German equipment financing firm GEFA Gesellschaft für Absatzfinanzierung mbH (Société Générale Equipment Finance in Germany) has put a new mobile device management (MDM) system into operation to integrate mobile devices into their company's infrastructure. This MDM system ensures that employees are able to access current information and documents at any time and place while on the move.
The Project Requirements
Approximately 100 Apple iPads are to be connected to a management system that allows the devices to be managed centrally. An essential requirement is that the devices must be protected against from unauthorised access in case of loss or theft—which will be achieved by remotely deleting their content via the internet.
In addition, an application is required to allow various documents and information such as Apple's "Keynote" presentations to be securely accessed over the internet.
GEFA's IT management opted to hire S&N AG to handle this project so that they could concentrate on on-going projects and core tasks. The shared experiences in technical administration and end use will be incorporated into the planning for an overhaul of IT equipment scheduled for 2014.
The MDM Solution
S&N developed a mobile device management (MDM) installation based on the MobileIron application and operates this on behalf of GEFA. Among other features, the application provides the ability to remotely delete content from the iPads. In addition, this solution also allows practises such as password protection and encryption to be run on the devices. The Apple Keynote app is provided on the iPads as an installation link to an internal app store implemented using MobileIron (Apps@Work). The installation is done directly from the Apple AppStore with licence information managed and monitored by the MDM solution. The internal app store can be used to offer other applications for internal use. Any apps installed on the iPad are registered while preventing unwanted apps from being installed.
To allow documents to be uploaded to the iPads, a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 Server was set up as an additional document management solution. Defined GEFA users have the option to upload documents via a secure web browser and to make them available to specific iPad users.
The documents are managed in the MobileIron app which also allows them to be saved locally on the iPad. The advantage is that no data connection is required to access local documents. The entire user authentication process is done via a separate Microsoft Active Directory system.
For this project, S&N provided the full range of services from start to finish: including setting up the iPads, operating the server-side solution and providing user support.