International legal practice Norton Rose Group offers a full business law service from offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The practice currently has over 1,800 lawyers in 30 offices on three continents. Those numbers are set to increase further on 1 June 2011, when leading Canadian law firm Ogilvy Renault, and leading South African law firm Deneys Reitz, will join Norton Rose Group. The enlarged Group will have 2500 lawyers in 38 offices over five continents.
Today, for Norton Rose Group lawyers, law is no longer practiced exclusively at a desk. The practice’s lawyers share industry knowledge and sector expertise across borders, enabling them to provide the best support to clients anywhere in the world. Similarly, partners are traveling regularly to meet with international clients and acquire new business. As such, Norton Rose Group has worked to replicate the corporate environment for remote work and to ensure that every member of the practice has the same access to corporate email and information whilst on the road that they have when working from a corporate office.
By increasing access to corporate resources and creating a seamless work experience, Norton Rose Group can facilitate remote work thus increasing employee productivity. The practice had successfully done this with laptops, but with the rise in popularity of mobile devices such as iPad and iPhone it became an imperative to evaluate and deploy a mobile device management and security solution that could extend the work environment to mobile devices.
Norton Rose Group had followed the standard enterprise mobility practice of issuing corporate-owned BlackBerrys and securing them using the BlackBerry Exchange Server. However, the requests for support for devices such as iPhone and iPad were rapidly increasing. While still offering corporate devices which include laptop and BlackBerry estate, Norton Rose Group wanted to extend the user choice for mobility beyond these corporate issue devices and they wanted to do so for everyone not just partners. Norton Rose Group embarked on a search for the infrastructure to support employee-owned devices. Potentially, this could also have the benefit of reducing the capital expense if purchasing corporate-owned mobile devices.
Norton Rose Group had already embarked on the evaluation of a potential vendor when Esselar, experts in next generation remote working and web security, introduced them to MobileIron. Botic commented, “Having worked together successfully in the past, Esselar fully understand our IT objectives and constraints as a legal practice. We approached the Esselar team to get their expert view on the solutions we were testing in this space and to assist us in finding a platform that would meet our current and future mobile business needs.”
Unlike the vendor under evaluation, with MobileIron Norton Rose Group found a technology that could deliver the access, security and management features they needed without changing the native user experience.
“MobileIron had several clear advantages,” said Botic. “We have the security and management features we needed in a platform that also preserved the user experience. All these new devices were going to be employee-owned so it was also important to have a way to draw a line between personal and corporate data.”
MobileIron was built from the ground up to support a multi-OS environment so Norton Rose Group appreciated the ability to manage both its employee-owned devices as well as its corporate-owned BlackBerrys from one console. Another key feature was MobileIron’s Enterprise App Storefront which enables IT to push mobile apps to employees, facilitating the discovery and delivery of important business tools.
Norton Rose Group and Esselar began the project by running a pilot using iPads, easily recruiting employees who were desperate to get corporate network access on their devices. From the pilot, they will move to a phased migration across five regional hubs in Dubai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore.
“As we roll out MobileIron internationally, the ability to finely tune policy setting will be essential,” said Botic. “Compliance regulations vary widely from country to country. With MobileIron, we can provide each region with the basic platform and then let them localise it, deploying the policies they need to comply with local regulations. User reaction to the pilot has been extremely positive. Employees feel more connected and it is easier to accomplish what needs to be done when working remotely."
The mobile device management solution was part of a bigger effort to create an innovative, collaborative working environment. The IT efforts have been accompanied by a cultural benefit, allowing lawyers to more easily look beyond their immediate offices to find the people with the expertise to help them, regardless of their location in the world.
As Norton Rose Group rolls out iPhone and iPad management, the IT team has begun looking forward to the next phase of enterprise mobility: deploying enterprise mobile apps using MobileIron’s Enterprise App Storefront.
“MobileIron is helping us become a technology innovator. Where other practices have barely tested devices other than BlackBerry, we have quickly put the infrastructure in place to welcome other operating systems and employee-owned devices,” said Botic. “And our lawyers are delighted – and more productive.