Securitas Germany Backs Fast Quotations via iPad
Industry: Professional services
"We are always open to innovation, but security is our top priority. EBF has given us a secure and forward-looking mobility solution that allows us to optimize our sales process sustainably and efficiently...with MobileIron and the EBF.CONNECTOR we can now extract the full business potential of our iPads in a secure manner."Antonio Valls Ruiz , Head of IT, Securitas Germany
Securitas, the largest security services provider in Germany, has sped up the process of creating quotations with its CRM app iKnow. Sales staff can provide their customers with the best possible offer during the sales pitch using the iPad. To provide Securitas Germany with the highest-level security processes for managing apps and devices, EBF GmbH has implemented the MobileIron enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform. The EBF.CONNECTOR has also been rolled out to provide the best possible protection for corporate data when it is accessed by iPads on the corporate network.
Securitas Securitas Germany is the market leader and Germany's largest provider of security services and the only internationally operating group in the sector.
Securitas Germany's corporate philosophy includes the development and implementation of innovative, cost-effective solutions. For example, both Management and Sales in Mobile Services have been using iPads to supplement laptops for two years now. At the beginning of the year, Securitas Germany decided to speed up the time-consuming, traditional process of providing quotations with the aid of light, high-performance tablets: The aim was to enable sales staff to access documents in the corporate network and customer data on the proprietary CRM app, iKnow, via their iPads during sales pitches. This was to help them produce the best possible quotation electronically and on-site, and allow them to e-mail it directly to the customer to sign. Through protected access to the database, the extracted data was able to be rewritten to the company network. The first phase involved equipping 100 iPads with iKnow for this purpose - this was followed by a national roll-out in Germany. The project was managed by Stefan Schenke, IT Manager of Mobile Services, in cooperation with Antonio Valls Ruiz, IT Manager Securitas Germany and the person responsible for data protection at Securitas.
“In the IT department we are of course always open to innovation, but security measures are our top priority and that goes for mobile devices as well,” stressed Antonio Valls Ruiz. Therefore, the IT Manager had to find an IT consultancy with mobility experience for the fastest possible implementation of this demanding project. The consultancy should be able to develop a a href="/solutions/mobile-device-management">mobile device management infrastructure and also provide and integrate a reliable app for secure mobile data access via a connection to a file server. Valls Ruiz commissioned EBF GmbH with this task in June 2012.
In the first phase, the Cologne-based mobility experts installed and configured the leading mobile device management system, MobileIron. The IT components MobileIron Sentry and MobileIron Core were fully integrated into Securitas' existing Microsoft environment as virtual images. The Core automatically sets up the connections with the MobileIron applications as well as with the required Securitas systems such as LDAP, Lotus Notes, ActiveSync, and various certification authorities. EBF set up the configuration profile for the user groups in the central Core management console, including password restrictions, lock code rules, and jailbreak detection.
“By developing the MobileIron infrastructure we now have the basis for secure mobile device management and user-friendly software distribution and configuration via mobile communications,” explains Stratos Komotoglou, Project Coordinator at EBF GmbH.
Secure app deployment and file server connection
In the second step, EBF set up the Securitas Germany Enterprise AppStore using the MobileIron app Storefront. “As MobileIron secures the Securitas Germany AppStore with a certificate, any tablets that do not conform to our guidelines will be unable to access the Securitas Germany app catalogue,” explains Stratos Komotoglou. “We automatically deployed the Securitas app iKnow onto the first 100 iPads using the Enterprise AppStore, so that Securitas Germany sales staff can now access customer data in a secure manner”.
The IT consultancy also securely installed their own business app, EBF.CONNECTOR, onto the connected iPads using the same method. The EBF.CONNECTOR enables constant and secure read access via iPad to documents on a dedicated file server in the Securitas Germany network. This does not save copies of the documents onto the tablets. Sensitive corporate data therefore always remains within the secure network environment and can be presented directly via the EBF.CONNECTOR. This means that the sales department can now show presentations, videos and much more on the iPads with no security risk.
“Our sales department used to use traditional means – first there would be a consultation and a presentation with the customer, then the quotation would be created back in the office. Since the middle of this year, Mobile Services sales staff can compile the required products and services on the iPad while they talk to the customer,” reports Stefan Schenke, Securitas Germany Project Manager, continuing: “Our customers receive the contract immediately via e-mail. Irritating paperwork and wasted time have been consigned to the past”.
Tablets under complete control
Securitas Germany places particular importance on the security and efficiency of the central MDM solution. MobileIron constantly monitors all apps, content and devices. “MobileIron MDM makes more comprehensive security processes available,” stated the project manager. MDM features a jailbreak detection function: Using a localisation function it can determine whether a tablet has been jailbroken by the user and then blocks the connection to the Securitas Germany network. Administrators can also now define unwanted apps. If a user installs a “bad” app such as “Dropbox”, or any other apps unaligned with company visions, the entire device will remain blocked until they delete the app. Last but not least, users of mobile devices at Securitas Germany are obliged to use an alphanumeric lock code of at least six characters. If an iPad is lost, IT can block the device centrally via Remote Lock or use the selective Remote Wipe to remove all company data and apps from it.
National roll-out in Germany
“Overall, the MobileIron Platform makes the administration of mobile devices significantly easier. This saves our administrators a lot of time,” says Antonio Valls Ruiz, emphatically. MobileIron manages all tablets transparently, along with their settings, content and apps. IT is always in control.
Based on previous experience, the IT specialists would be the next step to expanding user policies. These will be published internally and then implemented on the iPads using MobileIron. “In the future, any security breaches will result in all access to the network, apps and content being blocked,” announced the IT manager.
Based on professional consultation with EBF GmbH, Securitas Germany administrators hope to roll out several hundred more iPads as “digital sales assistants” throughout Germany in the near future. Securitas Germany is very satisfied with our product and services.