FST gathers three industry experts to discuss the growing trend of enterprise mobility communications and the challenges it brings. With Adnon Dow, Motorola, Alain DeSouza, Resaerch In Motion (RIM) and Alan Giles, Sony Ericsson
FST. With mobile communication devices now in play throughout the workforce, the challenge of maintaining security is becoming ever more complex, but what specific challenges does increasing enterprise mobility pose?
Adnon Dow. Key challenges associated with increasing enterprise mobility are the direct impacts that mobility has on the IT and network infrastructure and the increased load demand thrust onto operations and the business processes of an enterprise.
With today’s proliferation of the world wide web, intranet/internet, converged technologies and an increased virtual mobile workforce, high demand can suddenly be thrust onto an enterprise’s IT and network infrastructure. Operationally, the infrastructure must support, monitor and protect every end point, application, user and device connected to the network. More importantly, network awareness irrespective of the device, access method and/or time must verify that those that are connected are valid and authorised users.
At the core, this requires driving business transformation and technology integration in the enterprise and those seeking to leverage the benefits through mobility are scrutinizing the gain, better results and cost efficiencies with such an evolution.
Alain DeSouza. Data is an extremely valuable corporate asset and its integrity is paramount to any organisation. Businesses must be able to confidently secure their mobile deployment to ensure that data saved on, and transmitted to and from, a smartphone is fully protected. With this in mind the ongoing challenge for a business is to protect its data, while controlling costs, complexity and usability. This is why security lies at the heart of the BlackBerry platform.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for organisations’ security needs. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server enables decision-makers to manage over 400 policies and access rights, from switching off Bluetooth or a camera, to setting passwords and application permissions. This prevents threats resulting from human error or malicious attacks.
Financial institutions need 100% visibility and control, and BlackBerry smartphones provide this as they can be centrally managed, remotely wiped, controlled and shutdown should devices be lost or stolen.
Alan Giles. Maintaining security is the prime consideration for enterprises when implementing wider mobility solutions. The challenge is to balance the ease of use of a device, alongside the need to maintain security of confidential data.
When talking of security of data on a handset, it is also necessary to remember that the majority of handsets available now have removable memory. This memory should also be subject to encryption as well as the data on the device. It is also desirable to have the security settings remotely controlled and to enforce them as a default setting. This prevents unauthorised use of the data should the device be lost or stolen. All of these challenges should be considered when choosing.
FST. What particular benefits do mobility communication solutions offer to financial institutions of all sizes?
ADeS. Mobile communications enable financial professionals to increase responsiveness, improve productivity and make more informed decisions through accessing business critical information on the go. This ultimately improves customer service which results in increased customer retention, differentiation and growth.
Through the BlackBerry Alliance Program, Research In Motion (RIM) has partnerships with over 1000 ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) who have developed thousands of applications that enable businesses to access the information that matters the most when on the move. Financial institutions are able to deploy specifically developed and optimised applications to BlackBerry smartphones enabling their staff to take advantage of the productivity and information benefits they bring. These partners include Blue Systems, Reuters and Bloomberg who have mobilsed their products and services as applications for BlackBerry smartphones.
AG. There are many benefits that can be discussed, and they can be equally applicable in large and small organizations. Some of these benefits can be:
Productivity – enabling the workforce to perform whilst mobile can vastly improve overall productivity. Time traditionally lost when away from the desk can be utilized more effectively. Travel time, usually lost time, can also be used for work tasks.
Customer Satisfaction – the ability to respond quickly to customer queries of any type can improve the overall satisfaction of the customer. Being contactable at all times, and improving response times is very desirable.
Flexibility – incorporating a fixed mobile convergence strategy can encourage more flexible working patterns. This can also reduce hardware overhead in the organization by removing the fixed terminal requirement for voice. By integrating existing Wi-Fi and PBX capabilities, it is possible to implement a “one phone, any location” philosophy.
AD. Mobility communications extends business needs management and the delivery of structured content to the fingertips of bankers irrespective of access, device or location. The synergies associated with improved business processes through leveraging IT and extending the touch point is among the strongest benefit of mobility communication solutions in any financial institution irrespective of the size.
Mobility communications solutions have become an invaluable tool for any modern office where employees on the move use varying devices and tools of mobility communications seamlessly to access necessary resources and assets. More and more financial institutions are freeing their employees from the shackles of the desktop computer in order to better deliver real-time information and superior customer service to their customers and enabling traders, agents and bankers to stay ahead of the competition.
FST. Can the implementation of mobile communications provide measurable ROI? During a time when the industry is under so much pressure, why should companies invest in such technology?
AG. It is possible to gauge ROI on a product by product basis, but a rounded view should be taken on the overall mobility solution that is to be implemented. Looking at a handset in isolation is not as powerful as determining the ROI when fully utilizing the solutions and capabilities available on the handset.
