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MobileIron Joins Leeds County Council to Manage Mobile Devices


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April 03, 2012

MobileIron Joins Leeds County Council to Manage Mobile Devices

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Touted as the second largest local authority in England and Wales, Leeds City Council selected mobile device management provider MobileIron to be responsible for both managing and ensuring that mobile devices and apps remain highly secure across all divisions of its organization.

The mobile device management provider will provide the tools needed to protect the Council’s large amount of corporate-owned devices, launch a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program and power third-party apps which will make the use of public services much easier.

After first looking at ActiveSync to protect and maintain its employee devices, Marcus Hunter, Strategic Services manager, quickly realized the company needed a much more in-depth solution, just like the one offered by MobileIron.

“With Microsoft (News - Alert) at the core of our IT infrastructure, we implemented ActiveSync to manage our smartphone estate,” said Hunter. “We determined that it didn’t offer the level of visibility or security we needed to manage a broad estate of devices and a potentially broad estate of applications going forward. We also wanted to adopt a mature smartphone platform for the corporate environment, and began assessing Android (News - Alert) as the operating system of choice. We embarked on a project to refresh our entire enterprise mobility strategy, and a secure mobile device management solution (MDM) needed to be at the heart of this.”

Over 6,000 Council employees currently use corporate-owned mobile devices, 800 of which are Windows smartphones. An obstacle that this mobile device management plan needed to overcome was the fact that most employees were using two devices – corporate issued one in addition to their personal device.

When the BYOD program kicked off, however, it eliminated the need for more than one device, boosting productivity and improving the user experience while simultaneously protecting sensitive information and cutting costs associated with giving employees corporate owned devices, according to a press release.

Users who want to be involved in the BYOD process can install MobileIron only after agreeing to a text message disclaimer that promises they will continuously update their phones’ operating systems, make sure security updates are always on and comply with all security rules.

After the MobileIron client app has been successfully downloaded, key information such as emails and documents will all be encrypted and made available to users. A PIN is also required as part of the acceptance process to raise the bar on security.

After teaming with Qolcom, Leeds City Council implemented MobileIron into daily operations. Keith Reading, director at Qolcom commented, “The council is considering exciting plans to extend the MobileIron functionality across the city’s 270 school sites, supporting 15,000 educational staff in their work. It is also investigating a shared services initiative where smaller surrounding councils can benefit from a slice of the platform. These ambitions could only be supported by an MDM solution that has the high-end security and management capabilities that MobileIron can offer.”

Leeds plans to allow employees in the highways department and housing association teams to use its third party apps and looks to create its mobile app plan in conjunction with MobileIron’s App Storefront.

“The central management functions of the platform mean that operational overheads will reduce,” concluded Hunter. “With technology to match the needs of our employees and support the corporate roadmap of the council, we are no longer limited in what we can do as both an IT department or as an organization.”

Edited by Braden Becker

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