Armis can respond at the speed and scale of global opportunity to provision collector servers almost anywhere at speed with Server Factory

Client: Armis

Armis needed the most responsive hardware partner possible to meet growing and global customer needs, so chose Server Factory to fill that gap

Organisations and governments around the globe choose Armis to help them maintain critical asset visibility and cybersecurity. It provides a unified asset intelligence platform designed to monitor and protect the extended attack surface of today’s cloud-connected infrastructures, mobile platforms and IoT devices.

To protect such systems fully requires constant visibility of ICT assets. Armis collects huge quantities of real-time actionable intelligence data on sophisticated server hardware within its customers’ networks. UK-based Server Factory supplies at least 85% of these collectors: imaged, connected, and ready for Armis to provision, before it ships them to customers.

Server Factory began working with Armis in 2020 and has since shipped more than 9023 servers to 85 countries around the world. It was originally brought in by CTO Ziv Dines to help strengthen an existing supplier landscape.

Volume needs at high speeds

Volume needs at high speeds Armis’ asset visibility and security solution is used by global organisations such as Colgate-Palmolive, PepsiCo, Fedex and DocuSign, in addition to governments across the US, EMEA and Asia Pacific. Protecting critical business, infrastructure and government operations demands responsiveness to almost any demand.

It has a rapidly expanding logistics team. Senior Logistics Specialist Aaron Gillespie was the first expert to join, and he and Logistics Specialist Joseph Poeppe work closely with Server Factory every day.

Meeting customer promises depends on reliable and swift delivery of equipment, explained Aaron: “Servers need to be on site for customers to use our system – they are integral to everything we do. Server Factory is our main supplier for almost all markets now. Although based in the UK, they not only take care of the majority of European shipping, but also the US – and have supported APAC shipping at times.”

Orders can rise from an average of 10-20 servers per month to around 200 in peak months. Aaron told us “We’ve often submitted orders for 30+ collectors to go out on one day. We know that the Server Factory techs stay late to get kit down, connected, labelled, prepped for shipping and out – they can quadruple their normal capacity when we need it.”

He also noted that the volumes can be even higher: “We sometimes get massive one-off orders. Server Factory works with us to get everything set up and is prepared to the point that as soon as an official order drops, we can move. One customer needed 400 of a very specific micro server – and Server Factory already had these numbers in stock.”

Easier and speedier service

Armis chose Server Factory due to the response times and cooperation compared with former suppliers, Joe added. “Internal ordering was painful through our previous supplier’s portal – after saying the number of servers we needed connected it would take another day or two before we could provision them. With Server Factory, we can often have a server ready to ship in 20 minutes, and they are great with volume, which allows us to provide better service to our customers.”

Server Factory delivers no matter what server is required. “Server Factory is a true one-stop shop. It has our entire catalogue on hand – from minis and micros to the LTE capable, standard, dual-power and heavyweight 40 Gb servers. At any time, we have inventory available to us and already connected, that we can quickly provision and tell them to ship – that has been a game-changer,” said Joe.

Whatever, wherever, whenever

Armis has a truly global business. “Whenever we have unique requests, or a shipment has to go somewhere that is difficult to get to, we go to Server Factory,” said Joe. One of the things that he most appreciates is that Server Factory will handle any situation that may go wrong. “It sometimes happens that we get a bad address or encounter a customs issue. Server Factory works with us to correct those things, and take a lot of the brunt of things,” he added

Aaron related the experience they have come to expect when an unusual demand comes in. He said “We recently asked Server Factory for some very uncommon and unique things for a government client with very specific configuration needs. It was a lot of extra work on their behalf, not just for that but to print out special labelling and other things. They had 48 hours to figure out how to do it all. They just helped us – and did everything we needed them to.”

Small orders often matter most

The sales team often flags that a Proof of Value is needed to secure a new customer. “We must turn POV orders around really fast, and ship out one or more collectors with which to demo our solution. With Server Factory’s support we can turn these around in just two days and have everything on site and operational in three,” said Joe.

One prospective client made delivery of a certain number of collectors in a tight timeframe a condition of contract – with a large additional order incentive, Aaron remembered. “They didn’t think we would do it, but Server Factory helped us deliver. We not only landed that client but secured the extra order revenue too.”

Communication is everything

Server Factory effectively displaced a far larger rival to become Armis’ main server source. The logistics team feel that a completely different attitude to communication has been part of that change. “Armis and Server Factory work well together because there is such open communication. Problems are addressed immediately, and there is never any blame game” Aaron stated.

The team has a shared Slack channel to enable real-time communication, Joe explained. “Despite time differences, we can email or message them and often get a response in seconds – we’ve noticed they monitor Slack even out of hours.”

Server Factory has also provided better visibility, he noted: “We can see all the server serial numbers and spot they are ready. As soon as Server Factory image a server and connect it to the internet it shows on our dashboard – we can grab the serial numbers, and provision the collector.”

Daily communication is never confined to servers and shipping, Aaron admitted: “Working with Server Factory is always lively, full of banter and camaraderie. Our team Slack channel is full of humour!”

Overall, this has created a unique and unusually strong relationship: “Server Factory are a team of honest, stand-up people who do an honest, stand-up job – and that’s hard to find in this day and age.”

Nothing stands still

Business, technology, and cybercrime all evolve daily, so Armis constantly fields new requests. It strives to meet these, even if that means breaking new ground or adapting to very specific regulations and conditions in customer environments. They continually need to find and test new hardware, and image and provision in new ways, which could test traditional supply relationships. Not in this case, said Aaron: “In the past two years we have faced projects that neither we nor Server Factory have experience completing – but together we’ve completed every single one. We haven’t yet encountered anything that Server Factory hasn’t been able to help us resolve.”

The hardware landscape itself keeps changing too, he added: “Server Factory have been great at helping us keep track of hardware variations – we’re often asked questions, and they have created many documents we can refer to – this helps us keep up.”

Determination to succeed seems a common trait of both companies, he suggested: “Whenever we have to image and provision in new ways, Server Factory figures out how to do it and it has helped us understand our processes better. I’ve never seen them give up on anything – they always help us find a solution.”

Daily communication is never confined to servers and shipping, Aaron admitted: “Working with Server Factory is always lively, full of banter and camaraderie. Our team Slack channel is full of humour!”

Overall, this has created a unique and unusually strong relationship: “Server Factory are a team of honest, stand-up people who do an honest, stand-up job – and that’s hard to find in this day and age.”

Growing together - fast

Server Factory is now Armis’ main collector supplier, helping it to deliver as it grows at an incredible rate. Armis has now surpassed $100m in ARR, up from just $1m five years ago, making it the fastest-growing cyber start-up for asset visibility, intelligence, and security. In turn, Armis is fuelling growth for Server Factory – with orders worth £3.1m in 2021 more than doubling in 2022, with a continuing upward trend in 2023.

Aaron reflected, “During any career you have many bad supplier relationships, and it can make you jaded. Server Factory and Armis have a real relationship. They deliver for our customers, and really save us stress and time – because we can leave them to get on and focus on other tasks.”

Asked why this relationship succeeds when many do not, he said “Server Factory doesn’t just read emails, they think about them. They don’t just hear us talking, they listen. That’s a huge distinction. I never have to explain things twice. They pay attention, and they care – and I don’t think many of their competitors do that.”

He concluded: “I definitely recommend Server Factory – they not only always get the job done, but are trustworthy, flexible and customer focused. It is hard to find good enough words to describe them. They care about us and our reputation – and know that we are building something together. Whatever growth Armis experiences, I have every confidence that Server Factory will be there to help us.”