Over 25 locations
The Humberview Group is an auto dealer group that prides itself on great people and outstanding customer service. Starting in 1972 with its Humberview Chevrolet dealership at 3200 Bloor Street West in Toronto, the company has grown to over 25 locations across Southern Ontario, making it a large dealer group.
Two years ago, there was a shift in IT methodology within Humberview Group. Already using Cisco routers and telephones, the organization was considering how they could modernize their IT delivery and improve the user experience, when an incident at the company had the IT team quickly re-assessing the network’s security. With guidance from Cisco Gold partner Insight,
Humberview Group transformed their security posture, adopting Cisco© Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints and Cisco Umbrella to make it more transparent, easier to use and more reliable.
Humberview Group’s small but nimble IT team manages a sprawling network serving over 1,00 users, and the network was at risk of becoming inadequate and difficult to manage. They initially engaged Insight, a Cisco Gold partner, to help with their objective of transforming IT into a potent driver of the Humberview Group’s business.
“Our Insight Advanced Solutions team came in with a consultative approach to help Humberview achieve their business goals,” said Mike Pivniceru, Advanced Network Solutions Practice Lead at Insight. “What began as understanding their ideal end-state evolved into a network assessment and long-term implementation strategy. Throughout, our team worked with one goal in mind: to help Humberview close gaps that were preventing IT from contributing to the company’s growth.”
David Renton, Director of Technology at Humberview Group, believed the organization was well-positioned when it came to network security. However, a cyber security incident that left Humberview without email for four days led the team to shift focus and reevaluate its entire security posture. The IT department soon uncovered the vulnerability within their security stack, which included endpoint protection, email protection and server-side protection. “We came to learn that the three products we had in place actually worked against one another because of a certain configuration we had enabled –something we weren’t even aware of,” says Renton.
Humberview Group’s existing solutions provided little visibility into the company’s enterprise-wide network security. With no security analyst on staff, Humberview Group was looking for an easy to understand, easy to deploy solution. According to Renton, “we really needed something that could work well, could work easily and could work reliably.”
Humberview Group was already using Cisco Meraki networking products on-site, and Renton says the guidance from Insight to consider Cisco as more than a hardware and license vendor was vital in choosing Cisco’s security solutions.
“Insight helped me better understand Cisco’s positioning, and encouraged me to view it more as a strategic partner,” said Renton. “They were essential for me during this process.”
With Insight’s support, Humberview Group replaced aging Cisco Adaptive Security Appliances (ASAs) with Meraki MX firewall appliances, which could be managed centrally over the web and included a complete, robust feature set right out of the box – in the process future-proofing them for the push to SD-WAN if necessary. They deployed Meraki MR access points to over 20 different physical locations, leading to more robust connections, greater user capacity and more network coverage. With Insight, the company also implemented Cisco AMP for Endpoints and Cisco Umbrella, providing complete visibility into internet activity across all locations, devices and users through one centralized dashboard.
By adopting Cisco’s Security product suite, the solutions fitted seamlessly into the existing Cisco network and on-premise Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) phone system. Cisco’s offerings were also easier to understand, required fewer licenses, and were trustworthy. There was no vendor cross-talk and finger-pointing, and all the solutions deployed were acknowledged leaders in infrastructure, communications, collaboration or security. Best of all, deployments were incredibly smooth, leaving engineers grinning ear-to-ear. “When do you ever see someone in technology beaming?” said Renton.
Humberview Group immediately saw a difference in their visibility after deploying Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AMP for Endpoints. They were able to look into endpoint traffic – something they couldn’t do before – and not only see threats, but also general patterns of internet traffic, which could be used to improve operations and keep the business running smoothly.
Members of the IT team were also able to participate in a Threat Hunting Workshop hosted by Cisco to help them better understand and use their complete deployment. The company’s revamped security posture gave the IT department the baseline and confidence to start delivering on the business’s strategic initiatives.
“Our goal is to enable our customers to achieve their possible through technology,” said Erin Gertner, Director of Global Virtual Sales at Cisco Canada. “The work Humberview and Insight are doing to leverage IT as a business driver should be considered a best practice for digital transformation across Canada.”
So, what’s next? Making better use of their Unified Communications (UC) platform. Humberview is now discussing updates to their Cisco phone system with Insight, opening up the opportunity to make use of collaboration tools.
“As part of our ongoing collaboration with Cisco and Humberview, our end goal is help Humberview unlock the most value from Cisco’s cross-architecture technology portfolio,” says Pivniceru. “We continue to identify opportunities where Humberview can benefit from unified communications, networking, and computing solutions.
For instance, a recent opportunity to move to the UC Flex platform has left Humberview poised to engage their customers more effectively and obtain better insights to target their audiences more effectively. The company is currently rolling out Jabber for instant messaging, integrating it with their phone systems and are looking at ways to modernize their call center operations. Renton sees the value of preparing for eventual services in the cloud, and of equipping the company’s workforce with communications and collaboration tools across devices and platforms.
● Increased visibility into the network to improve the Humberview Group’s security posture and business operations.
● Cisco Meraki, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AMP for Endpoints created a more transparent, easier to use and more reliable network that could be managed from anywhere.
● Trusted advisors helped restore confidence of the Humberview Group’s tight-knit IT department.