Case study

Syntric Pty Ltd reduces manual labour with runZero, saving 20+ hours per week

To meet customers’ expectations of understanding the assets they had in their environments to be able to more proactively manage their asset life cycles, Syntric knew they needed to find a solution because their existing approach to asset management of using manual scans with freely-available tools wouldn’t adequately support this need at scale.

Download PDF

Problem

Syntric Pty Ltd (“Syntric”) is a leading provider of property technology (PropTech) services focused on operational technology (OT) for the commercial, retail, high-end residential, and industrial sectors. Their customers were starting to express interest in understanding the assets they had in their environments to be able to more proactively manage their asset life cycles. Syntric knew they needed to find a solution to support this request because their existing approach to asset management of using manual scans with freely-available tools wouldn’t adequately support this need at scale. After some thought, Syntric decided that bringing in a comprehensive cyber asset discovery and cyber asset inventory solution would be a win-win for both Syntric and their customers.

Solution

The team at Syntric came across runZero by happenstance. “We were lucky that we stumbled across runZero. We started using it as an internal troubleshooting tool and instantly saw the value in the data. We’ve fallen in love with runZero and wouldn’t have a reason to change it. It works, it’s easy, we don’t have to worry about it in regards to maintenance,” explained Cameron Exley, Head of Technology Commercialisation at Syntric. Syntric has since benefited from runZero’s unique ability to successfully navigate through their customers’ complex OT environments. This in-depth understanding of the assets on their customers’ networks has enabled Syntric to provide their customers with this actionable information to empower them to be more proactive in their cyber asset hygiene and overall security.

Outcomes

While there are many benefits Exley and his team enjoy, they’re especially fond of how runZero is enterprise-ready. In fact, utilizing runZero has taken away a lot of the manual labour and tweaking work that was required with running manual scans, which has helped them save over 20 hours a week of manual effort and time, a truly valuable benefit when they have hundreds of customers to support. Incorporating runZero into their workflow has empowered Exley and his team to operate more efficiently and effectively, which has saved them money needing to be spent on additional headcount. runZero has also saved money for Syntric’s customers, because they don’t have to bring in outside auditors to comprehend their networks.

Why runZero?

"We’re a massive supporter. We’ve never had a problem with runZero, which is just unheard of now-a-days. The fact that you have such an advanced product that does so much and doesn’t break is fantastic. I’ve never had to worry about it. It just works." - Cameron Exley, Head of Technology Commercialisation, Syntric Pty Ltd

Problem

Syntric Pty Ltd is a leading provider of property technology (PropTech) services focused on building automation operational technology (OT) for the commercial, retail, high-end residential, and industrial sectors. Operating under four core tennants; reducing risk, lowering costs, improving sustainability, and improving building occupant experience, Syntric’s ultimate goal is to become the best MSP possible for OT environments.

At Syntric, success is measured by customer satisfaction. This focus was put to the test when their customers started to express interest in understanding the assets they had in their environments to more proactively manage their asset life cycles. Syntric knew they needed to find an outside solution to support this request because their existing approach to asset management of using manual scanning with freely-available tools were fine for one-offs, but it would not scale, as it required a lot of tinkering. Syntric quickly realised that gaining this insight would be invaluable to them to be able to flag aged equipment (e.g. system headends, Programmable Logic Controllers, IIoT, etc.) ahead of time to their customers, thus providing their customers with the ability to plan ahead and save money in the long run. All in all, bringing in a comprehensive cyber asset discovery, inventory, and remediation solution would be a win-win for both Syntric and their customers.

Solution

Before jumping into the solution scoping process, Syntric first took the time to speak directly to their customers about what they were doing currently for cyber asset discovery, cyber asset inventory, and cyber asset hygiene. They wanted to understand what their customers’ pain points were so they could find and in turn offer the right solution to their customers to alleviate their challenges. “Some of our customers looked at other discovery tools, which were quadruple the price, if not more, than runZero, not to mention extremely complex and difficult to use,” mentioned Cameron Exley, Head of Technology Commercialisation at Syntric.

The team at Syntric came across runZero by happenstance. “We were lucky that we stumbled across runZero. We started using it as an internal troubleshooting tool and instantly saw the value in the data. We’ve fallen in love with runZero and wouldn’t have a reason to change it. It works, it’s easy, we don’t have to worry about it in regards to maintenance,” explained Exley. Their positive experience and realisation of an opportunity to better serve their customers eventually led to Syntric becoming a runZero partner. “Our customers didn’t realise it was possible to have a repository of information that goes and scans networks automatically. This translated into us becoming a runZero partner, because we’ve seen the ability for us to upsell and talk about strategic asset management at a much more granular level than what they’re used to,” said Exley. To their surprise, becoming a partner has provided additional, unforeseen business benefits. “It immediately opened the door to a customer we would have struggled to get in front of because they needed something that was a differentiator,” described Exley.

