Mobility Engineering and Management

Enterprise Mobility as a Service

The use of mobile devices to access protected networks, systems, and data is one of the most disruptive forces facing IT organizations today. At the same time ‘mobility’ offers several significant benefits. G2SF, INC., helps agencies overcome the challenges and capitalize on the benefits of mobility by implementing an enterprise solution that provides global access to information while considering security, budgets, and future business requirements.

 

How G2SF Supports a Tech-Savvy Mobile Workforce

In meeting the requirements of a mobile workforce, G2SF combines the latest in mobile technology with practical experience to manage and deliver enterprise mobile solutions that consistently meet mission requirements. G2SF uses a holistic and collaborative approach that is 100% focused on achieving business outcomes:

Mission: We help develop mobile solutions that are designed to contribute to the accomplishment of organizational goals and strategic objectives.

Strategy: We help determine the scope and role mobility will play in support of an organization while considering evolving business requirements, security threats, policies, and shrinking budgets.

Technology: We help create plans and recommendations to optimize existing technologies and platforms to meet mobility requirements before introducing and implementing new technologies.

Solutions: We have practical experience migrating an existing mobile solution or deploying from scratch an enterprise-wide Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solution.

Services: We offer a full spectrum of services and support from helping define agency requirements to implementing and managing an enterprise mobility solution that includes network consulting, mobile application research and selection, design, engineering, integration, testing, implementation and ongoing operations and maintenance of mobility
as a service. We provide mobile security, cloud storage integration and device loaner and retirement services. We manage various user groups, profiles, and customer classifications (e.g. VIP) as well as a mobility service desk. We help develop mobility policies, processes, and procedures in accordance with IT service management best practices to ensure the quality, reliability, and security of mobility as a service.

Resources: Our subject matter experts have practical experience building, delivering and effectively managing geographically dispersed enterprise mobility solutions within highly complex and dynamic multi-vendor, multi-device, and multitechnology environment.

Benefits: We have established a proven track record of successfully implementing and managing a comprehensive suite of mobile services that have enabled our clients to more easily access systems and information from anywhere and at any time. This mobile capability has resulted in an increase in overall productivity (see attached Mobility case study).

 

How G2SF’s Mobility Solution Evolved An Agency Case Study

For the past five years, the G2SF Mobility Team has provided a Federal Agency with a wide variety of enterprise mobility services and support. Beginning in 2011, the Agency requested that G2SF develop a plan to provide Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) services to Government employees. After researching various vendor solutions, the Exchange Active Sync (EAS) configuration was recommended due to its simplicity and low need for infrastructure-based changes. This configuration supported both Android and iOS devices and met industry standards. However, the Agency decided to adhere to an internal security recommendation to only permit devices that had been validated with native FIPS140-2 encryption at the device level. Consequently, BYOD users had to use (and therefore, own) a “compliant” phone, which was required to be encrypted and passcodeprotected for BYOD service to be authorized. This requirement eliminated participation of iOS devices and many Android devices. Due to these constraints, program adoption rates were low. However, during the time that EAS BYOD service operated, authorized Android users reported that the service met their needs, was highly customizable, and reliable. A new requirement to include iOS and a validated encryption solution was issued to G2SF.

After an arduous search for a mobile application vendor that met the Agency’s requirements, the G2SF Mobility Team identified Divide. At that time, Divide was a good alternative because the Agency needed a mobile application, did not want to invest in heavy infrastructure, and wanted to include the support of iOS devices. Divide also used an algorithm for encryption that was FIPS140-2 validated, meaning all instances of the app for Android and iOS would be authorized. At the time, Divide met or exceeded the Agency’s mobility requirements such as workplace flexibility, encryption, security and other needs. In 2012, G2SF’s implementation of Divide became the first production BYOD service/program in the federal government. The G2SF opt-in mobile service solution was initially adopted by over 500 users and most of the Agency’s VIPs. Eventually, Divide’s business objectives diverged from the Agency’s requirements by confirming that iOS would not be supported in the midterm. Since iOS support was a major Agency priority, in 2013 G2SF immediately began a new search for the next mobile app/solution provider.

