Human Interest Scales IT to Keep Pace with Hyper-Growth

Company: Human Interest
Location: San Francisco, CA / Remote
Industry: Computer Software
Devices: 357

Challenges

  • High-volume provisioning
  • Scaling IT

Solutions

  • Integration with Okta
  • Kandji’s ease of use

Human Interest's mission is to help small and medium-sized businesses offer retirement benefits as good as their bigger competitors'. The company is making huge gains in markets that don’t usually offer such benefits at all, including retail (10x growth year-over-year) and restaurants (4.5x). But with that growth come some major IT challenges.

The Challenges: Employee Expansion, Scaling IT

Human Interest has more than tripled its number of employees over the past 12 months; it plans to add another 300 by the end of 2022. Human Interest seems to be managing that growth smoothly: The company was recently recognized by Forbes as one of America’s best startup employers. But IT has to move fast to keep up.

“Next Monday we have 25 new people starting—in a company of 500 people, that's big,” says Senior IT Support Specialist Ari Lev. “And it’s been like that every two weeks since I started.” 

"In the three months I've been here, our biggest challenge by far has just been rapid growth and constant change."

The majority of those employees are remote, and most of them need Mac computers (the company is a mixed shop, about 60:40 Apple to Microsoft). So efficient provisioning is a major part of Lev’s job.

So is managing growth on the IT team itself. Two years ago, that team consisted of just two people. When Lev arrived in July 2021, he was fifth on staff. Today the department is at nine, four of whom started in the last three months, and they're still hiring.

"In the three months I've been here," says Lev, "our biggest challenge by far has just been rapid growth and constant change."

The Solutions: Streamlining Workflows, Flattening Learning Curves

The company leverages Kandji’s integration with Okta to streamline their onboarding process:

  • Activate user in Okta.
  • Assign new computer to a Kandji Blueprint. ("Everything goes into a default Blueprint initially, to provision the basics—the company’s security stack and backup system, plus Microsoft Office," says Lev.)
  • Power on the machine, connect to Wi-Fi, log in, then let that default Blueprint do its work. 
  • In the Kandji web app, move the computer into its proper Blueprint.
  • Ship the computer.

Thanks to Kandji, that workflow can be handled by even the freshest IT recruits. Lev says he gives new employees a quick, half-hour overview—“These are Blueprints, here are library items, you create a library item and add it to a Blueprint, then you assign a machine to a Blueprint”—and then they start setting up new machines. 

"Compared to some of the other tools out there, it's just ten times easier to use."

“We have one person who started last week and had no IT background whatsoever—none, zero. And he's already out there provisioning machines, getting them shipped out to new users. Kandji makes that possible.”

But even people who’ve managed Mac computers before pick up Kandji quickly, says Lev. “Compared to some of the other tools out there, it's just ten times easier to use.”

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