Challenge: To implement a secure BYOD solution for mobile working and reduce costs for the council

Solution: DME from Excitor

Benefits: Employees have secure access to email, contacts and other corporate data from anywhere, on the device of their choice.  Ongoing smartphone costs have been eliminated and efficiency has been greatly improved.

After 6 weeks of implementation issues with a competitive product, Ecommnet were a breath of fresh air, helping us out of a very tricky situation with a great solution in just two days. What a fantastic team; extremely helpful, technically competent and able to deliver.

Kirklees Council has recently been undergoing a number of changes in a move towards greater efficiency.  The IT department was keen to do their part and demonstrate that they were not only able to cut costs but innovate and support the changing requirements of staff at the same time.

John Clayton, Principal Officer at Kirklees Council explained how IT found some clever ways to innovate:

“Our mission was 2 fold.  We wanted to cut cost at Kirklees but at the same time demonstrate that we were innovating in IT – that we were really doing things differently. Our goal was to embrace the emerging ‘bring your own device to work’ (BYOD) trend and support our workers with a new flexibility so that they could get email and calendar on the go but in a secure fashion.

“Increasingly staff members have been turning up at work with their own new iPhone or Android devices and asking the question ‘is it possible to use my own phone for work?’

They want to be able to use their devices for both their everyday personal activity and for work related tasks like email and managing their appointments.”

Double Bonus – Cut Costs and Improve Services

“We realised that if we could provide this kind of service in line with our internal security policy then we would not only fulfil the changing needs of the employee but we would also be able to cut cost by not having to supply council funded smart phones. There is the potential for substantial savings. Not only this but those working in core public services like social care could benefit from 24×7 secure mobile connectivity, meaning they could become even more responsive to urgent issues.”

“Feedback from users has been overwhelmingly positive and we are looking to expand DME to deliver internal websites to users in the future”.

The right solution – Excitor DME from Ecommnet

“Deciding on the best product for the job was something of a journey.  We started out trialling a competitor product to DME.  We could set this product up ourselves and showcased secure email and calendar functionality to our smartphone users.  After trialling and committing to further deployment, it became apparent that support for this product was poor and underlying issues could not be readily resolved in the time-scales required.

We then approached Ecommnet who were able to send a senior member of their team in, and immediately get us back on track by deploying an alternative product – DME from Excitor.  After just two days onsite DME was up and running smoothly and users migrated from the other product.  It was a huge relief; Ecommnet understood our requirement and pulled out all the stops.”

“Using DME from Excitor we are gradually eliminating ongoing smartphone costs as we move to a secure Bring Your Own Device to work model; it’s fantastic – happier staff and lower costs”

Seeding the idea

“To make this an effective ‘employee led’ solution we have spread the word about the new opportunity with DME on personally owned phones.  Staff at Kirklees are hearing about our new email and calendar on the go service and are encouraged to call us and ask for the software that will enable them to use their own phones for work. Interest is spreading by word of mouth; management is telling each other about it and a domino effect is building.  I think people are getting into the idea that they can get work done without always having to be in the office.

We have already invested in 200 DME licenses and fully expect to be at 300 by the end of the year; the solution is straightforward and scales quickly.  We operate a trial system whereby we set up the individual for 30 days and if they are not actively using DME we take back the license and re-allocate it to someone else.

It’s a simple system which takes only seconds and can be administered centrally and new users find it easy to self-administer set up.  Users install the application themselves.  We have developed instructions and offer face to face support if needed, but have had little occasion for these to be called upon.” 

Enabling Rapid & Responsive Working

“Social care is a great example of where DME adds real value. If a difficult or urgent issue arises they can be called and emailed any important notes or documentation.  They can open and read messages and documents while they are on the phone and make a decision there and then without having to plug in and start up a computer and then check and respond to email.“

More ways to save money

“If a technical problem arises with Council supplied phones, the user would have to come to the office or arrange a house visit to assess the problem and sort the repair.  With a 20 mile radius to cover, the cost of petrol, time to fix the problem and our lone worker policy meaning 2 people have to make the visit, the cost racks up to a significant amount per problem and this happens at least once a week.

DME enabled secure mobile working via a bring your own device policy eliminates this cost and of course allows us to focus on more productive tasks.”

The future – embracing mobility

“DME opens up lots of new ideas and opportunities.  Now that DME supports secure mobile applications we can think about enabling Kirklees employees to use work related applications on the move on a range of devices not previously available for such deployments in a secure fashion.”

“DME from Excitor – we love it because it just runs with no maintenance effort; it’s just there in the background working away effectively, helping us save money and give a better service to our employees.”