Centralized and Secure Account Management for Electrical Contractor Leads to Cost Savings
About Schuler-Haas Electric Corp.
Schuler-Haas Electric Corp. is an electrical contracting company with multiple locations throughout the state of New York.
- Enterprise Mobility + Security E3
- Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
Messy Accounts and Unenforced Security Policy
Schuler-Haas Electric Corp. needed to increase security and improve account management. At the time, their Microsoft 365 accounts were managed in two directories: Active Directory for on-premises employees and Azure Active Directory for those in the field. This was costing them additional management overhead. The company also had Active Directory accounts for former employees as well as over 50 active Microsoft 365 accounts for former employees.
When field users were issued a device, they were given a password. After logging in the first time, however, they didn’t know what the password was and would continue to use their devices by staying logged in. There was no easy way for users, especially those in the field, to reset their passwords without IT assistance, which meant that field users were losing time during the workday. Additionally, Schuler-Haas’s password policy didn’t meet security best practices. They wanted a more robust security policy, including multifactor authentication.
“A couple of our suppliers and contractors got hit by cyberattacks, and when we investigated, we learned that they didn’t have basic levels of protection in place,” says Pete Longhany, CIS manager. “With those real-life examples to show people, we were able to motivate our team to push forward with our security initiatives.”
Schuler-Haas selected ProArch to address and deploy remediation for the challenges Schuler-Haas was experiencing with their security, password policies, and IT partner.
“Our previous IT provider was doing things in a patchwork and was not offering the support we would have liked,” Longhany says.
“The team at ProArch did an evaluation and proposed some ideas for us. It was clear they knew what they were doing, and we were confident moving forward with them.”
Clean Account Management and a Robust Password Policy
Starting in June 2021, ProArch worked with Schuler-Haas to centralize their account management. They conducted an investigation into outdated accounts and terminated over 50 Office 365 accounts that were no longer needed. They then leveraged existing Azure Active Directory Connect synchronization services to synchronize identity data between their on-premises environment and Azure AD.
As part of this initiative, ProArch cleaned up and unified Schuler-Haas’s on-premises and cloud accounts. They identified each primary account and removed any duplicate accounts, all without interrupting functionality for the user.
To address the company’s password concerns, ProArch implemented Azure AD Self-Service Password Reset with writeback to on-premises Active Directory. This was especially helpful for workers in the field, as they did not have quick access to IT services. They also helped the company implement a strong password policy that is consistent between on-premises and cloud-only account management.
ProArch also implemented Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 licensing so that the company could leverage Azure AD Premium P1 for conditional access policies and Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics.
Throughout the project, ProArch has been a true partner, helping Schuler-Haas reach their IT and overall business goals quickly and effectively.
“ProArch has been very supportive in helping us through the process,” Longhany says. “If we run into any hiccups, ProArch is only a phone call away!”
A year after the start of the project, Schuler-Haas is seeing impressive results. Where before passwords were stored in an Excel spreadsheet, that security risk is now eliminated. IT at Schuler-Haas can create new accounts and send instructions for the user to set up their own strong password, and the users are able to securely reset that password if they ever need to. Users can do this independently without having to contact IT, which means new users can get started faster, and existing users can focus on their most important work.
- Saved $600–$800 a month by eliminating Microsoft 365 licensing for nearly 60 inactive accounts
- Gained a better security posture by configuring multifactor authentication for cloud-only and on-premises accounts
- Set up multifactor authentication, which applied to cloud-only and on-premises accounts
- Empowered employees to reset passwords at their convenience so they can continue their work without disruption and new users can get started faster
- Gave IT employees more time to work on their most important tasks
- Documented account consistency between ProArch and Schuler-Haas, a time-saver for both parties
“The process is working,” Longhany says. “It’s good to see. Our new employees are setting up their new passwords with ease, and our more-tenured employees are changing their passwords per the policy when they need to.”
Clearing the confusion and creating a clean and effective account and password management system was a significant undertaking. However, as Longhany says, “ProArch helped us sort it out. They had the expertise to know where to put people and how best to set everything up, and they saved us money along the way. Working with ProArch has been great.”
To learn more about Schuler-Haas' journey to success or how ProArch can find ways to help modernize your IT environment and reduce operational costs, contact us today!
ProArch has been very supportive in helping us through the process. If we run into any hiccups, ProArch is only a phone call away!
ProArch helped us sort it out. They had the expertise to know where to put people and how best to set everything up, and they saved us money along the way. Working with ProArch has been great.