An example of this is to look at mobile e-mail. It is important to look at improved productivity achieved and balance it against any technology requirements (servers/handsets etc.) It is also important to recognize the ease of integration with existing technology assets.
AD. The implementation of mobile communications provides a very real and clear ROI.
Traditionally, deployment of a traditional corporate voice/data network tended to be costly to implement and inflexible to evolution and integration, each user required a voice and a data cable/port to access resources and this proved costly per port and even more costly for operations and maintenance in covering adds, moves and integrations.
A mobile communications network eliminates cabling costs and unshackles employees from their desks. Often, unshackling resources alone provides for a compelling ROI in a very short period. For a fraction of the time and cost, implementing new users, services and technologies can be dynamically in a wireless enterprise.
In a challenging economy, this can drive bottom line improvements and reduce OpEx. As businesses try to compete more effectively by providing employees and customers with ubiquitous access to data, resources and applications, investing in mobile communications, enterprises can harness new ways to sense, monitor, control and streamline supply chains, improve business processes, and deliver unprecedented levels of secure services and content to their customers.
ADeS. The BlackBerry solution provides users with a host of tools to help them work and communicate more effectively, including email, phone, internet, organiser and business critical applications. The benefits and ROI of BlackBerry smartphones have been illustrated by research from Ipsos Reid that shows that BlackBerry smartphone users can save up to 60 minutes a day, by increasing efficiency.
More than 70% of RIM enterprise customers have deployed BlackBerry applications beyond email. Applications are gaining increasing popularity as they empower users to be more productive and retain a competitive edge while out of the office.
FST. What are the main challenges of implementing the mobile enterprise? How do you see the field developing over the coming months and years?
AD. A main challenge in implementing the mobile enterprise involves a shift from the centre of gravity being the business of communications in a wired/wireless architecture to the need for seamless technologies and disparate information systems to evolve into one and to allow for a total and inclusive seamless experience.
Achieving the vision of the mobile enterprise requires technical innovation on many fronts, along with a strong orientation to the implications of the business transformation and user experience. Today, the decline in the worldwide economies, limited IT budgets, service cost and the wildly inflated next generation technologies, enterprises have been slow to implement mobility.
Nevertheless, many companies continue to focus resources in creating and delivering the devices, protocols, networks, standards, and the applications necessary to bring this vision in full reality. Already, we see a revolutionary shift that is creating a more natural communications experience, boundaries separating spatial domains and communication nodes dissolving into one seamless, self-healing, aware network. Whether on the move or within the four walls, it is not hard to imagine that tomorrow our mobile phone, our home office systems, and/or our office resources, and all the systems that surround us will communicate seamlessly.
ADeS. As more and more financial institutions mobilize business critical applications to offer new services and differentiate themselves in the market, they need to ensure that opening up corporate systems does not compromise security. Security is, and will continue to be, the most important consideration for an organisation deploying a mobile solution.
The BlackBerry solution uses robust encryption technology based on AES-256 bit or Triple-DES standards, which means that financial institution can rest assured that information sent to and from a BlackBerry smartphone cannot be read by third parties. RIM actively engages with certification bodies such as the Common Criteria and the Fraunhofer Institute SIT, who test and verify the security credentials of the BlackBerry solution.
AG. There are some challenges that an enterprise faces when implementing a mobility strategy. The understanding of the solutions and capabilities that exist in the market can be a challenge, as it is a constantly evolving area. From a handset perspective, there is a move towards open operating systems with the wide array of application support that this brings. This should enable the choice of handset based on usage profile rather than choice based on limited availability.
There are also a number of companies offering hosted solutions for enterprises. This reduces the total outlay on technology assets required, and is particularly attractive in smaller organisations.
In general terms the market would appear to be progressing towards greater security, higher data transfer speeds, greater bandwidth, increased flexibility of usage and wider choice
Adnon Dow is Director, Advanced technologies with Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Business, EMEA. His responsibilities include executing the wireless business strategy, identifying and directing activities in facilitating incremental growth of Motorola 's Wireless portfolio in EMEA.
Alain DeSouza is the Senior Manager, Market Development within the Solutions Marketing team at Research In Motion. He is responsible for helping Financial Service Institutions use their BlackBerry platform to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, increase organizational productivity and lower their operating costs. He brings over 13 years of experience in telecom, information technology, consulting and marketing helping financial professionals and institutions differentiate in market.
Alan Giles is Head of Enterprise Sales in Western Europe for Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. He joined Sony Ericsson in 2007 having worked in various areas of the Mobile Communications industry for the past 14 years. His role includes the positioning and promotion of the Sony Ericsson enterprise propositions, bringing a wide range of enterprise capable handsets into the hands of the business user.