Based on the Divide service and experience and almost two years of BYOD user feedback, the G2SF Mobility Team identified and defined extensive mobile requirements for the next mobile service management solution. Requirements included data management (container policy), features/functions such as security, user friendliness, single sign on and role-based administration, among others. The G2SF Mobility Team reviewed various best-practice publications such as Gartner and Forrester to identify MDM solutions focused on enterprise capabilities including for example security, scalability, feature richness and cloud-first options. The team also considered testing results and testimonials from industry. G2SF developed an objective method for equitably and thoroughly assessing each of the vendor solutions and configurations (on-site, hybrid, and cloud-only) against defined requirements. After thoroughly researching various alternatives, the G2SF Mobility Team recommended what was Fiberlink’s MaaS360 as the best solution for the Agency. The recommendation was reviewed by Senior Agency Management and MaaS360 was approved for enterprise implementation. G2SF was then tasked to design, test and deploy the enterprise MDM solution in just a few months. G2SF successfully meet Agency deadlines and delivered Personal Information Management (PIM) services to over 1,000 users providing mobile access to Agency email, calendar, contacts and tasks. Within a short period of time the service became significantly more popular for both Android and iOS users and was eventually expanded to include Government Funded Equipment (GFE). In support of this goal, G2SF designed and implemented GFE and direct network access (DNA) policies and services to meet specific Agency requirements. For example, BYOD users required reassurance that their personal devices were not controlled by an admin (at a device level); whereas admin control of GFE devices was a requirement. Eventually, GFE devices were implemented in parallel with the DNA service to expand mobile capabilities for GFE users by providing access to internal resources. G2SF also implemented the use of Apple Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) to streamline the delivery of iOS devices to GFE users at more competitive prices.

The Agency piloted DNA service for six months, during which time all GFE DNA capabilities were tested, including access to Agency Intranet, Shared Drives and SharePoint Sites from within the encrypted MaaS360 container. This service feature was heavily tested by users during the pilot phase, mostly via documented use of the DNA service. During the pilot, various integration challenges provided ample opportunity for G2SF to enhance and fine tune the DNA service. After Agency authorization for the network access features, the DNA service was officially launched in July 2016. Eventually, DNA would replace Blackberry Enterprise Services (BES) which included over one thousand BlackBerry devices by providing a more feature-rich and cost-effective alternative for mobile power users. G2SF played a key role in facilitating the retirement of BES and the effort was publicly praised by Agency leadership.

Since its inception in 2011, the success of the mobility initiative has been measured by opt-in rates, growth in users supported, productivity gains, cost reductions, additional feature/functionality, formalized user feedback, low incident rates, and continued funding.
IBM’s MaaS360 MDM solution has been in use for almost three years now and currently supports more than 1500 users, increased operational efficiencies, introduced numerous enhancements, received exceptional feedback from users, logs relatively few incidents per month, and has continued to receive incremental funding. The entire G2SF Mobility Team was publicly recognized recently by the Agency CIO in a formal awards ceremony.

 

How G2SF Provides Lifecycle Support Services for Enterprise Mobility Solutions 

Infrastructure Consulting

Provide a roadmap and associated strategy to optimize existing technologies where possible to accelerate a mobile ready infrastructure inclusive of federal laws, regulations, security, devices, network infrastructure and mobile applications.

Mobile Solutions Support

Post implementation, we provide end to end operational support services including phone, email, self-help, and deskside support of all devices. We respond to, record and track all incidents through resolution. We provide incident reporting and monthly billing verification.

BYOD and MDM Requirements Definition, Recommendation and Implementation

As a technology agnostic solution provider, we clearly define and document mobility requirements and recommend solutions that best meet an Agency’s current and future needs. We design and implement enterprise solutions leveraging the existing infrastructure.

Device Selection, Procurement, Service, and Deployment

We manage the full lifecycle of selected devices in accordance with customer requirements. We recommend devices, service plans, procurement strategies, and best practice policies, processes and procedures. We negotiate prices, procure devices, image, and deploy the devices into production.

Mobile Security Services

We help ensure endpoints are securely managed and device applications are approved. We manage government furnished devices using on premise, managed or cloud-based solutions.

 

Contact

For more information about Mobility or other G2SF services, please email bd@g2sf.com.