Secure, optimised mobile solutions for the liberated future
Crowe Clark Whitehill LLP is a national audit, tax and advisory firm. Its head office, in the City of London, is the centre of an eight-office network that offers national coverage. As part of the wider Crowe Horwath International network (the eighth largest global professional services network (International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) 2016), Crowe works with organisations in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Crowe needed to migrate to a new mobility management platform, to replace its existing BES 5 deployment and to consolidate across multiple EMM solutions. After rigorous testing of high-security mobile management, the firm adopted BES 12 (now BlackBerry UEM), to take advantage of its unified management and control capabilities.
The new platform allows Android, iOS and BlackBerry smartphones to be managed through a single console, reducing complexity and offering an improved user experience. Appurity provided guidance and consultancy throughout the migration, and continues to provide support.
Appurity guides one of the UK’s leading accountancy practices through migration to BES and UEM 12.
Technology has become a significant competitive arena in the accountancy profession. Cloud-based applications are offering opportunities to provide better service to clients, while reducing operational costs.
At the same time, the automation of many routine bookkeeping and management processes is allowing an increasing number of firms to change their billing processes from transactional, time-based models to value-based pricing structures.
So far, however, the transformation that has made the most impact on the profession has been the rise of the smartphone. It's now almost unthinkable that any serious tax, audit or other financial professional should operate without access to email and other essential services when on the move.
With mobility has come the challenge of security. The highly regulated and sensitive nature of the accountancy profession has meant that security has always been a high priority, but with so many endpoints moving with such freedom, it has never been a more complex problem.
For Crowe, as for many firms, the solution lay in the inherent security and control of a BlackBerry® infrastructure. Even with the arrival of iOS® and Android™, BlackBerry software remains the mobility management solution of choice for accountancy practices.
Now, however, the proliferation of alternatives to BlackBerry BBOS and BB10 smartphones has prompted Crowe to introduce more choice for users, with many opting for Android or iOS devices. The old BES 5 platform was no longer fit for purpose, so National IT Director Ian Norman initiated the process of migration to a new Enterprise Mobility Management platform.
After rigorous testing of the candidates, BES® 12 (now BlackBerry Unified Endpoint Management, or UEM) emerged as the clear winner. Drawing on the BlackBerry heritage of secure mobility, BlackBerry UEM offers a level of flexibility and simplicity that allows Crowe to take maximum advantage of the agility and efficiency of a multi-platform mobility strategy.
BlackBerry UEM is part of the BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility Suite, and offers trusted end-to-end security and support for a wide range of devices. It provides the control and visibility that the Crowe IT team needs to manage all endpoints, as well as the flexibility to support the evolving business requirements of the practice.
“We're able to control and manage everything through the single BlackBerry UEM console,” says Ian Norman. “This is helping to reduce routine administration costs, and to reduce risk by allowing us to enforce policies to all endpoints, whether they are BlackBerry, Android or iOS.”
Self-service enrolment has also helped to lighten the burden of administration, while giving users a more rewarding experience. Devices are issued with Wi-Fi, VPN and email profiles already set up, so users can be productive almost immediately on receipt of their new devices.
Appurity has provided support and consultancy to Crowe throughout the migration to the new environment. “Having led many such migration projects already, they helped us avoid most of the problems that can arise,” says Ian Norman.
“The response to support requests is always fast,” adds Natasha Kenny, National Technology Support Manager. “During the migration, we had instant direct access to our consultant, which allowed us to resolve some unexpected challenges very quickly.”
Crowe’s security strategy for smartphones and tablets will be enhanced further when the deployment of Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention, for both iOS and Android, is implemented later in the year; Check Point will integrate fully with BES 12.
Mobile Threat Prevention provides Crowe with enhanced security and the ability to mitigate risks, protecting employees and corporate assets from mobile cyber threats. The firm can now secure mobile devices confidently, with immediate threat removal, real-time intelligence and visibility that extends into the existing mobile infrastructures.
“The world is changing on a daily basis,” says Ian Norman. “Mobility has streamlined our decision-making processes, helping to improve efficiency and our service to clients. With BES 12, we have the ability to scale and adapt our mobile strategy in line with the pace of change, while continuing to reduce risk and ensure compliance.”
Appurity are a cross-platform mobility specialist, and top-tier BlackBerry partner. To understand more reagrding mobile security and policy enforcement, please contact us.