For over 30 years Nixu has been shaping the future of cybersecurity, making cyberspace a secure place for some of the world's largest organizations. We sat down with Jan Mickos, Senior VP of Managed Services, and Topi Aura, IT Service Manager (Business Services) to discuss the ongoing partnership between Nixu and ONEiO.
Nixu’s integration challenges
Both public bodies and private companies rely on Nixu’s services to protect their business’s digital environment from the growing threat of security breaches. To provide industry-leading cybersecurity services, Nixu requires an unhindered connection between its internal ITSM suite (Jira) and its clients’ IT ecosystem.
Employing an integration strategy that is client-first was a key requirement for meeting their own commitments to client-centricity.
Jan described this business need, “There is high demand for client intimacy and the ability to distribute information and create awareness throughout the processes…Clients use all sorts of systems that we need to integrate with. The maturity between customers varies so we needed an integration solution that works for all customers, from high-end, very mature organizations to those still picking up speed.”
In the past, Nixu integrated with clients’ systems via a self-managed integration platform, where they would provide clients with an API to integrate with. This put the burden on clients to have a sophisticated enough internal IT setup to connect to the API or, as is common for larger organizations, to pay a capable third-party IT service provider to set that connection up. From Nixu’s perspective, this created an imbalance in their offering and the inability to meet every client's need inspired them to seek out a new solution. As Topi described it, “The biggest challenge with our previous integration solution was that it wasn’t flexible enough to serve customers across the spectrum of IT maturity.”
How we solved them
The end goal of our collaboration with Nixu was to transform their entire approach to end-to-end service integrations to be scalable, repeatable, and flexible. ONEiO is the perfect vehicle for this in a number of important ways.
Nixu must adapt and scale its services to meet the security needs of tomorrow. ONEiO integrations scale with a business, both in the data passing between applications and the number of applications that can be connected. For Nixu, this means they never have to worry about technical capacity in their integration solution.
Nixu cited the varying ability of end-customers to connect to their services as a major blocker. ONEiO takes an agnostic view toward systems and end-users. Our 100% integration success rate gives managed service providers peace of mind that they can treat end-customers equally and that all can access their services.
Because cybercrime evolves quickly so too must the service integrations that deliver vital protections. Integration projects normally run on for months, and in Nixu’s case, some clients never integrate. Our ITSM experts work in-house, using a standardized approach and proprietary technology to deliver integrations in weeks, not months.
ONEiO’s Head of Expert Services, Iiro Lempinen, worked closely with the team at Nixu to define their integration needs and map out the integration landscape. About the project, he had this to say:
“Nixu and ONEiO have together formulated a service integration model which is easily repeatable and quick to deploy to new end customers. Nixu can both effortlessly onboard a new customer, and complement its core service offering with an ITSM process integration that serves not only the requirements of Nixu but, more importantly, its end customers. The phasing and progression of new integration implementation projects are very well defined and described, so together Nixu and ONEiO are able to set up integrations between Nixu and their end customers' ITSM systems in just a few weeks, instead of many months.”
Topi also talked about the process from Nixu’s perspective:
“One of the big decisions we made was to not invest in hiring integration expertise in-house, but to instead utilize the expertise of ONEiO. Whenever there are new clients to onboard, ONEiO is part of the onboarding process. Of course, Nixuans are involved in the process, but ONEiO is the key player in making those integrations happen. They aren’t just providing the technology, but project managing these processes, being part of the client meetings, testing sessions, and verifications—really driving the whole integration process when we onboard new clients.”
He also added, “The team I’ve had the pleasure of working with from ONEiO has been really good. Iiro for example, is really, really good.”
Nixu isn’t only buying integrations from ONEiO as a turnkey service for B2B customer onboarding, but using the integration expertise at ONEiO to help them with other challenges. Jan expanded on this, “We’re also going to migrate to a new ITSM system soon and will also use ONEiO there. It’ll be less visible to the client and we’ll call on the expertise of ONEiO to help us with a smooth migration.”
An integration process to be proud of
Having a new way to connect to clients hasn’t only paved the way for closer collaborations and transformed the internal processes at Nixu, but it’s provided a whole new set of value propositions for Nixu to take to market. As Jan put it, “We’re moving towards client-centricity in everything we do and ONEiO is an enabler for that.”
“The big difference in the approach back then was that we were providing an API to our clients and saying ‘Go ahead, you can integrate if you want to,’ whereas now we’ve turned the tables, saying ‘We’re going to integrate to whatever you have.’”
Regarding the workflow automation they’ve seen as a result of the ONEiO approach, “The technical restrictions of our previous solution had a knock-on effect on organizational processes. For example, we could only route incidents to one counter-point. But now, we can move the routing depending on who takes care of the asset in question for that particular client.”
Unleashed potential in their expertise
A general benefit of outsourcing is that it frees up time for your organization to focus on what really matters. Outsourcing integrations was a way for Nixu to refocus on the services it offers without worrying about cumbersome integration projects creating a blocker to effective service delivery.
Jan sums it up, “We wanted to de-couple ourselves from the integration part of our service delivery. We’re in cybersecurity. IT integrations are not our focal point. We could have achieved the same results with the existing tech stack, but from a business-case perspective, staffing and resources were better pointed at dealing with core business challenges.”
Service delivery in an interconnected ecosystem
ONEiO views IT service management in the context of the ecosystem of tools, people, and processes it engages. Jan from Nixu understands this point of view intimately, seeing Nixu’s place as part of this network:
“The connected ecosystems way of thinking is especially important for us in bringing our message of client-centricity forward. Not because we’re using third parties in our service delivery, but because our clients have their own ecosystems, with most of them having a multi-vendor setup. This is where the magic starts to happen. For example, when we’re monitoring the client-side environment for malicious activity, if we see malware on an endpoint then we know already from the CMDB data that this endpoint is actually being maintained by this service provider. Then we can take action immediately, rather than re-routing this back to the client who then needs to do the re-routing, which was the case in our previous setup.”
In all, ONEiO and Nixu are part of an integrated IT services ecosystem where collaboration is the key to progress. Their partnership will continue as a tribute to connectivity and vigilance in a networked digital world.