With MobileIron Solutions, Ingram Barge Prevents Employees from Being Anchored to the Desk

Industry: Transportation

"Whatever you can do on your desktop computer, we’re trying to make those same functions available on your mobile device. As our employees work from anywhere, we rely on MobileIron to keep their information secure."

Tyrone H. Hobson II, Systems Administrator, Ingram Barge Company 

Ingram Barge Company (IBCO) has been a quality marine transporter since 1946, and has grown to become the leading carrier on America’s inland waterways. IBCO offers superior customer service, information systems, and training and safety practices. A commitment to continuous improvement involving every associate sets Ingram apart from the competition and provides customers with the best possible service and value for their transportation dollar.

Seeking to manage a fast-growing corporate mobile device program, IBCO implemented an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform from MobileIron. With MobileIron, IBCO now extends secure mobile access to employees working to support operations on America’s inland waterways, allows employees to complete daily tasks more quickly on their mobile devices, and has begun offering their customers a barge tracking mobile app—all in support of an aggressively pro-mobile work philosophy.

Feature-Rich Solution Meets Mobility Needs

As IBCO’s employees operate and maintain barges on America’s waterways, they increasingly rely on mobile devices to keep them connected with company resources and help them streamline their daily tasks. But when more and more employees began requesting and receiving corporate-issued iPhones and iPads, IBCO’s technical staff soon realized they needed a formal way of managing these devices.

“There was a tendency at first for people to view mobile devices more as toys than as business tools, but they’re being used in an increasing number of business processes. That meant we needed to go beyond just keeping track of all our devices in a spreadsheet.” explains Tyrone H. Hobson II, Systems Administrator, IBCO.

Seeking a way to push security settings and business applications to all corporate-issued devices, IBCO began researching EMM solutions. After evaluating AirWatch and MobileIron, IBCO came to a decision.

“MobileIron seemed to have a more robust solution and came with a reputation of being a market leader,” says Hobson. “We also appreciated that they offered their Web@Work and Docs@Work features and an intuitive management console.”

Convinced it had found the right solution, IBCO implemented MobileIron’s Multiple High Availability (HA) Sentry with HA Virtual Smartphone Platform (VSP). As a result, IBCO knows MobileIron will remain highly available for its end users and administrators. In addition, IBCO implemented Kerberos for email authentication allowing employees access to their corporate email without the need to provide their Active Directory credentials. To continue to optimize the best user experience, IBCO’s next step is leveraging single sign-on for corporate applications.

“This will give the user piece of mind as every time they enter their device password, their app password is automatically updated,” explains Hobson.

With MobileIron in place, IBCO plans to manage about 800 company-issued iOS devices, with an even mix of phones and tablets. MobileIron enables IBCO to maintain centralized control over these devices and can help the company recover lost or stolen devices.

iPhones and iPads Replace Laptops and Desktops

By implementing MobileIron, IBCO did more than simply establish a way to control its mobile devices. The company relies on MobileIron to support an aggressively pro-mobile work philosophy.

“Whatever you can do on your desktop computer, we’re trying to make those same functions available on your mobile device,” says Hobson. “As our employees work from anywhere, we rely on MobileIron to keep their information secure.”

Many IBCO employees work in remote locations with limited network connectivity, and rely on their mobile devices to help them keep in touch with their home offices. MobileIron gives IBCO a reliable way to manage these devices and keep their associates connected. With secure mobile devices in hand, employees can keep digital records of the work they perform, saving them time and hassle.

“Our maintenance crews used to have to make notes on paper, take pictures, and then go back to the office to assemble reports and scan them into our network,” says Hobson. “Now, they have the ability to take pictures of repairs and report updates right on an iPad and send them back to the office immediately.”

Enhancing the End-User Experience

IBCO continues to innovate with mobile apps. One custom-built app called TowLine lets IBCO’s employees track the locations and cargo of the company’s barges in real time right from their iPhones and iPads. This information was previously available only to users logging onto a website from a Windows client.

As IBCO begins to use a broader selection of third-party apps, it’s making them available in a corporate app store built on MobileIron Apps@Work. IBCO employees can now go there to download collaboration and productivity apps such as Jabber, WebEx, and SharePlus. In addition, the FrontRange app lets IBCO’s IS team view service tickets from their devices rather than having to log onto the corporate network from a laptop. With MobileIron Docs@Work, IBCO can let executives securely open any document located on the network shares. And with MobileIron Web@Work, IBCO saves time for its employees by providing them with secure links to company resources such as SharePoint sites and the corporate PeopleSoft site.

IBCO is also taking advantage of MobileIron’s AppConnect ecosystem of third-party apps. To ensure app data security, IBCO is using AppConnect-enabled Accellion to provide a secure container for users to access corporate data on their mobile devices. IBCO plans to expand its use of mobile apps with internally built applications as well. The company is developing an app that will provide real-time information that tracks river stages, barge traffic, weather conditions, boat conditions, and lock delays and is using MobileIron to ensure the security of the data.

“At IBCO, we’re really into enhancing the end-user experience and making sure there’s minimal intervention needed from our employees,” Hobson concludes. “The greatest endorsement I can give MobileIron is that it lets us transfer this philosophy from the desktop to our mobile devices. In an ever-changing sector of the technology industry, MobileIron has actually managed to put together a mature product.”

IBCO recognized that mobile technology presented a unique opportunity to transform both the company and its culture. Feedback from employees has been very positive. With MobileIron as its platform for enterprise mobility, IBCO has a solid foundation for its Mobile First journey.

Ingram Barge
Key Benefits:
  • Provide secure mobile access to corporate resources for employees who spend days at a time on boats
  • Move many key business processes from desktop computers to mobile devices
  • Reduce time and effort required to compile and file barge maintenance reports
  • Allow customers and employees to track barge locations and cargoes from mobile devices
  • Let employees access corporate email securely without entering a separate password
Why Mobileiron:
  • Reputation as an industry leader
  • Intuitive management console
  • Ability to give employees secure web access on their mobile devices
  • Ability to let employees open documents securely on their mobile devices