“It’s really helped our customers improve their asset technology. They can go to market and say, ‘We’ve got thirty Milestone servers at version X. We’ve got two Niagara AX servers we didn’t realise were still there.’ And they can bring it all together and give that package without having to pay an auditor to perform an expensive audit which would only capture a single point in time. runZero always has a current register of the assets in the environment, as well as a history of what was in the environment.”

Cameron Exley | Head of Technology Commercialisation | Syntric Pty Ltd

Syntric has benefited from runZero’s unique ability to successfully navigate through their customers’ complex OT environments. “runZero has enabled us to support our customers in keeping track of their environments, how they’re working, and getting them back on board when they lose track,” said Exley. runZero also provides detailed insight into the assets on Syntric’s customers’ networks, including uncommon data that other solutions don’t pick up. “A customer may not know how to log into the equipment. They need certain bits of information to get there, but they’re not capable of collecting this information themselves and it’s impossible to be skilled in every unique control platform. runZero shortcuts a lot of the discovery work, providing us with an image of the network and picking up many of the extremely uncommon ports we find in OT environments, even those that have been changed from the default. runZero figures them out and picks up automatically,” Exley explained.

This in-depth understanding of the assets on their customers’ networks has enabled Syntric to provide their customers with actionable insights to empower them to be more proactive in their cyber asset hygiene and overall cyber security. “runZero has helped us comb through customer environments and pick up the lurking issues. We start looking and find, ‘Okay, we’ve got a bridge over here. We’ve got terrible topology. Half this network comes and goes depending on what time of day we scan it.’ Those insights really help us as the people coming in to try and fix up the network,” detailed Exley. He went on to add how these insights help inform their customers to make improvements to their cyber asset hygiene, “Our customers will explain, ‘I know what’s on my network now. I thought I needed to invest a whole lot more money in this asset. But actually, this other asset is obviously screaming higher priority because we can see it’s still running a critical system like Windows XP (for example). I actually need to change my investment strategy.’”

Outcomes

While there are many benefits Exley and his team enjoy, they’re especially fond of how runZero is enterprise-ready. In fact, utilising runZero has taken away a lot of the manual labour and tweaking work that was required with running manual scans with freely-available tools, which has helped them save over 20 hours a week of manual effort and time, a truly valuable benefit when they have hundreds of customers to support. “The scheduled scans are a massive timesaver. If the runZero explorer is onsite, we’ll do scans daily. If it's in the cloud, we’ll do scans weekly. Some of the sites have poorly configured networks where they’ve got massive ranges and it can take upwards of three days to scan. The fact that we don’t have to do that manually, sit there and baby the process, and we’ve instantly got the data when we need it is really important. It reduces hours’ worth of effort into nothing,” said Exley. He went on to say, “The engineers attaching to an environment to perform a manual process - that consumes time. runZero’s deployment model allows us to constantly scan assets without tedious work building connectivity from an engineer’s workstation to the site. runZero saves us about 20 hours a week pretty easily.”

Outcomes

Incorporating runZero into their workflow has empowered Exley and his lean team of 30 employees to operate more efficiently and effectively, which has helped Syntric keep overheads low by removing a manual and expensive process from the day-to-day. “It’s probably helped us avoid bringing on one or two more people,” explained Exley. Additionally, leveraging runZero to support their customers has also helped their customers save money, because they don’t have to bring in outside auditors to understand their networks. “It’s really helped our customers improve their asset technology. They can go to market and say, ‘We’ve got thirty Milestone servers at version X. We’ve got two Niagara AX servers we didn’t realise were still there.’ And they can bring it all together and give that package without having to pay an auditor to perform an expensive audit, which would only capture a single point in time. runZero always has a current register of the assets in the environment, as well as a history of what was in the environment.

To sum up his overall experience with runZero, Exley concluded, “I love runZero because we can give our customers access to the instance. I love that we can chop it up like that. That’s something a lot of tools we consume don’t do. They don’t seem to consider the MSP when they’re being built. This means I don’t have to have an engineer run reports. The customer can self-service.”

Save your customers and yourself time and money with runZero

Leverage runZero for cyber asset discovery and inventory for increased efficiency and decreased costs.

Start a free trial
runZero on laptop