Tellabs, a Naperville, Ill.-based supplier to the telecommunications industry, is leveraging many such capabilities to manage a growing fleet of a couple hundred company-owned iPads. Tellabs' supply chain professionals, sales reps and other employees are using iPads to access email and calendars, as well as enterprise applications that allow them to approve customer shipments.
Employees are required to enter credentials to access applications and information. Tellabs also employs an "always connected" model, where applications work only when a device is connected to the network via the Internet.
"Data doesn't reside on the mobile device for offline access," explains Jean Holley, Tellabs' CIO. "This model prevents loss of corporate data and intellectual property. As the mobile Internet gets smarter and the coverage area continues to grow, we believe there will be minimal need for offline capability in the future."
All iPads and other mobile devices are centrally provisioned with mail, calendar and other enterprise applications and are "known" to Tellabs' MDM platform, Sybase Afaria from SAP.
Tellabs uses Afaria to enforce end-to-end encryption during transmission, help with provisioning, and create a sandbox that keeps work-related applications separate from users' personal apps, which they are allowed to load on their iPads.
Tellabs' mobility strategy will enable the company to accommodate other tablets, and to accept employee-owned smartphones, tablets and other gadgets, as long as they are properly secured.
The company has a global mobile device policy that covers who is eligible to use mobile devices, how expenses related to the devices will be approved, what happens in the event of theft or loss, and who is responsible for tech support. (In general, Tellabs supports devices owned by the company; employee-owned devices are user-supported.)
Bring Your Own iPad? Sure!
Active Interest Media (AIM), a publisher of special-interest magazines and websites, uses MDM software from Good Technology that enables the El Segundo, Calif.-based company to accommodate employee-owned devices, including iPads, other tablets and an array of smartphones.
In addition to letting employees bring their own tablets to work, AIM just purchased 20 iPads that it lends to staffers who are going on business trips, so they don't have to bring their laptops.
Good's enterprise iPad app synchronizes Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino email, calendar and contacts and pushes that data out to users, who access it by logging in with a username and password. It also affords IT granular control over things like apps and corporate data access, according to Nelson Saenz, director of IT at AIM.