How Eurostar improved efficiency and saved employee costs through mobility

(c)iStock.com/Johnny Greig

Eurostar has slashed employees’ mobile bills by 50% and improved maintenance times through a mobility initiative with enterprise mobility management (EMM) firm MobileIron.

The railway firm worked alongside MobileIron and Qolcom, the wireless and enterprise mobility provider and UK partner of the Global Enterprise Mobility Alliance (GEMA), to secure and manage both corporate owned and BYOD devices.

A key part of the rollout was giving train drivers and train managers iPads to access information, fulfilling regulatory requirements, reducing paper waste, as well as allowing employees to throw away their suitcases in the process. Similarly, Eurostar also deployed an app through MobileIron where train managers can view maintenance tasks.

The access to real-time information for more streamlined repairs is key, according to Andy Simmonds, head of IT infrastructure and operations at Eurostar. “Train managers are responsible for the safety of passengers as well as customer service on the train,” said Simmonds. “In the past, managers would walk up and down trains interacting with passengers, logging any faults or complaints on paper using clipboards, then send this information back to the depot via email or fax once they got into the next station.

“This can now all be done in real-time,” he added.

In terms of keeping costs down for employees’ mobile bills, Eurostar looked to mobile data security and management provider Wandera to reduce the impact of mobile roaming across different countries. Research from the firm earlier this year found that enterprises spend a surprising amount on device provisioning and associated costs; in the cases of some firms, maintaining a mobile rollout was 116% more expensive than commonly thought. MobileIron was used in two ways for this; ensuring employees could not remove the app, as well as educating them about the benefits.

MobileIron was once again named in the Leaders section of the Gartner EMM Magic Quadrant back in June. The company saw the ranking as validation of its product, being the only standalone vendor in the top right box. “EMM is 100% of MobileIron’s revenue – that gives us focus and alignment with our customers,” said Ojas Rege, VP strategy at the time. “The focus and depth of a standalone vendor is a competitive differentiator for CIOs who view mobile as strategic and do not want to be locked into a single vendor stack.”

For Eurostar, given their employees are mobile in the more traditional sense of the word, the need of greater efficiency through a mobility program shines through. “Our employees now see mobile apps and devices as mission critical,” explained Simmonds. “I can’t think of a better testament to the benefits of mobility.”

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