IT life made easier: Michael Belisle’s story

Jenny Carpenter

Michael Belisle, IT manager at Fisher & Sons, in Burlington, WA, explains how ControlNow helps ease the load of IT management and make his life easier for a one-man IT team. Here are a few of his answers from a Q&A with our team:

CloudTell us about your setup and the main challenges you had to address?

Our IT footprint consists of over 100+ seats, 18 virtual servers, 5 major offices, and users spread out over 4 states in the USA. A total of 80% of my end user base are remote users. In my environment, it is important for me to find tools that allow me to do more with minimal time and money invested.

How did ControlNow help?

ControlNow’s tools have helped me keep my environment secure with minimal up-front investment and a very straightforward and intuitive web interface.

My requirements were for a cloud-based, centralized management console built around robust security software. ControlNow fitted the bill nicely in this regard.

Patch management used to be a challenge; our WSUS server was not the right solution for my distributed environment.  With ControlNow, I can easily configure patch management and I have peace of mind that my environment is secure and up-to-date.

What changes have you seen since implementing ControlNow?

The overall incidence of infected machines has gone down dramatically since the deployment of ControlNow. The product just seems to catch and prevent more viruses and malware than previous tools I have used. In addition, the centralized console has saved me having to deploy internal servers/services to improve security.

How has ControlNow impacted your IT spending?

ControlNow saves IT money on internal servers, and saves the business money in terms of lost productivity and clean-up costs on infected machines. Compared to the competition, the price point of ControlNow and its various services are reasonable and competitive.

Have end users noticed anything different in how IT is being managed?

The end-user experience has improved with the deployment of ControlNow. Rather than users being somewhat responsible to ensure patches are run, ControlNow patch management has taken that burden away. In addition, the antivirus service works effectively in the background without causing them disruption.

With prevention being one of the key components of ControlNow, system uptime and overall user productivity has improved significantly.

Has ControlNow saved you time?

It’s difficult to put an exact number on, but ControlNow has definitely saved me time on security and patch-related “break/fix.” With a large and distributed user base, prevention is the best way to reduce the need to travel and perform repairs, and ControlNow has been a key tool in my arsenal in terms of issue prevention.

What’s your top tip for IT admins using ControlNow for the first time?

Take a look at your antivirus scanning and patch management schedules; it’s worth tweaking them to match the behavior of your user environment. I would recommend using a pilot group of users to test these settings to find what works best for you.

What’s the next step in your security strategy?

I’m looking forward to testing and deploying the Web Protection service which should provide an additional tier of security to my network.

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