Perkins Coie is a global law firm based in Seattle, Washington. The firm has 19 offices across the U.S. and Asia and just over 1,000 attorneys on staff. Perkins Coie represents business clients of all sizes across a range of industries, from small startups to Fortune 500 corporations.
As a global law firm, Perkins Coie adopted cloud services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce in order to improve IT agility and ensure attorneys could quickly retrieve and update information on the go. However, the company’s previous mobile device management (MDM) solution could not secure anything beyond basic email, so attorneys could not access all the critical information and apps they needed outside the office. To stay competitive, Perkins Coie needed to enable attorneys to securely access essential cloud apps, data, and services anytime, anywhere, from their personal mobile devices.
"Security is a huge focus for us. We need to offer cloud services like Salesforce, G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365 on mobile to keep our users productive, but we also have to make sure that our data can’t be accessed from unmanaged devices,” said Chelan Simonds, Mobile Device Engineer at Perkins Coie. “We also have to provide a secure and consistent user experience on any device or platform because we maintain a 100 percent BYOD environment. MobileIron has been critical to helping us meet all of those requirements," she said.
When time is money, secure mobile productivity is critical
Perkins Coie initially chose the MobileIron enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform to deliver secure email and applications. When the company later started to support cloud services, they needed to provide secure, simplified, multi-OS access from personally owned devices. The company also wanted to prevent employees from accessing corporate resources from unsecured mobile devices and unmanaged apps, such as an unmanaged version of Salesforce1 on a family iPad.
To meet this security requirement, Perkins Coie deployed MobileIron Access, a cloud security solution, to secure the Salesforce1 mobile app and enable seamless access with single sign-on (SSO). With this initial deployment, users are now able to quickly retrieve and update critical content in Salesforce1 right from their mobile devices. In addition to Salesforce1, Perkins Coie plans to deploy secure Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 with MobileIron Access in the very near future.
“MobileIron Access has been a huge game-changer for us. Single sign-on makes it easy for users to launch Salesforce1, without having to enter their credentials every time. With SSO, users don’t have to waste time entering their username and password every time they open an app. Users have been really happy with the experience and the security team has peace of mind because we can ensure that only authorized devices, apps, and users can access corporate cloud resources," said Simonds.
MobileIron Access secures cloud-based apps by leveraging MobileIron Tunnel, a multi-OS app VPN that provides seamless, certificate-based authentication to any public, in-house, or cloud application. Using a combination of MobileIron Tunnel and AppConnect, a secure app container on the device, Perkins Coie was also able to securely deploy Connections Mobile. This in-house mobile app provides access to critical internal resources such as the company directory, office information, and 24x7 assistance.
“Tunnel and AppConnect make it really easy for any employee to access tech support or pull up a colleague’s information in the Connections Mobile directory. They no longer have to power up their laptop or connect to a VPN; the secure connection is done automatically right from their device, so access is incredibly fast,” said Simonds.
In any legal firm, time is money, so attorneys need to capture and bill for their time as efficiently and accurately as possible. To help streamline mobile billing, Perkins Coie uses IntApp Time, a third-party mobile app that is part of the MobileIron EMM ecosystem, so no extra integration work is required. IntApp Time helps attorneys track their hours and submit billing to clients from their mobile devices. The app also includes a timer so attorneys can track their time more easily. They simply open the app and enter their time wherever they are home, office, or en route to their next meeting.
The future of mobile depends on innovation and flexibility
Maintaining a relentless customer focus is a major priority for Perkins Coie. For that reason, the company needs the flexibility to meet rapidly changing customer and employee business requirements today and down the road.
“We have to be able to support the platforms and technologies our clients are using, not the other way around,” said Simonds. “MobileIron helps us stay competitive because they are always coming out with new products, updates, and features, so we can be sure we’re offering the latest mobile and cloud capabilities to all of our clients and end users.”