Grab Case Study

Automated IT, at Scale

Introduction


Grab has revolutionized transportation in Southeast Asia, providing a staggering one billion rides to passengers in only five years. Founded in 2012, Grab has expanded its operations from Singapore to Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar. The key to Grab’s rapid growth has been their unwavering commitment to the well-being of their drivers and passengers. But it has also been underpinned by their willingness to leverage cutting-edge technologies, from the ride hailing app they’ve developed to the cloud-forward IT infrastructure they implement. This is the story of how Grab’s IT staff accommodated staff growth from 1,500 users to over 3,000 in under two years – with the help of JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service®.

Company:

Grab

Size:

3,000+ employees

Location:

Singapore

Problem:

Rapid growth of new offices and employees.

Goal:

Scale efficiently, maintain security.

The Challenge


Grab has been growing at an extraordinary rate, opening new offices every week, and adding users at an increasingly rapid pace. Each of these new offices needs IT infrastructure, and each of these new users needs to be set up with their own credentials and secure access to resources.

Grab knew that in order to keep up with this growth, they needed a solution that was highly scalable and secure. This challenge fell square on the shoulders of Juergen Klaassen, Principal IT Architect, and Paul Toh, Head of IT.

“My requirement going in was that we needed to do identity management, system management, and endpoint management – and that was only the beginning of the features we needed,” said Toh.

Klaassen told us that speed of deployment was also a key consideration, “Grab gains a large advantage by being first to market in any new city we serve. We are sometimes given very short timelines to set up a new office – even as little as two weeks."

"The need to deploy quickly was one of the main reasons we went with JumpCloud, but we also needed to do it right and make it secure. That's just as important as being fast."

Evaluation


Grab moved forward with JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service and has never looked back. That decision, however, was only made after very careful consideration of all options.

Klaassen:

“We considered classic Active Directory® (AD), which would have been suitable from a technical capabilities standpoint, but it definitely didn’t fit our model. We knew that AD was labor intensive to manage and required on-prem servers and hardware. It wouldn’t scale with us.”

“So we began looking at alternatives. The cloud-only approach appealed to us. We looked at Azure AD, but we saw that it definitely was not going to do what we wanted it to do. We didn’t even want to consider a hybrid setup.”

Toh:

“In a traditional IT environment, everything is in house and on-prem. At Grab, we are very much a cloud-forward company, which redefines our needs altogether.”

Klaassen:

“We knew that JumpCloud could basically be deployed in a day, so that worked perfectly. The next core decision we had to face was the operational side. At that time, our users were widely using G Suite and Slack, but we had no true directory, no endpoint management – nothing. JumpCloud was the only solution where we could find both a directory and endpoint management that could be deployed quickly through the cloud.”

Toh:

“On top of that, our environment is not only Windows.”

Klaassen:

“Right. JumpCloud could cover Mac and Windows endpoints, as well as Linux servers on the backend. All in one shot. It was actually a really quick win for us.”

“The JumpCloud platform puts the control in IT's hands; Directory-as-a-Service is more flexible than other directory services or user management solutions.”

The "All in One" Solution


With JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, Grab could implement a single platform to meet a variety of needs.

Klaassen:

“JumpCloud’s versatility was a key benefit for us. It’s a full stack solution. LDAP-as-a-Service was a top priority and a major driver for us, as LDAP is highly compatible with many of our solutions and applications.”

“The second key protocol for Grab was SAML. In the first month after deployment, we added 15 SAML connectors with JumpCloud, enabling SSO for our users. We also appreciated JumpCloud's RADIUS support. We looked pretty extensively into RADIUS solutions, and JumpCloud was the only one that was working with the proper latency. That was another big factor for us.”

“The really interesting part is the JumpCloud System Agent, which gives us control over our endpoints. Before JumpCloud, every user had their own Google account, and everyone was an admin on their local accounts. This posed security and maintenance issues. With JumpCloud, IT now has clear control over admin rights on individual user machines. We also have control over the login on the endpoint which is extremely important, especially in terms of onboarding and offboarding.”

“The JumpCloud Agent combines authentication with the ability to initiate flexible deployments from scripts. This enables us to do whatever is required on an endpoint as long as it’s decryptable. Before JumpCloud, laptop provisioning was a more manual process. Now we automate the deployment of Office™, Adobe® Creative Suite, and even base packages for provisioning new machines. It’s also important that we keep our systems up-to-date and secure. We were able to patch 4,000 machines (including contractors) in 90 minutes, thanks to the JumpCloud agent. This same capability also allows us to act quickly in response to security threats.”

Toh:

“This shared emphasis on speed and security is where JumpCloud really fits our business model.”

“I have a very strong AD background. So when I came in, my first thought was, ‘We have over 3,000 users and we don’t use AD? Are you serious?!' At that time, I had never even heard of JumpCloud. I think we’ve really come a long way in our relationship.”

Looking Ahead


JumpCloud has already helped Grab add over 5,000 users in the last two years (including contractors), but that’s only the beginning. Grab is positioned to keep growing, and JumpCloud is helping their IT operations scale as well to keep up with the planned growth.

Klaassen:

“We always have to be one step ahead. What’s around the next corner? How can I solve tomorrow’s issue before it becomes a problem? JumpCloud enables us to take on the future with confidence. There is very little overhead in our planned growth with JumpCloud.”

Toh:

“Agreed. For us, the future involves more automation. Today, we continue to onboard new employees at a rapid rate, and by next year we expect to be a much larger organization. It's reassuring to know that JumpCloud is growing as well.”

"JumpCloud can help us sustain our rate of growth and do it in a more automated, less manual way."

Moving Forward, Together


Toh:

“One thing that is very impressive about JumpCloud is that they really listen to their customers. Their openness to our suggestions and willingness to work with their customers to overcome their challenges means everything.”

Klaassen:

“Yeah, for me it was a big plus that JumpCloud listens. They are willing to take the time to onboard customers and help them through the process. This not only helps with convenience, but it helps with the overall ROI as well. We’ve come to learn that new features, SAML connectors, support, customizations – everything is all part of the one package at JumpCloud. This fosters a partnership of cooperation with their customers, and enabled us to move quickly to an effectively deployed solution.”

More Info


If you would like to learn more about how Directory-as-a-Service can act as a core directory to help your organization with scaling, user management, and much more, drop us a note at [email protected].

About JumpCloud:

JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is Active Directory® and LDAP reimagined. JumpCloud securely manages and connects your users to their systems, applications, networks, and file shares. Try JumpCloud now, or contact us at 855.212.3122.

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