Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK) is a water authority located in the northwest of the Netherlands. Headquartered in Heerhugowaard, HHNK ensures that more than 1 million inhabitants are provided with sufficient clean water by purifying sewage water, maintaining roads and bridges in suburban areas, and providing crisis management services. In addition, the surrounding municipalities support risk management as a result of rising sea levels and changing weather conditions in areas below sea level. By monitoring more than 1,400 kilometers of dikes and dunes along the coastline and lakes, HHNK also helps to prevent flooding.
In 2013, HHNK introduced mobile devices to give office staff and field workers secure access to email, calendar, and contacts on company-owned iPads and Android mobile phones. Over time, HHNK needed to expand its mobile capabilities so employees could use their devices to communicate more efficiently within the organization. IT also needed to simplify the configuration and management of the devices, which at first was very time-consuming and hands-on.
After researching multiple enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, HHNK chose MobileIron to securely manage all of its mobile devices and provide a containerized environment with single sign-on (SSO) so all employees can have easy and secure access to information and field workers can use secure apps on the go. HHNK worked with technology partner, KPN, to deploy MobileIron on its more than 1300 iOS and Android devices across the organization. With the help of MobileIron, HHNK has simplified device configuration and management reducing the complexity for the IT department, employees are able to use their mobile devices to communicate more efficiently within the organization and enabling them to significantly decrease paperwork and manual data collection, and transform their field operations.
MobileIron simplifies mobile management and saves time
HHNK employees are provided a corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) smartphone for both business and personal use. In the beginning, HHNK used native configuration tools to set up devices and install apps manually. After experiencing explosive device growth, a manual configuration was no longer feasible and the organization needed a more efficient way to set up devices.
“MobileIron provided an ideal solution for us,” said Bas Wassink, Applications Manager at HHNK. “Its multi-OS platform supports all of the deployment technologies we use to configure devices, including the Apple Device Management Program (DEP), Android enterprise, and Samsung Knox. This allows us to offer our employees choice, while still ensuring that all the data on the selected device is fully and easily secured. By using MobileIron, we have significantly improved efficiency within a short amount of time, raised employee satisfaction, and we were able to meet our sustainability goals,” he said.
HHNK requires all apps to work for both Android and iOS. With MobileIron, these apps can be containerized using MobileIron AppConnect for iOS or Android Enterprise and Samsung Knox for Android. The secure containerized MobileIron environment is central to the organization. It enables IT to configure, deploy, and update apps and policies without any manual intervention, allows IT to administer both in-house and public apps, keeps business and personal apps separate on the device and enables secure app access without a VPN.
MobileIron helps “open up the world of apps for our people”
Since deploying MobileIron in 2013, HHNK has been able to achieve dramatic workflow transformation. Mobile apps and devices secured by MobileIron don’t just make work easier, they have enabled innovative ways of achieving specific business goals that weren’t possible before.
As Wassink said, “With MobileIron, we can integrate all of the new smartphone capabilities into our organization and open up the world of apps for our people.”
For example, HHNK uses a third-party perspective app to create and submit infrastructure maintenance requests to employees. The HHNK employee can take pictures of the issue, such as a pothole in the road, and send a work request directly to a third-party maintenance crew. This saves time because the field worker doesn’t have to drive back to the office to view or update the work order, make phone calls, or do any paperwork. Powermobiel is another third-party app that helps streamline jobs in the field such as case management and water inspections across the region. With this app, field workers have access to current files and assignments and can easily update case information. HHNK deploys both the PowerMobiel app and perspective app through Apps@Work and secures them with MobileIron Tunnel.
In addition to streamlining field operations, HHNK administers mobile apps that help office staff and business managers work and communicate more efficiently. iBabs Pro is a meeting tool used by 300 people working at HHNK. This app allows them to easily share and annotate meeting notes. HHNK also uses MobileIron Docs@Work to encrypt email documents and access file shares, which enables teams to securely add, share, and edit documents. Not only has digital communication streamlined workflows, it has enabled HHNK to cut down on paper waste and meet some of their sustainability goals.
Looking ahead: Expanding the possibilities of mobile
In the near term, HHNK is considering several ways to transform business processes through secure mobile devices and apps. First, because maintenance workers are very scarce in the Netherlands, HHNK needs a way to initiate maintenance requests faster and more efficiently. Deploying a mobile app management (MAM) solution on subcontractor devices could help streamline the process of managing maintenance requests. Second, HHNK wants to deploy detailed maps of the province on mobile devices. These maps would enable technicians to document infrastructure conditions with greater accuracy and efficiency. Lastly, HHNK plans to remove landlines in the office and move all intra-office communication to Skype for Business deployed by MobileIron. This will eliminate the cost of maintaining landlines and free employees to make calls anywhere in their working environment.
“We have been able to achieve several milestones with the support of MobileIron, and we’re looking forward to finding even more innovative ways to improve efficiency and sustainability across our organization,” said Wassink.