Advantage Sales and Marketing gives field reps a secure mobile office with MobileIron solutions
Industry: Business services
"I made an attempt to find the device with MobileIron and identified the location as being their home address. Sure enough, they drove home and found the iPad buried under a pile of folders on their desk. “Crises averted! Chalk up a victory for MobileIron! The application worked just as advertised."Randy George , ARTS Operations Manager, Advantage Sales and Marketing
Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM) was formed in 1987 on a vision of building a national sales and marketing agency focused on unparalleled service, customized solutions, and outstanding results. Today, ASM is the leading sales and marketing agency in the industry with a workforce of more than 38,000 talented associates disbursed across North America.
ASM has relied on mobile devices to perform their work in-store for over 15 years. In 2013, when ASM moved to iPad technology, MobileIron’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform was implemented to assist ASM in managing these devices. Advantage Sales and Marketing now uses MobileIron to give mobile merchandisers secure access to corporate resources and training, find and lock missing devices, deploy custom and third-party apps quickly and efficiently, and maintain greater control over deployment and retirement of devices.
Field reps rely on mobile devices
As ASM’s field teams implement sales and marketing programs for retailers across the U.S. and Canada, they rely on their mobile devices to access their custom CRM software that assigns activities and provides crucial information and materials for selling in-store. The fastpaced company’s 6,000+ reps work across 30 uniquely configured teams. Going paperless is a quantum leap for sales merchandisers who used to receive printed information packets by mail. But when ASM switched its reps over to iPads, the company realized it would need a more reliable way to manage and secure thousands of devices.
ASM began evaluating EMM solutions with an eye towards supporting multiple device platforms and operating systems, needing the most flexibility possible. “We identified that managing multiple operating systems was going to be a challenge,” recalls Randy George, ARTS Operations Manager, ASM. “MobileIron proved it could let us do everything we needed to do and more. One of their engineers even took the time to walk us through the evaluation process and get us the information we needed to make the right decision.”
Lost devices turn up in unexpected places
Thanks to the iPad, ASM’s reps can bring their office with them wherever they go. And thanks to MobileIron, the company’s 6,000+ corporate-issued devices are now centrally managed and secured. ASM uses MobileIron to enforce screen locks and to require usernames and passwords on each device. In addition, if a device goes missing or gets stolen, ASM can easily track its location, lock the device, and wipe its data.
“One of our first experiences was when an associate reported misplacing their iPad,” says George. “So I made an attempt to find the device with MobileIron and identified the location as being their home address. Sure enough, they drove home and found the iPad buried under a pile of folders on their desk. “Crises averted! Chalk up a victory for MobileIron! The application worked just as advertised.”
As ASM’s reps go about their work, they can use their secure iPads to get the training they need on the go. The company makes video training available online for reps who need help transitioning to their iPads or using their applications.
“Delivering courses in a mobile format increases the effectiveness of our training,” says Mitch McNicol, Director of Retail Technology, ASM. “It allows us to shorten what might have been very lengthy courses, and to achieve the right balance between human contact and electronic convenience.”
Mobile apps take rep productivity to a new level
Seeking to maximize the productivity of its reps as they service retailers across North America, ASM deploys customized apps and makes them available in its ASM app store built on MobileIron Apps@Work. One app allows reps to take conference calls in the field while viewing the corresponding PowerPoint presentations. Another provides powerful file-sharing capabilities. But perhaps the most useful of ASM’s custom apps is one that allows reps to sell in-store with specific store-level data right from their iPads — driving store selling to a whole new level.
In the latest trend towards greater app usage at ASM, clients and retailers are requesting that apps be deployed and used that are highly specific to their needs. ASM can quickly and seamlessly certify and deploy these apps to the field through its app store—and then use MobileIron to alert reps that the new app is available. Within days, an app request can be fulfilled and go live—thanks to MobileIron Apps@Work.
“With our custom app store, our sales reps always know they’re selecting apps that will install directly to their devices and get them up and running quickly,” says McNicol. “There’s no trial and error. That’s especially important when a client or retailer has a new app that they require our reps to use and we have to share it with the field immediately.”
Increasing the payback on enterprise
ASM makes a major investment in its mobile technology and must make sure it can recover used devices from employees who have upgraded to newer equipment. The company uses MobileIron to disable employees’ devices if they don’t return their old devices within a set period of time.
“We use MobileIron to send notifications that we’re going to shut down an employee’s device,” explains George. “In the past we would always have 30 to 40 people who wouldn’t return their devices and that regularly lead to lost equipment. Now, we usually have only three per week—and some weeks we have none.”
With MobileIron, ASM not only keeps better track of devices, but can also maintain visibility into what software users are running. As a result, the company can avoid potential compliance problems.
“If we update our CRM application and not all of our reps update to the latest version, productivity can be impacted,” says George. “So we now give people plenty of notice about upcoming upgrades and then use MobileIron to push these upgrades out to the field. That means we can reduce data issues and minimize help desk calls—while keeping our reps as productive as possible in their travels.”