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The Bitwarden Blog

Case Study - Alpha Video & Audio, Inc.

authored by:

Elizabeth Baier

posted on:

December 22nd, 2020

Alpha Video & Audio, Inc. is a US-based integrator of audiovisual, broadcast, and IPTV technologies. John Parker (JP), an IT administrator at Alpha Video for over 20 years, says Bitwarden was the ideal solution for their company because of the open-source software approach, no-nonsense interface, and a highly responsive support staff.

Alpha Video was using a bulkier password management solution, but wanted a less-busy interface to expand to their entire employee base. “We looked at our previous solution and decided the framework of it wasn’t necessary...Some people might take this as a dig, but I like the no-nonsense interface of Bitwarden. It’s really easy to navigate.”

When doing a stadium set up for an event, it’s not uncommon for the Alpha Video field team to be managing hundreds of IP addresses, on top of logins for media equipment and switches. At this scale, it’s impossible to manually manage passwords and log in information for all of the technology devices they need to operate.

Equally important, they wanted a solution that came with exceptional customer support, since they noticed support with their previous solution took days to get a response.

Deploying a suite of Bitwarden solutions

Alpha Video retired their old solution, migrated, cleaned up the data, and implemented new best practices for how they were going to deploy Bitwarden across the organization.

Migration to Bitwarden:

JP reports migrating to Bitwarden from their previous solution was easy. The hard part was realizing that in the prior solution, data wasn’t being properly stored in the correct fields. “Yes, it was secure--but employees weren’t putting information in the right place,” he said. With the migration to Bitwarden, he saw an opportunity for some education.

Company-wide training:

After the data cleanup, it was clear that employees needed additional support for using Bitwarden. JP and his team instituted a mandatory training with virtual classes and documentation. This ensured everyone was using Bitwarden to its full potential, making use of both individual and collaborative features.

Bitwarden Directory Connector:

Alpha Video is “group heavy,” according to JP, meaning they rely on organizing teams within their directory service. So, it was important that the solution they chose could leverage their existing LDAP groups to organize their Bitwarden instance. The Directory Connector made it easy to onboard users and ensure they have the right group associations.

“It’s not uncommon for us to manage 500, 600, or 800 IP addresses when we’re doing stadiums. It’s nice to have all that information in one secure place.”

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A Central, Secure Place for Sensitive Information

A unique use case for Alpha Video is having the ability to use Bitwarden as a secure place to hold important customer data.

As a systems integrator, the company needs to store many important credentials for dozens of clients. Bitwarden uses end-to-end encryption that allows Alpha Video to store clients’ credentials in templates, be put into Collections, and then can easily be shared with those throughout the company that need access.

Beyond the client database, Alpha Video also uses Bitwarden as a central place to securely store and share vendor information and financial details for specific teams.

Bitwarden search makes it easy to find anything you’re looking for. In fact, it’s one of JP’s favorite things about Bitwarden. “Bitwarden search allows you to put in a term and it delivers the stuff you’re actually looking for.”

JP offers a fun take on the password generator feature. Using the passphrase option, he says he’s got some pretty good band names out of the combinations. “Believe it or not, I have a list of fictional band names that I’ve curated over the last four or five years.”

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Balancing Security and Convenience

As most IT professionals can agree, JP says management typically prefers convenience while security professionals want the utmost security. But you want to find a solution that balances both--like Bitwarden.

Rolling out a new security tool can take some time, but in the end, it makes JP’s life a lot easier. “Bitwarden made my life a heck of a lot easier. We’re not herding cats anymore.”

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