With MobileIron, Sky’s Mobile Innovation Knows No Limits

Industry: Communications

"When it comes to video, seeing is believing. There’s no doubt that having secure mobile access to sales and marketing content on an iPad is helping our sales staff."

Amardeep Rai  , Authentication and File Services Manager, British Sky Broadcasting

Sky is Europe's leading entertainment company. The group serves 21 million customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland. Sky offers the best and broadest range of content, delivers market-leading customer service, and uses innovative new technology to give customers a better TV experience, whenever and wherever they choose. The company has annual revenues of over £ 11 billion and is Europe's leading investor in television content with a combined programming budget of over £ 4.6 billion. Sky employs 31,000 people and is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY).

After seeing increased iPad usage by its sales staff, Sky knew it needed a reliable way to manage and secure these devices. Sky implemented an enterprise mobility management (EMM) from MobileIron. Sky has empowered its sales reps by providing secure access to video content behind the corporate firewall. Carrying secure mobile devices has also enabled sales agents, field engineers, and many other employees to work more effectively in their daily duties.

Freeing Sales Staff from the Desk

As Europe's leading entertainment company, Sky aims to be everywhere. That means its employees — and especially its sales staff —  can't remain tied to their desks. They need to be out making the connections that ensure better media experiences for customers across five countries.

When Sky's sales agents began using iPads in their daily work, the company realized it would need to put a solution in place to manage and secure these devices. Sales agents were using iPads to show videos to customers and wanted to be able to process sales on them. That meant Sky needed to lock down the devices and protect corporate data. Hoping to learn more about the leading EMM solutions, Sky referred to the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

"We had very specific criteria for our solution," says Amardeep Rai, Authentication and File Services Manager, Sky. "It had to provide a superior user experience and straightforward administration. Device security was paramount, but we wanted the controls to be flexible to our specific requirements. And finally, we wanted to integrate our solution with numerous corporate technologies such as Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Active Sync, Certificate Services, and Kerberos Constrained Delegation."

Working closely with technology partner Qolcom, Sky spent three months thoroughly evaluating MobileIron's features before deciding it was the right solution. Today, Sky delivers a fully scalable MobileIron solution that securely manages 5,000 iOS devices.

"Qolcom worked with Sky to deliver a fully scalable solution to support our MobileIron infrastructure," says Amardeep. "We are happy to have a platform that will let us increase our mobile innovation in the years to come."

Chances Are, There's an App for That

After going live on MobileIron, Sky was able to issue hundreds of secure iPads to its workforce without hindering the native user experience—other than restrictions placed on the camera and iTunes. Sky employees use their secured mobile devices to access corporate email, use in-house and third-party apps, and connect to VPN. Meanwhile, managers in various business units receive daily reports on the numbers and types of devices being used

As Sky employees roam Europe during their daily duties, they can use more than 10 corporate apps to streamline tasks in the IT, field engineering, or sales disciplines, as well as to enhance file distribution and browsing. Sky uses MobileIron AppConnect to containerize its custom-developed apps, and allow apps to securely access corporate resources behind the firewall. Sky's developers built an app that connects to the company's marketing portal, allowing sales agents to demonstrate the content appearing on Sky in the upcoming months

"When it comes to video, seeing is believing," remarks Amardeep. "There's no doubt that having secure mobile access to sales and marketing content on an iPad is helping our sales staff."

Sky is embracing mobile technology for its entire sales force. Sky has deployed a sales app that eliminates the need for reps to log sales on paper and then enter them into a portal upon returning to the office. A secure app now allows them to capture sales data on their iPads even when offline and then simply sync the data once they’ve connected to a network connection.

Sky is also focusing on turning key sections of its intranet into mobile apps. The goal is for traveling employees to be able to sign on once and get speedy access to all the resources they need to do their jobs.

"With the MobileIron AppConnect SDK at our fingertips, we feel like there are no limits to our innovation," Amardeep explains. "Any corporate resources are in play for possible conversion to a secure mobile app—and that means greater productivity for our entire mobile workforce."

Sky is leveraging MobileIron to streamline the user sign on experience, while maintaining security. With MobileIron users only need to authenticate once on their mobile device to access protected enterprise resources. Then future authentication requests are handled invisibly with the original token.

Clunky Handhelds Go by the Wayside

Sky’s mobile innovation isn’t just meant to benefit traveling salespeople. The company hopes to help employees in all roles get more done by working the way they want to work on their mobile devices. Until recently, employees using iPads in the workplace couldn’t connect to the corporate network and had to use workarounds to remain productive on the go. With MobileIron, Sky now pushes security certificates to the iPads, enabling employees to connect to the corporate network while in the office.

“It’s so handy for an employee in a meeting to be able to log onto an app or get into SharePoint to look at a budget,” says Amardeep. “Even our employees working from home who are dialing into a meeting can securely access these kinds of resources through VPN. It’s a huge time-saver and enhances the quality of work for countless employees.”

Sky’s news and sports reporters carry iPads to receive the latest feeds through the corporate network. And Sky’s field engineers have been able to use a Sky in-house developed job management app allowing field engineers to pick up jobs, drive to the next location, carry out health checks and order stock all in one app secured by MobileIron.

“Our field engineers who install satellite dishes at customers’ homes use an iPad mini and an app specifically for our engineers. We’ve expanded the range of what they can do outside the office while also allowing them to present a cutting-edge image to our customers.”

Technology Partnership a Key to Mobile Innovation

As Sky continues to innovate with mobile solutions, the company will have a trusted partner by its side. Sky began working with Qolcom in 2012 from an initial pilot project for basic mobile device management (MDM) features to the current extensive EMM deployment, Sky and Qolcom have built a strong relationship.

"Qolcom has done everything from running workshops, to providing MobileIron implementation services, to helping us integrate MobileIron with the rest of our infrastructure," concludes Amardeep. "They've enabled us to get the most out of not only our MobileIron solution, but also our overall mobile device strategy. Thanks to Qolcom and MobileIron, Sky is looking forward to a very mobile future!"

Key Benefits:
  • Secure hundreds of corporate-issued iPads
  • Enable sales reps by letting them display corporate video content on their iPads
  • Free up sales reps from tedious data entry by allowing them to record sales on their iPads
  • Put up-to-the-minute information at the fingertips of news and sports reporters
  • Boost the productivity and effectiveness of field engineers
Why Mobileiron:
  • Superior user experience
  • Straightforward administration
  • Flexible security controls
  • Integration with numerous corporate technologies
  • Superior Customer Success Team