When the iPhone is a good business case
Danish Ambu, which produces diagnostic equipment for hospitals and rescue services, has replaced its Nokia phones with iPhones. Not because they are smart, trendy and fancy looking, but because they are good business. Mobility Architects has been responsible for implementing the MDM tool MobileIron on the units.
In recent years most companies have seen how the need of being online anywhere and anytime is growing along with possible applications on mobile phones. A few years ago the mobile phone was still only suitable for voice and SMS communication, but with today's smartphones, most people walk around with a mini computer in their pocket.
Ambu also experienced this change in mentality, explains system engineer Gert Mortensen from Ambu. Until 2011 we used Nokia phones as the company's official work phone. But slowly more and more people showed up with their iPhones and wanted to be connected to the company's IT systems. And yes, it was possible.
"It has evolved step by step. At first the need was not very large with only few users who wanted to use iPhones. But today we have replaced our Nokia phones and give iPhones or iPads to the key employees who have a need," says Gert Mortensen.
Good business case
In the spring 2011, a business case on whether it would be profitable or not for Ambu supplying iPhones to employees was elaborated. The result was clear, he explains.
"Our business case showed very clearly that it would be profitable to change from Nokia to the Apple platform, because we would then be able to access virtually all of Ambu’s IT systems via a VPN client, at least all the browser-based systems, such as management information systems, the CRM system and the intranet. Of course there are a few restrictions related to accessing the system via a mobile device, for example Flash, but you can get very far with your iPhone. It was one thing," explains Gert Mortensen and continues:
"The other thing, our business case showed was that we could save money by using IP telephony. It was the most important argument, because Ambu has nine locations around the world. The IT infrastructure is almost complete and works in the following way: If I call in-house in Ambu, I call for free. If I make an external call, the system will automatically find the cheapest connection through local break-out points. This means large savings on phone bills for us."
Gert Mortensen adds, "Compared to the previous Nokia phones the new iPhones are more appealing to the users' sense of aesthetics which is just an extra positive thing.
"They like the apple logo. We do not necessarily have to buy what people want, but it’s just the same when a good business case is included."
Security – a top priority
With access to most of Ambu’s IT systems from the employee smartphones, it didn’t take us long to find out that we needed proper security settings on the mobile devices.
"It's no use that we establish network access for guests and install 17 firewalls, if a mobile phone can pass directly without problems. Worst case scenario, a breach can close down a company in five minutes, and neither we nor others want to take that risk. So we have to be in control, "says Gert Mortensen and explains that he quickly became aware of the Mobile Management Device Tool, MobileIron.
"Of course we had some requirements to the safety of the product such as managing passwords, encryption, etc. But, in addition, we have also had to push required software to the users through MobileIron. We send out a message that they can now get this and that on the App Store and install it. It is very simple. We also help them with the initial security configuration of the phones. It is easier for the users, and it is much easier for us when we can administrate it all centrally. We are very pleased with MobileIron and as an extra plus, the pricing is competitive."
Gert Mortensen highlights that the cooperation with Mobility Architects, which has deployed MobileIron at Ambu, has worked perfectly.
"The consultant from Mobility Architects is skilled, pleasant to work with and always ready to help whenever we had a problem, we were not able to solve. They also met our deadlines regarding delivery etc., so all in all it has been a great partnership."
Added Value for Ambu:
- Safe handling of employee units with MobileIron
- Easy implementation and centralized management
- Competitive pricing
Added Value for employees:
- Support of the mobile sales force
- Ability to use the iPhone as a work phone
- Easier and more mobile everyday
Ambu develops, produces and markets diagnostic and life-saving equipment to hospitals and ambulance services. Ambu has three business areas: Airway Management, Patient Monitoring & Diagnostics, and Emergency Care. Ambu markets its products worldwide. 98% are sold outside the Danish market. The sales are made through Ambu's foreign sales companies or distributors. Ambu has approx. 1,600 employees, of whom about 150 are employed in Denmark.