From Customers to Advocates: How 4 IT Pros Found Their Home Here at Aiden.

By Published On: January 4th, 2023Categories: Events, Webinars
2023.12.14 Demo & AMA-Thumbnail

In the world of technology, the transition from customer to champion is a testament to the solution’s transformative power. We sat down with four individuals who were once Aiden customers but are now integral parts of the Aiden Team. To truly capture the essence of our users’ experiences, we decided to host an Ask Me Anything (AMA) event. This provided a platform for our technologists to share their unfiltered opinions, experiences, and insights while highlighting the nuances of their journey with Aiden.

Joining us for this AMA, our CEO Josh Aaron, who was a former CTO at a leading Private Equity Firm; Paul Wilson, our Director of Customer Success and former VP at a Global Alternative Asset Manager; Steve Walsh, a Sales Engineer and former Director at a Fortune 500 Enterprise;  Joe Fousek, our expert Legal Business Consultant and former CIO at an AM Law 200 Law Firm; and our moderator Aaron Mellman, our Director of Marketing. Each of them shared their experiences with Aiden and how its solution addressed the critical business challenges they had been trying to solve without success until they encountered us.

Before Aiden: Business Problems

To start, Mellman asked the group, “What is the business problem you were trying to solve before you came to Aiden?”

Wilson shed light on the struggles he faced with existing deployment tools. “I suffered from a distinct lack of actionable information or insight from my existing deployment toolsets. Trying to report from those toolsets was, at best, historical and, at worst, untimely and, in the worst case, entirely inaccurate. It was not the type of forward-looking reporting I needed. This resulted in some very difficult conversations with my CISO and compliance officers as a consequence.”

Walsh detailed the resource limitations and security risks his team encountered, showing the complexity of managing thousands of applications. “We had quite a few challenges in our environment. We had limited resources within our packaging team and several thousand applications to maintain. It was impossible to keep up with the demand for new applications but also address the need to update existing applications within our environment. Another challenge that we had was around the deployment of new PCs themselves, and we had roughly 2,500 new builds and refreshes every month, which took an average of four plus hours of technicians’ time, effort, and cost.”

Fousek offered a transparent view into the frustrations of his technical team, grappling with the time-consuming maintenance work required of them instead of focusing on strategic initiatives. “I needed engineers to be doing what I hired them to do, work on projects and initiatives, and raise our game when it comes to security and productivity, instead of being caught up in all this maintenance work.”

Aaron conveyed the urgency and scale of technical challenges, emphasizing the critical need for a solution that could reduce vulnerabilities and free up valuable time. “I had some big technical projects within a few weeks of being on the job. We found out that we had a lot of tech debt and a lot of vulnerabilities. And to be exact, our tenable scans were critical, and in the high areas, we saw over 11,000 vulnerabilities.”

These stories aren’t unique. They are shared globally among IT professionals faced with similar odds and challenges. Introducing the Aiden solution was a pivotal moment that set them on a trajectory of success.

Initial Skepticism & Surprises of Intelligent IT Automation

The AMA format allowed us to explore the initial skepticism our champions harbored, offering an account of their reservations and eventual surprise when met with the vast capabilities of the Aiden solution.

Mellman asked Fousek and Walsh, “When you heard that Aiden doesn’t do any kind of imaging, what were your initial thoughts?”

Fousek and Walsh expressed initial skepticism about Aiden’s claim of not doing any imaging. However, they were pleasantly surprised to see how the automation’s efficiency reduced a lengthy process while streamlining the deployment of new PCs.

“I was very skeptical and didn’t think it would work. But we went down from a four-hour process to a thirty-minute process. Just by starting up the Aiden bot, telling it what desired state configuration we wanted, hitting go, and receiving 100% success on building machines…it was incredible.” -Joe Fousek

Walsh explained that he was also skeptical in the beginning and found himself wondering, “How does this actually build a PC from scratch? How does it replace all that technician time? How is it faster?” He “was very surprised to see how efficient that automation really was.”

The Resulting Value and Insights of Aiden’s Automated Endpoint Management

The AMA not only explored challenges but also allowed our champions to share their perspectives on the tangible value Aiden provided to them and their IT teams.

Mellman asked Walsh, “You have much experience with many different deployment tools and reporting. Compared to other deployment tools like SCCM or Intune, what do you believe the value is from using Aiden Vision?”

Walsh’s unfiltered assessment highlighted the specific advantages AidenVision offered, contrasting it with other tools in the industry. Referring to SCCM, Walsh explained that “reporting was complicated, and we had inventory scans that weren’t always successful and did not bring back what applications were on each device. The nice thing is that Aiden scans the system, compares it to the desired state policy policies, and updates AidenVision daily, resulting in much more accurate reporting.”

