Embracing Customer Freedom With Secure Mobile at Deutsche Bahn

As today’s tech-savvy employees choose their own devices and applications at work, we see a multitude of operational and security challenges in delivering the technology and workspace experience today’s workers demand. While there have been major advancements in equipping people with the tools to help them become happier and more productive employees, introducing bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace can create headaches for the IT department. Securing and having oversight across all of these applications and devices can be overwhelming, and IT teams are feeling the pressure to improve the customer experience and keep the business secure.

At DB Systel GmbH, this is something we experienced with our own customers at Deutsche Bahn. We’re responsible for managing the IT infrastructure and applications for the second largest transport company in the world: a rail network that transports over two billion passengers every year. With such a diverse workforceoffice workers, maintenance teams, and train driverswe have to manage a wide range of needs and requirements for mobile device and application management.

Addressing Varying Customer Needs

Our legacy infrastructure couldn’t keep up with our customers’ demands, with the help desk inundated with requests and the speed of deployment an ongoing issue. It reached a stage where we were managing over 60,000 separate Android and iOS devices. This created a cause for concern as the business was being put at risk from multiple points of entry for attackers to strike.  

Restricting employees’ choices wasn’t an option, and it was vital to avoid damaging the internal customer experience. We decided that a unified enterprise mobility management solution would be crucial to regain control of security and maintain customer freedom. After benchmarking various products, we selected VMware AirWatch™ to support Deutsche Bahn’s company-wide strategic mobility program.

Improving Access Management for the End-User

Staff at Deutsche Bahn work predominantly with their own apps, and users require these apps to be securely deployed across all their devices. With the new management solution, the applications required one single point of entry via a gateway service with per app VPN for access.

With the legacy system, one of our subsidiaries incurred costs of up to $30,000 per app per year on a proxy service for deploying the apps across each device. Now our customers can work remotely and simply update applications on their devices with ease, allowing them to perform their roles more efficiently. The cost savings per application were over 75 percent with improved user experience to match.

Our IT admins are now also able to maintain full control of applications if a device becomes lost or stolen, managing access and keeping the business secure. With this increased security, our employees are enjoying the flexibility and freedom of working in the way that best suits their needs.

Speeding Up Deployment

Deployment speeds were a major factor in the decision to implement our new solution. Installation of the unified management system across the network involved scanning a simple QR code. In the first phase of the deployment, over 700 devices were set up each day, keeping disruption to a minimum. In addition, setting up new staff on an ad hoc basis took only an hour without the need for additional IT support.

This efficient deployment, coupled with improved access for our customers, resulted in a reduction of calls to the helpdesk from 2,100 to fewer than 210 per month. No one wants to spend their time waiting for assistance and incurring delays to their working day. Fewer resources are wasted, enabling the IT team to focus on delivering further digital transformation across Deutsche Bahn.

Following the success of implementing the new infrastructure, our IT team is considering further ways to improve user experience for customers. Centralised management for Windows 10 is currently being developed as well as “no touch admin” to further reduce the number of support tickets.

Freedom and Control

Developing a partnership with a vendor is very important to achieve your enterprise mobility and digital transformation objectives. This partnership should be built on regular engagement with the solutions provider to make sure they understand your mandate, and to help support your organisational objectives.

Capabilities offered by a mobility solution are also important to consider. You should look not only at capabilities that would be enabling you now, but also those that would support you in further maturing your business mobility and digital transformation practices in the future.