Arup Builds a Mobile First Future with MobileIron

Industry: Professional services

"With MobileIron as our Global MDM platform, we are able to provide a consistent mobile experience for staff in all regions. We have given our engineers a way of making their applications available to our entire organization."

Clive Bortz , Associate Principal Regional IT Leader

Founded in 1946 as a structural engineering firm, Arup first came to the world’s attention when it performed the structural design of the Sydney Opera House. Arup has since grown into a truly multidisciplinary organization. The firm’s work for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing reaffirmed its reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs that reinvent the built environment. Arup has 11,000 employees across 91 offices in 39 countries, and reported revenues of £1 billion for the year ended March 31, 2013.

To manage and secure thousands of company-issued and employee-owned devices around the globe, Arup worked with Esselar to implement a MobileIron enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform. Arup uses MobileIron to manage a wide range of iOS, Android, and Windows devices on a single platform.  With this they are developing mobile apps that increase employee productivity, and supporting its entire global mobility program using only existing IT staff.

Empowering Engineers To Change The World

Arup’s designers, planners, engineers, consultants, and technical specialists can do much more to make the world a better place when they’re not tied down to desktop computers. Many of the firm’s employees were using mobile devices to enhance their work activities, and connected to the firm’s network through an ActiveSync gateway. But once the device count reached several thousand, the firm wanted to enable better management of these devices.

“In order to enable Arup’s global mobility strategy, we needed to select an EMM vendor which aligns with our business’ technical needs and provides us access to a vendor in all regions, explains Clive Bortz, Associate Principal | Regional IT Leader explains. “We reviewed 10 of the leading EMM vendors, narrowed this to two and finally selected MobileIron.  MobileIron was able to meet and exceed our requirements on both accounts.  Esselar was then selected as the channel partner to work with our Global infrastructure team in the UK.” 

Recognizing the importance of enabling mobility, Bortz saw MobileIron as a way to help Arup meet this requirement by both providing connectivity for a range of mobile devices and by providing staff with self-service access to an Arup App store.

Boosting Mobile Productivity Without Increasing The It Burden

After going live on MobileIron, Arup began encouraging employees to enroll their devices, by highlighting a growing list of in-house productivity apps, and the capability to support bring your own device (BYOD).  The firm’s mobile policies vary by region depending on employee needs. In the Americas, many employees receive corporate-purchased mobile devices, but they can also enroll personal devices through the self-service portal. Similar policies support users in Europe. Meanwhile, employees in Asia can select their mobile devices from a company-approved list. Among the thousands of devices on Arup’s network, about 65% are iOS, with 30% Android and a small number of Windows and other devices.

To manage and control its broad range of devices, Arup configured its MobileIron platform to enforce basic security and privacy policies worldwide. The firm formed mobile help desk staffs for each region and provided them the basic training they needed to support user needs.  Mobile devices actually generated fewer support tickets than PCs.  Arup is able to support the entire global mobile program with existing IT staff.    

Mobile Apps Save Time, Boost Effectiveness

After launching its mobile program with the intention of helping employees stay connected on the go, Arup is now seeing the advantages of developing and delivering a wide range of mobile apps. The firm uses MobileIron [email protected] to make internally developed apps readily available to employees in a branded app storefront.

Many of the company’s apps are designed for the iPad. For example, Arup’s Projects on the Go app allows staff in East Asia to review a collection of the firm’s most common projects and tap pictures to see descriptions of the services the firm can provide. A similar app called Arup World lets employees tap points on the globe to learn about important projects Arup has completed in each country.

The Arup Inspect app allows consultants to take pictures of a building site with an iPad and drop points of interest onto each picture. The app also tracks the user’s exact location and incorporates this data into the picture. The Arup Inspect app, delivered through MobileIron, has saved countless man-hours of report writing for various groups within the firm and it completely eliminates the tedious task of matching pictures with notes back in the office.

With an easy, reliable way to host and deploy internally developed apps, Arup now encourages its engineers to design and build their own time-saving apps.

Global Firm Thinks “Mobile First”

What’s next for Arup’s mobile program? The firm is exploring ways to move more business processes and content to the mobile realm. For example, company news bulletins that have long been delivered as PDF attachments have now been redesigned for interactive mobile consumption. And Arup wants to give engineers a way to fill out timesheets on their mobile devices so that they’re not tied to the office during this weekly task.

With MobileIron as our Global MDM platform, we are able to provide a consistent mobile experience for staff in all regions. We have given our engineers a way of making their applications available to our entire organization.

Key Benefits:
  • Develop and deliver apps that save countless hours for employees worldwide
  • Increase efficiency by continuously moving corporate processes and content onto mobile platforms
  • Manage corporate-issues and BYOD devices on a single platform
  • Launch and run a corporate mobility program using only existing IT staff, with minimal need for specialized training
Why Mobileiron:
  • Honest, direct approach of sales staff
  • Superior look and feel of the software
  • Outstanding global performance during proof of concept
  • Ability to engage channel partner Esselar for consulting and technical assistance