Because Aiden is not an agent and requires an existing deployment tool, Wilson emphasized Aiden’s role in enabling better conversations about the environment’s status and compliance. “We are not trying to rubbish those existing toolsets. Aiden is dependent on you having these existing deployment tools. I think the observation I would make is that this information allowed me at least to have far better conversations [with security] about exactly where I am.”

Aiden’s Impact on Digital End-user Experiences (DEX) and their Industries

Through their professional experiences with Aiden, our IT professionals have witnessed transformative shifts in their perspective on what is achievable within their respective industries.

Being the head of Aiden’s customer success, Mellman asked Wilson, “What are some of the things that you have seen Aiden help with from a business standpoint in the realm of financial services or even our customers at large since you work so closely with them?”

Wilson responded by emphasizing Aiden’s role in providing evidence of cybersecurity policies in financial services. “If you are dealing in an industry where you have investors, you get asked many questions about how you are protecting them as investors. The way to do that is by providing them with demonstrable evidence that you have a policy for your cyber security operations and that you are compliant with that policy. Aiden helps you deliver on that.”

Mellman asked Aaron, “From a security auditing standpoint, how is AidenVision helping in the financial services space?”

Aaron’s insights into Aiden’s impact on business operations provided a real-world perspective on the transparency AidenVision imparts, which is crucial in industries with stringent security and compliance requirements like Financial Services. “The last several years have put the CISO and security front of mind at the board level. Working in financial services, there are a lot of controls and guidelines to follow, and they are coming at us at all times. AidenVision allows for you to have a really good conversation, even at the board level, about what exactly is being done.”

Mellman then asked Fousek, “How do you see Aiden fitting in with the future of law firms? Can you see Aiden as something many law firms can benefit from?”

Fousek highlighted the benefits Aiden delivers within the legal industry, freeing up resources for more critical projects. “Law firms end up with all the specialized software for all the individual practice groups. When we implemented Aiden, you guys did all the monitoring for all the software we had, knew when there were updates, and let us know when it was ready for us to push out at our discretion and in our control without having to do the work. It was beautiful.”

Mellman asked Walsh, “You have experience in a complex environment. How can Aiden help with just rolling out a new piece of software and organizing how deployments are run?”

“I think it’s important to mention that companies spend much time with tedious work around application packaging and deployments,” Walsh explained. “It distracts companies from important project work to further mature and secure their environments. I think what Aiden provides is unique to the industry because instead of scheduling thousands of application deployments within their existing deployment tool, today, they can deploy AidenBot to run all remediations to handle all the work for them. Regarding time savings, it’s incredibly valuable.”

Technical Questions from the Audience

In true AMA fashion, the audience posed technical questions, to which our technical experts offered an unfiltered response.

An audience member asked Wilson, “Is the Package sourcing managed independently, or are you leveraging something akin to Chocolatey, Scoop, WinGet etc.?”

Wilson responded, “We have a repository of all the packages we create on your behalf, which is part of our managed service. Aiden then pulls those packages from your desired location” and installs them per your desired state policy file.

Aaron was asked, “Does something like scan the packages?”

Aaron’s response demystified the security measures in place, revealing the internal scanning processes and part of Aiden’s secret sauce, which is how our customers benefit from each other’s security and testing procedures, or as we like to call it, “The Wisdom of the Crowd.” He explains, “We have code scanning and virus scanning tools that we use internally. But what is even more powerful is how Aiden works. The shared repository of all the packages, all the unique software titles, application updates, firmware, BIOS, drivers, etc., everything that lives in our AidenCore library, and the common code base is provided to every single customer and synced into their environments automatically.

Aaron explains that “All our enterprise customers benefit from the lessons learned, virus scanning, and security tools that are in play at every single one of the other customers. So, that’s a huge part of the power and value we deliver. We deliver this high-efficiency, very clean software supply chain to our customers.”

Along the lines of our solution, Mellman asks Aaron about Aiden’s future roadmap, including the integration of new AI technologies. Aaron describes “We are already leveraging dynamic task execution and NLP. In the lab, we are now working with LLM-based generative AI to explore how we can drive greater predictability and insights…”

In summary

The transition from Aiden customers to advocates by our technology experts underscores the profound impact Aiden has on not only our customers but also our internal team. This event allowed these evangelists to share challenges candidly and highlight Aiden’s transformative role in addressing business problems. From overcoming skepticism to realizing tangible value, their experiences showcase Aiden’s profound benefits in financial services, law firms, and complex enterprise environments. The AMA also provided insights into technical aspects, emphasizing Aiden’s robust security measures and hinting at future developments. As these champions continue to endorse Aiden, their stories affirm its real-world impact and industry relevance, solidifying Aiden’s position as the leading intelligent packaging and deployment solution.

To understand firsthand how Aiden’s innovative solutions can streamline processes, enhance security, and bring transparency to your IT operations, schedule some time to speak with one of our experts.

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