When mobile apps were first introduced back in 2008, millions of us were fascinated with the PhoneSaber App. For those of you who don’t recall this one, it would make a “vwooom” sound, just like a light saber, anytime you waved your iPhone in the air. While that was fun while it lasted, today’s apps and mobile technology have evolved into something so much more. We don’t look at our smartphones and tablets as merely devices, but a pathway to an always-on public network.
Almost out of necessity, there is a shift in the way people are working--primarily due to the confluence of both the cloud and the onslaught of mobile devices. Employees are working outside of their company’s traditional network, as well as beyond the physical constraints of their office. And, any enterprise today is running an arsenal of mission-critical applications from a cloud-based provider--be it Salesforce, Workday or even ADP.
In today’s mobile world, can you have both security and productivity?
All of these applications contain sensitive information and important business functions that are outside the walls of the data center and network. When employees access this information on a mobile device, they’re connecting through a public network. As a result, enterprises across the globe are rethinking their security posture. They’re also analyzing how mobile apps can make the average employee’s job better--not just by making them more productive with email and an expense receipt app, but by actually transforming business processes leveraging all those cool sensors (“vwoom”), beautiful displays and network connectivity packed into a tiny package.
We are seeing that for businesses to become successful in the mobility space, they need to provide a user experience that is top-notch and easy to use (think consumer-grade). But they also need to unlock simplicity and innovation across their business processes. On the AirWatch side, we are sharing four of our top use cases that will hopefully inspire you to change your business and make your employee’s jobs more efficient--with mobility.
1. Process assessments on the fly.
When natural disasters occur, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is among the first groups on the scene, charged with on-ground support and helping initiate the first step toward recovery by assessing the damage. Needless to say, every second counts for affected homeowners. To improve its response process and time, USACE partnered with AirWatch to build out a GPS-enabled mobile app capable of managing flood assessments. The Corps’ mobile fleet can now drive down a street, take pictures, and map/document the damage on the fly. That way, when a claim is put into the system, the information is already available--dramatically improving the road to recovery. What best practices gleaned here can you shift to your office? Perhaps front-loading assessments or increasing communication?
2. Streamline mounds of paperwork.
It might surprise you to learn of the sheer volume of paperwork, data and documentation involved in simply getting an airplane pushed back from the gate, including the manifest, flight manuals, operation procedural documents and even up-to-the-minute maintenance reports. With AirWatch, these mounds of paperwork can be managed on a tablet via Electronic Flight Bags. These tablets save major airlines, like United and Delta, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel costs and printing services--not to mention the effort in maintaining all of those documents. We all have mounds of paperwork around the office. How are you going to manage yours?
3. Enhance Web-based services with next-gen SaaS apps.
Field sales teams are the lifeblood of the booming global health supplements industry, and it’s never been more important to seamlessly manage their data than now. Just ask the leading manufacturer of homeopathic medicine, Boiron. Technology and AirWatch play a main role in managing Boiron’s devices and workflows; even its expenses are run with Concur through AirWatch. Like other complementary services, Concur offers users a rich online expense reporting system alongside a mobile-based application. That way you get a different user experience on your laptop and your phone--as they serve very different purposes. On your laptop, you want to be able to edit and process expense reports. On your phone, you can capture and tag receipts in seconds. Further, you expect the systems to simply work together. The idea of having these complementary services that are very thoughtful around what you do on a phone versus a laptop is critical to enabling sales teams and improving productivity. How can you build upon that concept?
4. Securely scale over to a hybrid world.
In the hybrid world that most companies live in, many of us are wondering just how to juggle end users’ need for flexibility with IT security concerns for issues that come inside and outside of the firewall. In a nutshell, we’ve established that there are three main things that all enterprises should do to protect their “new hybrid world.” As users, applications and workloads move in and out of the data center; you should make sure that you’re:
- Applying identity management policies analyzing your existing directory infrastructure
- Leveraging Device Enrollment from AirWatch to establish trust between the user, device and enterprise
- Simplifying the user experience with a consumer-grade enterprise app store and one-touch access to apps, anywhere.
To help you further tackle this device management paradigm shift, VMware is introducing Identity Manager Software in June. To learn more, you can join us for a Business Mobility online event on June 16 at 9 a.m. PST. At the core of this solution, you will find provisioning, managing and monitoring the user identity. In fact, it’s what ties it all together, and it’s something VMware does well. We are solidly in position to help you manage your users and your devices, as well as plan for further advancements in the hybrid world. Consider for a moment how these solutions can help you better protect your mobile devices. Will they improve your security and end user experiences?
With all of these mobility choices, we want to know: What’s your next move?
Kevin Strohmeyer is Senior Director, Product Marketing, Workspace Services at VMware. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy's annual platinum sponsorship.