Computacenter secures mobile workspaces

Europe's leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services, Computacenter employs 14,000 people in Europe, South Africa and Asia The business provides professional services, supply chain management and outsourced IT services to enterprise customers in all industries.

The Challenge: Delivering business agility with data security

Computacenter had seen how social, mobile and cloud computing trends were influencing corporate technology and customer buying decisions. As a trusted advisor to CIOs, the company wanted to strengthen its experience in this area. Line of Business Director for Workspace and Mobile Solutions Pierre Hall explains, "Today, people are required to work from more places, with greater collaboration and virtual teaming, especially with third party organisations. We saw an opportunity to improve our own productivity, to enhance customer engagement and to have greater employee satisfaction by deploying a solution internally."

Head of Group IS Projects Stephen Pitt adds, "We needed an anytime, anywhere, any device, mobile solution. We wanted to move from being device-dependent to being a functionally-led organisation." However, security was an important concern. As a Managed Services provider, Computacenter's security framework extends to many of its customers and it was important that any solution maintained data security. "Staff often said, 'We're a technology company, why can't we have smartphones?' but security was always an issue," explains Stephen. "Many smartphones and tablets today have inadequate security. Often, they're not encrypted and the usual way of delivering email is into the device's native email application. There are risks to corporate and e-privacy compliance as well as to data security."

The Solution: Mobile workspaces provide platform for enabled users

Computacenter's board sponsored a programme to research possible solutions. The company's requirements included: the ability to manage devices, to deliver Computacenter's application portfolio, and to synch and share files across the business's content management system. Importantly, the solution had to provide this in a safe and consistent manner. Computacenter selected a Citrix solution comprising Citrix XenMobile®, Citrix XenDesktop®, Citrix XenApp®, Citrix ShareFile® and Citrix NetScaler®. The "Enterprise Mobile Management" solution was piloted with 1,000 field sales personnel. Pierre explains, "We wanted an integrated, enterprise grade, mobile management platform that would allow us to build within our own security domain. We needed granularity and consistency in levels of control. Citrix is the only leader in the market to enable that."

Key Benefits

Building business agility

"The Enterprise Mobile Management solution has given us an encrypted 'bubble' that is separated from the rest of a user's device and through which we can deliver corporate data securely, regardless of the device and any other applications the user may use," explains Stephen. "We are already seeing the results of a more empowered user experience and, particularly, for people who are on the road a lot, it is game-changing. We've had an overwhelmingly positive response from staff."

Having access to systems wherever they are means that sales staff can update CRM records as soon as they leave a customer, while the details are fresh in mind. They can also access Computacenter's travel systems remotely to book journeys, rather than buying an open ticket in advance, reducing travel costs significantly.

Better customer engagement

Secure and instant access to corporate systems has improved Computacenter's engagement with customers, too. Sales staff, visibly using the latest technology, can access corporate systems during a meeting and have immediate access to up to date information. In a recent case, a customer CIO required a new laptop within two hours but the only person who could authorise the purchase was on a train. He used his iPad to log in and authorise the order immediately, ensuring a very happy customer.

A more effective, more strategic IS department

"Enterprise Mobile Management lets us worry far less about operating systems, patches and whether a given device is inherently secure," explains Stephen. "Instead of constantly debating security issues, we can focus on functionality and things that deliver value to the organisation." Stephen previously had one member of staff working solely on setting up new mobile phones for users. Today, users enable their own devices using the XenMobile App Store and electronic guides. "It was such a waste of his time," says Stephen. "That's now eliminated. We foresee a very, very significant cost saving as we roll this out across the business."

Looking Ahead

Computacenter will soon extend Enterprise Mobile Management to its field engineers, bringing the number of users to 5,000 and eliminating the manual, paper-driven processes currently in place. As Stephen says, "We've built a common infrastructure for the whole company to deliver applications securely and robustly."

Pierre notes, "We've learned so much and have a real appreciation of the pressure CIOs are under to deliver the dynamism and agility their businesses demand. We've also seen that doing nothing is not an option."

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in mobile workspaces, providing virtualisation, mobility management, networking and cloud services to enable new ways to work better. Citrix solutions power business mobility through secure, personal workspaces that provide people with instant access to apps, desktops, data and communications on any device, over any network and cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organisations and by over 100 million users globally. Learn more at

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Key Benefits

  • Building business agility
  • Better customer engagement
  • More effective, strategic IS department

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