"With the MobileIron platform, only the tester can access apps in the development stage. In addition, app installation can be arranged to proceed by department. The mechanism is highly convenient and also enhances app installation control."Weining Fan, Deputy Director, Resource, Department, Information Center
Huaneng Group is a key state-owned energy enterprise with registered capital of 20 billion yuan. By the end of 2012, the company had a full and partially held installed capacity of 135 GW, with assets distributed over 29 Chinese provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions, as well as overseas. Headquartered in Beijing, Huaneng Group employs 140,000 people and is the first Chinese electricity generation business to join the ranks of Fortune 500 companies, climbing to 246th in 2012.
To support its vision for a mobilized enterprise, Huaneng Group implemented the MobileIron enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform. The company uses MobileIron to manage thousands of iOS devices, distribute and update 10 categories of mobile apps, centrally administer a complex network of user groups, and distribute security certificates efficiently.
Planning Ahead To Meet The Challenges Of Mobilization
Because of its continually expanding scale of business and constant changes in its external market environment, Huaneng Group faces challenges in managing operations, controlling costs, conserving energy, and improving competitiveness. That’s why it’s more important than ever for the company to use information effectively in managing its business—and why Huaneng Group decided to deploy mobile technology to improve the efficiency of its employees. Always an innovator, Huaneng Group began planning for its mobile application architecture as far back as 2001, becoming one of the first enterprises in China to implement a mobile strategy.
The first stage of Huaneng Group’s architecture involved integrating an operating system with business analysis and human resources applications. At the foundation of the architecture, there needed to be a well-developed mobile management (MDM) solution. “As the leader of China’s electricity industry, one of Huaneng’s successful experiences is the optimal use of state-of-the-art IT technology,” says Weilie Zhu, Information Center Director, Huaneng Group.
Seamlessly Delivering The Apps That Drive Productivity
Huaneng Group’s next objective was clear: find a comprehensive mobile management platform designed for businesses. The company found what it was looking for in MobileIron.
Since going live on MobileIron, Huaneng Group has established a systematic long-term mobile application plan. The company already has at least 10 categories of available iOS-based applications, including apps for written documents, data, meetings, mobile OA, account analysis, and ERP. These apps are all designed for the iOS platform, but due to widespread adoption of mobile devices, it’s almost inevitable that the company will embrace other mobile platforms.
Using MobileIron Apps@Work, Huaneng Group can first meet the basic need of installing a massive number of internal business apps on various types of terminals, and can then orient and distribute the apps to designated departments or user groups via an authorization mechanism. "With the MobileIron platform, only the tester can access apps in the development stage," explains Meining Fan, Deputy Director, Resource Department, Huaneng Group. "In addition, app installation can be arranged to proceed by department. The mechanism is highly convenient and also enhances app installation control."
Giving Employees Easy Access—while Safeguarding Data
Because Huaneng Group’s organizational structure is extensive and complex, the company’s mobilization will need to extend from its headquarters to branches all over the country, including more than 40 second-level companies and 400 basic units. From the standpoint of management and application, the structure can also be categorized at decision-making, administrative, and account executive levels. The ability to centrally manage thousands—and eventually, tens of thousands—of mobile devices under such a complex structure has become an urgent need for Huaneng Group.
With MobileIron, Huaneng Group can now manage users centrally but also control access by group and privilege. Depending on the privilege, system administrators can use different strategies to manage groups according to their geographic location, organizational structure, and application categories. More importantly, Huaneng Group needs to be able to integrate existing IT system frameworks and mobile platforms, such as LDAP and its existing certificate authority. Through MobileIron’s backend platform, these components can link up one-by-one to achieve a smooth transition. Huaneng Group especially appreciates the ability to use MobileIron to distribute certificates in ways that allow the company to achieve certificate-based security management and control.
Looking To The Cloud—and Beyond
Looking ahead to the next phase of development, Huaneng Group has a clear vision. First, the company wants to build a cloud platform architecture based on mobile applications. Second, Huaneng Group will enhance its applications, data mining, and existing data mobilization. Finally, the company will rapidly promote products, expand coverage, and improve employee acceptance.
"MobileIron will not only help Huaneng Group construct a cloud platform and provide comprehensive localized support, but also facilitate the localized e-learning systems and objects that will accelerate the company’s mobilization process," Fan continued. "I believe MobileIron’s excellent service and outstanding local technical support will play a greater role for Huaneng Group in achieving our mobilization goals for the next phase."