sizes need to be prepared to protect themselves against what might come next. It is critical to train employees to recognize warning signs of cybercrime, as well as how to keep risks low in the first place, and how to report signs of a breach or attack. Clicking on a malicious link is one of the greatest security threats in any organization.”

Next, Netsurit also managed Rusk Renovations’ move to the cloud, rolling out Microsoft 365 and Teams and training staff how to use the new solutions. It was not long after that New York City went under lockdown to fight the coronavirus.

“We suddenly faced the prospect of working remotely, away from our beloved office.  Thankfully, Netsurit had convinced us to install Teams previously and we simply opened the program and found it was set up and running seamlessly.  Thanks to Netsurit we were able to work remotely from day one.   And having a remote IT solution was invaluable as the company moved to 15 home offices instead of one centralized location.  We are now in the process of sunsetting our current server and moving the rest of the business into the cloud with Netsurit’s assistance.”

Because Netsurit specializes in proactive maintenance and prevention, the company prevents problems before they occur, and has all the tools and processes in place to support customers remotely, extending a business’s infrastructure beyond the server, says Coetsee. “While COVID-19 may have made remote working and communications an absolute necessity, remote IT support provides fast responses, reduced costs, and increased productivity because business operations can continue unhindered. In addition to this, staff are not diverted from their usual tasks, so productivity is not negatively impacted.”

National reading campaign for children gets Pastel in the cloud powered by Netsurit and Windows Virtual Desktop.

Business finances. Cloud accounting software lets you do that from any device or location.

“Netsurit has been Nal’ibali Trust’s IT support partner and managed services provider since September 2019,” says Saleem Mukuddem, CFO of Nal’ibali Trust. “By understanding our needs, Netsurit has been able to demonstrate innovation by building a bespoke solution that has transformed the way our finance team access Pastel remotely, a business-critical function.”

Netsurit moved the organisation’s Pastel solution to Windows Virtual Desktop, a Microsoft Azure-based system for virtualising Windows operating systems and providing virtualised desktops and applications in the cloud.

The need for this solution was a direct requirement from the business to support a work from home (WFH) culture prior to the lockdown. This decision and the required investment were vindicated when lockdown was implemented and is still paying dividends as remote working becomes the norm.

While the immediate requirement was to enable staff to access business-critical systems securely from home, the business has also been able to achieve the following from this innovative solution:

  • Deliver the service via a remote desktop services (RDS) multi-session Windows 10 experience.
  • Allows for managing and provisioning access to data across devices easily and securely, while ensuring adherence to security and compliance regulations.
  • Faster access to the applications than before.
  • Business continuity due to the business application running 24×7 in the cloud.
  • Increased staff productivity as people are accessing business-critical systems securely from home.
  • Automated backups mean data is safe and recoverable.
  • Reduction in hardware on-premises, therefore reducing capex spend going forward.
  • No reliance on onsite systems requiring power and support.
  • Remote support is cheaper than onsite support, which is better for the client.

“We have been very impressed with the solutions, mindset and responsiveness of Netsurit’s highly qualified team,” Mukuddem says. “Their knowledge and guidance about setting up and migrating Pastel to the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment made the transition a successful one. It was delivered on time and within budget. We would highly recommend Netsurit as your managed services and cloud solutions provider. The only thing you need is a Pastel licence and a desire to move away from on-premises hardware.”

An existing on-premise hardware installation was becoming dated and in need of replacement. The company did not want to reinvest in new servers and wanted to move IT infrastructure costs from Cap Ex to Op Ex. What’s more, the migration needed to be done with minimum risk of business disruption.

A comprehensive assessment of existing workloads was undertaken. Workloads that could be cost-effectively migrated to Azure were identified. With the help of Netsurit, we performed a phased migration with minimum disruption. All workloads were evaluated prior to migration and optimized once the exercise was completed.

Our customer was using file and folder level back-up technology for their entire system. A full system backup took over 48 hours to complete and therefore could only be performed weekly, starting on a Friday evening, in order to be completed over the weekend.

They Implemented the Netsurit Cloud back-up as a service solution. This shortened the backup window to 4 hours, which meant full system backups could be performed on a daily basis.

  • A fit-for-purpose backup solution which is always up to date and more cost-effective than on-premise infrastructure.
  • A fully managed solution hosted in the cloud with multiple copies of the backed-up data.
  • Efficient back-up run time enabling increased data protection and back-up frequency.

A major automotive retailer needed to replace legacy infrastructure while digitally transforming their business to enable higher user productivity and collaboration between staff. The protection of corporate data against evolving threats was a key concern as well as the ability to keep their environment up to date with the latest functionality whilst reducing management overheads.

We implemented Microsoft 365, including Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) and Windows 10 Enterprise using a phased implementation approach. This resulted in improved staff productivity and innovation, secure access of data in transit and an always-on reliable platform on which to move forward.