Land Securities is a FTSE 100 company which owns, develops and manages offices, shopping centers and retail parks. The largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the UK, Land Securities has 25 shopping centers, 20 retail parks and 20.6 million square feet of retail accommodation.

Land Securities has a history of being an early adopter of technologies; when they identify something that meets their business needs they move quickly to evaluate it and then determine how to support and secure it. Land Securities had traditionally been a BlackBerry user providing corporate-owned devices to employees. Then someone brought in an iPad and Graham Gibbs, Infrastructure Project Manager at Land Securities, and his team realised they had no visibility into the device and how it was being used.

Shortly after the iPad was introduced to the UK in June of 2010, one of Land Securities’ business teams discovered that it could be a way to drive significant savings for the business by reducing the printing costs for the large portfolio brochures the company produced to share with potential tenants or retailers. The problem with printed materials was that Land Securities’ portfolio changed quickly and things often changed between the time the content was submitted to the printer and when the print run was completed.

Moving to an iPad had several advantages for Land Securities. The team could be certain they were always providing the most current information.

Rather than lugging around a heavy case of printed collateral, they just needed to carry one, light, thin device. They also had a presentation tool that was both impressive and inherently collaborative. The business case for using these tablets was clear.

There was another factor as well. As mobile devices became an increasingly important business tool, Gibbs and his team decided they wanted to be strategic about enterprise mobility and anticipate the needs the company would have in the future. The team had also noticed that many employees had started carrying two smartphones. They had their company-issued BlackBerrys and also carried an iPhone for personal use. Until this time, Land Securities had only offered email on corporate BlackBerrys but they realized there was a lot of value in being able to offer corporate email and network access to iPhones as well. As they considered the scope of the project they decided that the ultimate goal was to be able to allow staff to access the corporate network from anywhere, on any mobile device whether corporate- or personally-owned. This meant that any device with network access had to be securely managed by land securities team.

In August 2010, the Information Systems (IS) team began looking at different technologies for mobile device management and mobile security. They spoke with Gartner and reviewed several white papers to get an idea of requirements. they also spoke with Apple specifically about securing data on iOS devices.

The team produced a requirements document which included the following criteria:

  • Reporting analytics including data, voice, and text usage
  • Security requirements such as encryption over the air, encryption on the device, Active Directory integration, network access control in addition to the basics like remote lock/wipe
  • Self-service enrollment and zero touch management
  • Application support for Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, CRM
  • Future development in terms of the product roadmap and the vendor's commitment to expand and develop the product

Land Securities evaluated several vendors, and MobileIron stood out for several reasons. BlackBerry users were used to having email pop up in their inbox and other solutions couldn’t do that unless the user logged into a client that sandboxed enterprise applications. MobileIron maintained the native Apple experience and delivered automatic updating. The solution also stood out because its management functions enabled the IS team to get very granular with the network access and security settings.

“Our goal was to replicate a BlackBerry as much as possible in terms of creating a similar experience with an iPhone and an iPad,” said Graham Gibbs. “In addition to delivering a simple user experience, it meant that if the device did go missing we could a.) try and locate it and b.) get rid of the corporate data on it very, very quickly.”

MobileIron partner QoLCom was intrinsic to the success of the project. “We met with QoLcom for a half day demo and we went through everything in our requirements document,” Gibbs said. “They had answers for every question and even when the answers were the opposite of what we wanted, they had detailed information. They were very knowledgeable and thorough.”

At the end of November 2010, Land Securities went live with its initial MobileIron pilot testing both iPads and iPhones. The trial results were very positive and the consensus among the IS team was that MobileIron was extremely easy to use. They liked having one management tool for both iOS and BlackBerry devices that was largely automated. End-users appreciated the ability to have both their personal and professional information on one device.

Land Securities has started a phased migration and expects to have the MobileIron Platform fully rolled out across the business by Q3 2011. The group is also in the process of developing its mobile app strategy and plans to use MobileIron’s App Storefront for the discovery, deployment and security of its mobile apps.

“QoLcom has been a great partner from the initial concept stage through deployment,” continued Gibbs. “They have been very responsive and have done everything they can to make us successful. MobileIron has been a great platform because once it was installed there was really nothing else to do. It just works the way you want it to work.”