Land Securities deploys MobileIron-enabled iPads to its workforce

Just one of the Land Securities properties in London

It’s getting interesting out there in the enterprise marketplace. More and more FTSEs are feeling the pressure from their employees to get ahead and implement iPads. The benefits of the tablet technology can be quite dramatic — provided you’ve got a slight rose tint and a progressive nature.

As we’ve been cataloguing here on Mobile Industry Review, iPads are now being deployed in live environments everywhere from United Airways to Lowe’s Hardware.

Today we’re back in the UK news about Land Securities. They are the largest Real Estate Investment Trust in the UK. You’ll no doubt have seen their ‘managed by’ or ‘leased by’ (or similar) signs across the City of London. All told, they own and manage over 29 million square feet of property from shopping centres to offices.

As you might imagine, Land Securities are big in brochures. Very big. If you’re thinking about leasing a building or space from Land Securities, you’re probably thinking in tens of millions of pounds. So you have high expectations when it comes to the basics. Dog-eared photocopies of the brochure won’t cut it. As a result, the company spends a significant amount on printing costs for brochures for potential tenants and retailers. And if I’ve got a question, frankly speaking, the last thing I want is the Land Securities chap to tell me to look at page 46.

I’d like to see page 46. I’d like him to flip out his iPad as we’re walking around the building and show me stuff. Indeed, I’d like to have him flick through a gallery and be able to zoom around the map of the area and so on.

iPads, then, are pretty useful to the Land Securities sales function (amongst other areas).

The next problem is security. It’s a total arse, quite frankly. Almost everything you’d like to do with an iPad in an enterprise context will usually have the security or compliance team spluttering into their cornflakes. You probably want to access resources on the corporate network. You need to guarantee the security of the connectivity between the device and your network. You also want to encrypt data stored on the device. You probably want to securely manage the devices. You probably want to force security updates as they become available. And, you need to be able to reliably locate and nuke the device if it’s lost or stolen. It’s a flipping minefield if you want to do anything beyond give your users the ability to get their email and calendars on-the-move.

There’s a few solutions out there — Land Securities went for MobileIron. In simplistic terms, MobileIron fixes all those points I listed above. There’s quite a bit more to it though. I’m particularly enamoured by the MobileIron App Storefront service that Land Securities are using. This enables them to build their own proprietary apps that may use (for example, network resources) and then deploy those apps into a customised app store — so any employee can simply pick and choose what proprietary apps they’d like to use. Very smart.

Find out more information about MobileIron at www.mobileiron.com.

I’ve also appended the press release from the company below, just in case you’re looking for a little bit more detail on the project:

Land Securities, the largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the UK, has implemented MobileIron to provide its workforce with secure access to the corporate network and applications from any mobile device whether corporate- or personally-owned. The Group is also developing its mobile app strategy using MobileIron’s App Storefront for the discovery, deployment and security of both internal and external mobile apps.

Shortly after the iPad was introduced to the UK market, Land Securities realised that tablets could drive significant savings for the business, such as reducing the printing costs for the large portfolio brochures it produces to share with potential tenants and retailers.

Graham Gibbs, Infrastructure Project Manager at Land Securities, and his team developed an enterprise mobility strategy that would extend secure corporate email and network access to iPads and address growing demand to use personal smartphones such as iPhones, in addition to corporate-owned Blackberrys, for business.

Gibbs comments, “We sought a mobile device management solution that could ensure any device with network access was visible, able to be securely managed by the IS team and used safely and efficiently for professional purposes, while still enabling personal use and experience.”

Working with trusted partner, qolcom, Land Securities carefully evaluated the marketplace. Criteria for selection included data, voice and text reporting analytics and security requirements such as encryption over the air and on the device, Active Directory integration, and network access control in addition to the basics like remote lock and wipe. Self-service enrolment and zero touch management was also a key criterion, as well as application support.

According to Gibbs, MobileIron stood out for several reasons, “Our goal was to replicate a BlackBerry as much as possible in terms of creating a similar experience with an iPhone and an iPad.  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.”

“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.”

The company is now completing its phased migration of the MobileIron platform and has already developed its first internal app for productivity and integrated it into the Enterprise Appstore front. The IS team can now set policy boundaries for the app based upon the user’s role in the business, mobile platform and device security posture, then publish the app for end-users to download over the air.

Gibbs concludes, “The IS team likes having one management tool for both iOS and BlackBerry devices that is largely automated, while the end-users appreciate the ability to have both their personal and professional information on one device. 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.”

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  • Anonymous

    Confused! Simply put that is what I am! What on earth was wrong with using a Playbook with a Blackberry if that is what they wanted to reproduce? I thought that RIM had baked all their enterprise security into the PlayBook from the beginning? Or is it not out in the UK yet?

    What does Apple have to say about having another application store added to their devices that they sold to a customer by a third party all in the name of security? I’m guessing that must be allowed under the T&C’s of use, but then why are can’t you buy an iPad from Tesco with a Tesco application store on it? Or similar, you know what I mean. Man I am confused!

    I’ve been giving a a whole lot of thought to this iPad-in-business roll out thing. And I’ll try to summarise it very quickly here once and for all.

    1) Is the iPad really the first portable, all screen, device that these companies have ever considered? If yes, why?
    2) Are these companies allowing their employees to use the iPads that are issued as normal punters would? I.E. can the employees enter their details/iTunes account/credit card and use the Apple part of the iPad as normal?
    3) If not, then how locked down do these iPads have to be? (See 1)
    4) If they are then how on earth do the companies justify the cost? Even with mass discounts they must be more expensive than nearly every other laptop out there surely. Even the ones that double up as a tablet.
    5) Is the iPad, in any configuration, really an enterprise ready piece of kit hardware wise? Or do the companies hope to make up any hardware deficit’s with software solutions such as the one mentioned above?
    6) How will they deal with Apple software update roll outs? Sounds to me like it’s going to be “Microsoft Windows update hell” all over again only from Apple this time.
    7) When did it become common place for companies to make such a public song and dance about handing out some tech to their employees?
    8) Ewan, are you hearing anything from the likes of RIM, Samsung, Motorola or anyone about their plans to cut in on this, seemingly, Apple only party?

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