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Improve ROI by investing in a mobile workforce - use it

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Improve ROI by investing in a mobile workforce



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You have your mobile devices, your mobile application architecture is up and running, and your employees are ready to start working. With a mobile workforce, however, access to corporate data must be secure while remaining easily accessible. Remote tools and technologies, such as OTA (over-the-air) virus protection distribution and upgrades, are effective ways to support a mobile workforce.
The following example of how a mobile solution is deployed, as well as how security advancements are applied, and gives you some great ideas for deploying your mobile workforce successfully.

Get connected

Susan is a sales representative who is on the road five days a week. In the evenings, she connects to her office using her smartphone and the free Wi-Fi hotspot available at her hotel using her company's VPN connection, which offers her a secure connection. It's quick and easy and enables her to work without pulling out her tablet PC and starting it up again. She can access the Internet, as well as check and respond to e-mail and voicemail. Because of the smartphone's voice capabilities, she can respond to e-mails using her own voice—eliminating the need to type a response. The recipient receives the response as an e-mail with an attachment which is her voice message.
During the daytime, however, Susan prefers to use her tablet PC. She develops contracts at client locations and prints them out on her mobile printer. Because only a Wi-Fi hotspot is available at the client's location, she connects to the office using her HP Mobile Broadband connection. This offers her the most secure connection for transmitting sensitive sales documents back to her assistant so she can get the deal approved and closed before she leaves the client's office.
As she drives to her next appointment, she uses the GPS on her smartphone to navigate accurately and arrive on time, and the smartphone's Bluetooth technology lets her talk on her car's speakerphone so that she can stay focused on driving. At the next location, she discovers her attendance is required at an urgent meeting, so she accesses the Internet to attend a video web conference. Because her tablet PC has a built-in webcam, others in the meeting can see and hear her.
At the end of the week, Susan can head home to her family and enjoy some quality time without worrying about work that's been left undone due to her absence from the office. Before heading home, however, she drops by the office briefly to synchronize her tablet PC with new documents generated by non-mobile workers during the week and placed onto the LAN. All the work that needed to be done during the week was easily and swiftly handled, thanks to the capabilities of her mobile office.

Stay secure

To support Susan on the road, several security methods were applied to ensure company documents and mobile devices stayed protected wherever Susan roamed. All these items are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement.
By applying data encryption, which can be easily deployed for businesses with less than 100 employees, Susan's tablet PC was secured against security breaches if system were ever lost or stolen.
In addition, simple but effective advanced policies were required on her tablet PC and smartphone. If Susan stayed away from her computer for a certain length of time, for example, her tablet PC moves to sleep mode until a recognized password is used to open it. Because her smartphone syncs to the company's network, a PIN (personal identification number) is required to start it. Because Susan travels so much, she was given security locks to protect not only her tablet PC, but all of its peripherals as well.
To protect Susan against computer viruses and other malicious attacks as she connects to the Internet or checks e-mail, her company set up a forced upgrading process that can be sent OTA to her PC and smartphone. Because this process is generally offered with many mobile application architectures, the company doesn't have to perform many activities to launch it. And Susan doesn't have to do anything because the automatic process does it all when Susan's devices are turned on.
To protect the company against unapproved devices, or applications that might bring down the network or cause other problems, application white listing has been applied to Susan's smartphone. This enables the company to determine which applications can run on her smartphone, and stops Susan from downloading and running any unauthorized applications. This process, often done through the use of group policies on the mobile application architecture, enables the company to effectively manage the mobile devices with very little additional overhead expense.
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