As mobility projects become more strategic, many Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) customers are turning to cloud-first strategies to improve their services and reduce the risk from network or server outages.
In addition, departments with limited resources are finding themselves challenged with maintaining an EMM solution, such as MobileIron, or expanding it to deliver the extra features and capabilities they know the solution can provide.
I sat down with our Managing Director Jason Holloway to uncover his perspective on these challenges and find out how he is enabling businesses to drive more secure, successful, organisation-wide mobility transformation.
Louisa: 2018 is seeing more and more businesses moving towards the cloud. What is driving this?
Jason Holloway: I think many organisations find that the cost in resources; especially time and headcount, becomes too much for them to maintain the service on their network. This could be because manpower is short, it could be because the requirements weren’t properly scoped at the beginning, or a whole host of other reasons. But the main driver that keeps coming up, again and again, is that a core corporate strategy is to move to the cloud. They're becoming a cloud-first organisation. As a result of which, they're looking to offload as many of their servers as they can into cloud equivalents.
And one of the easiest ways of doing that is to say: 'Right. I'm moving these MobileIron servers into a privately hosted cloud solution', which is exactly what Bridge Host is all about.
Louisa: Doesn’t MobileIron offer its own cloud service?
Jason: It does, and it’s an excellent product. We’re not aiming to compete with that at all. However our approach takes a great deal of the responsibility off the customer and onto us. There are definite pros to both MobileIron Cloud and Bridge Host. For example, we can replicate your on-premise environment directly into a private cloud, without the need to remotely wipe devices, reinstall software or train staff on a different user interface and feature-set. For those in the UK public sector, another major benefit of using us is that we’re connected to and compliant with both the HSCN and PSN, which means we can work across NHS, central and local government.
Louisa: What are the key concerns of customers looking to make a transition to a private cloud (compared to the public cloud)?
Jason: Broadly speaking, customers tend to want more control over the upgrade cycles, downtimes, and data jurisdiction, than they would have if they just obtained a cloud service. I would say the top two concerns for current on-premise customers are around information governance compliance and disaster recovery. In terms of disaster recovery, upgrading from a single-server instance of MobileIron to our fully resilient, co-hosted solution gives you peace of mind that uptime need not be a concern.
Downtime is the question we get asked every time. How long will the transition take? We’re confident in our ability to keep downtime as low as possible, with little-to-no impact on a customer’s end-users. We’ve also got a fantastic 24x7 technical support team that will guide IT teams every step of the way.
Louisa: How important is the availability of support for mobility projects in particular?
Jason: Many organisations, as the projects become more mature and business critical, are challenged with ensuring that their servers are able to provide an uninterrupted 24/7 service. Often they're building services upon single points of failure that could adversely affect their IT service delivery and have a significant negative business impact. If you are embracing a cloud-first model, then let us take care of not only that move to cloud but also improving the resilience of the service, further assisting the organisation in the service delivery of the mobility project and its move into a more strategic model.
We’re UK-based and we’re available around the clock. Our support team regularly receives enthusiastic reviews, and I’m always really impressed at the ways they go above and beyond to deliver excellent service for our customers. We’re currently at 98.5% customer satisfaction and 99.4% SLA compliance.
Louisa: Can you tell me more about Bridge Manage and how it is enabling your customers to operate more efficiently?
Jason: Of course. In our experience, many businesses just don’t have the time, the dedicated headcount or the resources to look after mobility properly. It might take the IT team a great deal of time to learn how to do X, Y or Z, and that often involves trial and error. They know that if they had an expert they could do the task in five minutes, but instead it's taking them a few hours or even days. Something we hear a lot is: ‘We’ve got too many other distractions going on because of change in project priorities.’ Another familiar story is that the member of staff originally trained in MobileIron has moved into a new position and isn't able to look at it as frequently as they used to. In short, the department is struggling to maintain the service or to expand it and deliver the extra features and capabilities they know that solution can provide.
Bridge Manage enables us to remotely manage their systems. Part and parcel of the onboarding of their systems is also delivering a body of work, a health check, and some consultancy work around it to enable some of those key, long-awaited features straight away, but also to continually manage this service according to their desires over that period of management. Essentially we are providing an accounting-friendly, fixed-price management of their systems.
Louisa: Do you find customers successfully implementing both Bridge Host and Bridge Manage? If so, what have the impacts of this been?
Jason: Absolutely. When a customer puts their hand up in the air and says 'I really can't deliver the expert level of mobility project I was hoping to. I recognise the demand for this from the business but my team alone can’t do it, would somebody please take this all off my hands?’ we can offer Bridge Host and Bridge Manage to ‘lift and shift’ their setup into a private cloud and manage it using our 24/7 service. Our customers and perhaps more importantly, their users are over the moon with that.
To give an example, one enterprise client has since reported not only reduced support calls, but that it has given them a known standard price. They estimate that it is actually saving them money, and the delivery of the service is more accurate and faster than ever before. In effect, it has transformed the way their business operates, and that is what this is all about.