"I regularly get pulled into meetings where someone from Sales or HR wants to brainstorm about a mobile app that could boost their effectiveness in their day-to-day job. Without an intuitive, secure mobile app delivery platform, we wouldn't be having these kinds of conversations."Brian Lillie, Chief Information Officer, Equinix
Equinix connects more than 4,000 companies directly to their customers and partners inside the world’s most networked data centers. Businesses leverage the Equinix interconnection platform in 31 strategic markets across the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific. Founded in 1998 by two Internet visionaries, Equinix is headquartered in Redwood City, California and has more than 2,600 employees. The company earned revenues of $1.6 billion in 2011.
To ensure it could meet the demands of its tech-savvy global workforce, Equinix's small information security staff implemented the MobileIron Platform. Equinix uses MobileIron to push new apps to employee devices, automate security policy enforcement, selectively or completely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, and maintain an up-to-the-minute view of its mobile environment.
Tech-savvy user base raises the bar on IT
In serving a highly demanding user base, Equinix's InfoSec team often feels pressure to deliver and support the latest and greatest technology. When employees began using their own iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices for work-related tasks, the company realized it would need a way to not only keep track of which devices were accessing the corporate network, but also enforce security policies globally without adding to the workload of its lean InfoSec staff.
“We had initially tried to establish a level of security by implementing point solutions in our different regions,” says Brian Lillie, Chief Information Officer, Equinix. “But we still lacked centralized control over the endpoint, and the volume of devices was getting overwhelming. That's when we knew we needed to look for a complete solution for apps and devices.”
After considering a few leading MDM vendors, Equinix selected MobileIron. “The MobileIron Connected Cloud platform was very compelling for us because it helps our team of three InfoSec professionals manage multiple devices for 2,700 employees around the globe,” says Lillie. “Our proof of concept showed that MobileIron was a logical next step for our robust information security program.”
Equinix immediately deployed MobileIron Sentry to support its users in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. MobileIron enforces Equinix's security policies on all devices that connect to the network, while providing the InfoSec team with real-time visibility into the devices.
App store puts employee productivity in the spotlight
Equinix implemented MobileIron with the intent to develop and efficiently deliver mobile apps. The company has already pushed out several in-house mobile apps through MobileIron Apps@Work. But putting the platform in place has done more than just streamline app delivery—it has also sparked a spirit of innovation across the company.
"I regularly get pulled into meetings where someone from Sales or HR wants to brainstorm about a mobile app that could boost their effectiveness in their day-to-day job," explains Lillie. "Without an intuitive, secure mobile app delivery platform, we wouldn't be having these kinds of conversations."
Equinix also shares its innovative ideas with MobileIron—and considers MobileIron to be a true partner in helping Equinix employees be more productive. “It was our idea to let employees get secure access to Microsoft SharePoint through MobileIron Sentry, so we suggested that feature,” says Lillie. “MobileIron took our feedback seriously, and now they're releasing this feature to the general public.”
As Lillie interacts with CIOs from other companies, he's often surprised at how many still lack a reliable mobile device management and app delivery strategy—but he's never at a loss for which solution to recommend. “I always tell people, 'You really should be using something,'” says Lillie. “And then I tell them they should use MobileIron because it's the best solution out there.”
Greater visibility leads to better security decisions
Since going live on MobileIron in early 2012, Equinix has protected thousands of devices worldwide against data loss. If an employee misplaces their iPhone or other mobile device but is confident of retrieving it, the InfoSec staff can use MobileIron to selectively wipe the most sensitive data from the device. If a device is stolen, InfoSec can simply press a button to wipe all data within seconds. Employees who have opted into the GPS tracking feature can get helpful information about where their device was last detected.
“MobileIron's device wiping and GPS tracking features are a huge win for our overall data security,” says Lillie. “We're instantly notified whenever anyone around the world loses a mobile device, and can take immediate action to protect our data.”
With a real-time view of devices on the network, Equinix's InfoSec department can make better-informed decisions about the mobile platforms the company supports. “I was at a baseball game one night and heard from a friend that there may be problems with iOS 6,” recalls Lillie. “I thought we only had a handful of iOS 6 devices on our network, but I emailed one of my InfoSec colleagues to confirm that. He emailed back minutes later with a graph from MobileIron that showed we already had several hundred. That's the kind of information MobileIron makes available every day, instantly.”