Case Study: NetWerks Strategic Services

Case Study: NetWerks Strategic Services

Mike Giovaninni

CEO and Chief Technologist at NetWerks Strategic Services

How Zorus Filtering with CyberSight helped NetWerks optimize deployments, offer better customer protection and become more profitable.

The problem

Mike Giovaninni has been around the IT industry for a while. He started NetWerks Strategic Services in the late ’80s after a career handling top-secret, encrypted technology in the Coast Guard (no big deal)

But like so many companies, NetWerks experienced a drop in business during COVID-19. Instead of being bummed, Mike saw this as an opportunity to go back to basics. 

What should truly be in NetWerks’ cybersecurity and compliance management stack? Mike wanted to solidify that foundation for when business picked back up.

He could see remote work was here to stay. And he knew working remotely without some kind of DNS filtering is risky (duh)

On home networks, employees get redirected to bogus sites all the time. Not to mention they might have kids who want to use their computer. An employee’s (and therefore, the company’s) security is dependent on a 6-year-old not clicking the wrong button (a bad cybersecurity strategy if we ever saw one).

Other remote work locations, like coffee shops and airports, are also teeming with unsecure networks. You can’t just ship off a $1,000 firewall to every location where a user might log in.

The solution

Mike was on the hunt for a DNS filtering platform that was as flexible as his clients’ work environments. Luckily, he attended ConnectWise’s IT Nation Secure conference, where he met the team from Zorus Filtering with CyberSight. 

After a smooth demo and an even more impressive two-week free trial, the NetWerks team was ready to roll with Zorus. 

Instead of installing firewalls on every single computer clients might touch, Mike and his team could just deploy an agent directly from their RMM. Plus, there was no need for DNS changes or rerouting during installation. (You can practically hear Mike cheering from here.)

The outcome

With Zorus integrated into its security stack, NetWerks gained:

Better filtering and protection

Mike and his team had previously used a high-end SonicWall firewall with built-in content filtering. Still, that tool allowed risky traffic through one-third of the time..

When NetWerks switched over to Zorus, that percentage dropped like a rock. 

“We turned off that SonicWall and plugged in Zorus. It blocked all the sites that the previous firewall had let through. We went from 30% of sites passing to 0%. That spoke volumes to me.”

— Mike Giovaninni, CEO and Chief Technologist at NetWerks Strategic Services

In addition to DNS filtering, Zorus’s CyberSight also gave NetWerks better visibility over clients’ environments. Mike could see all the SaaS apps that were actually being used, as well as shadow IT. Win-win.

Smooth deployments in less than 10 minutes

Things you can do in 10 minutes: Unload the dishwasher. Listen to your favorite podcast on double speed. And deploy Zorus to all of your clients’ devices. 

At NetWerks, Mike didn’t want to spend two weeks training techs on how to use a new (complex) dashboard. In his experience, too many vendors tried to squeeze too much into their platforms — which left techs either confused or forced to spend days learning a new tool. 

“Some vendors say, ‘Hey, we do it all.’ But they don’t do all of it well. You’re never going to get to one single pane of glass. That pane of glass becomes a pain in the ass.”

— Mike Giovaninni, CEO and Chief Technologist at NetWerks Strategic Services

Zorus, though, wasn’t a pain in the ass. (Victory!) Mike found that he could turn a junior tech loose on the Zorus dashboard and they would immediately know what to do. The platform was simple, clean and efficient — so much so that the team could set up a new client in minutes.

More profitability

Some math to chew on: Take the hourly rate of an engineer, then multiply it by the amount of hours it takes for them to learn a new platform. 

Those numbers add up. A simplified platform that was easy to understand and deploy meant Mike could hand the work over to junior-level employees. No more wasted time (or money!) training his highest-level team members to manage the solution.

“If I don’t have to pay my high-level engineers to understand the dashboard, I can give it to a lower-level tech and make it their world. If higher-level techs have to spend a lot of time holding their hand, that’s time they can’t spend on more profitable, more complicated problems.”

— Mike Giovaninni, CEO and Chief Technologist at NetWerks Strategic Services

A platform that actually works

The best MSPs are the ones that fulfill their promises to customers.
But MSPs deserve that same level of trust with their vendors too. MSPs need platforms that actually do what they’re supposed to — so they can use it to offer better service to clients. That synergy is exactly what NetWerks got with Zorus.

“Zorus delivers a product that does what it says it’s going to do. I have peace of mind. And my clients have peace of mind. Because everything works the way it’s meant to, it helps us build trust with our clients — and that’s why many have stayed with us for 20 or 30 years.”

— Mike Giovaninni, CEO and Chief Technologist at NetWerks Strategic Services


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