Tekla's workforce roams free with everyday mobile solutions
Efficient information security enables safe use of Windows Mobile devices
Tekla Corporation, an international software company, has turned to modern mobile technology to help its employees stay in touch with each other and to improve the accessibility of its sales and customer service. Windows Mobile smartphones have proven to be useable, efficient and user-friendly devices. Tekla takes security very seriously: efficient information security solutions provided by F-Secure also guarantee the continuity of business and risk-free handling of sensitive information outside of fixed networks.
Tekla has gained experience and know-how in mobile technology through developing the company’s own software products. Since 2006 Tekla has increasingly started to use mobile tools. In the first phase of deployment the objective was to empower the mobile workforce with the same communication tools they already had at their disposal on their workstations. The company decided to concentrate on Microsoft’s newest mobile technology. The solution selected was Windows Mobile 5.0 with a device platform of HTC smartphones and handheld devices.
– “Windows Mobile provided us with all of the services we needed, ready to use. The solution was also seamlessly integrated into our Microsoft platform with no need for any extra software or investments,” Tekla Oyj’s Information Management Director Harald Lundberg explains.
Familiar Communication Devices in Mobile Use
Between 2006 and 2007 several new smartphones and handhelds have been introduced to the system. Over half of the 160 cellular phone users in Tekla’s Finnish organization have already made the switch to the Windows Mobile platform. Deployment of the devices and software has gone well, thanks to an existing process for user-specific customization and user guidance.
– “Being able to use familiar Microsoft applications has ensured smooth deployment from the viewpoint of both users and IT management,” Lundberg says.
The same software is available on both the handheld devices and the more phone-like smartphones. The communications tools of the mobile devices and workstations have been seamlessly integrated. This means that calendars and e-mail work the same way and equally well in both environments. Microsoft Office Mobile includes the mobile versions of the familiar and popular Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications.
– “E-mails will actually reach the mobile devices faster than the workstations,” Lundberg notes. Operational business applications can also be imported into the mobile platform. Another possibility being considered is using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to later manage customer relationships with mobile devices.
Information Security also Important in the Mobile Environment
As the mobile use of office, communication, and business applications becomes more common, companies will be faced with new information security challenges. At Tekla, there can be no compromise regarding information security: mobile devices are protected as stringently as servers and workstations. Authenticating users is the first step in ensuring a safe work environment. Under Windows Mobile, users can be authenticated without user IDs or passwords by using certificates. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the smaller the device, the bigger the risk of losing it. Revealing sensitive information to outsiders is a threat that can fortunately be countered effectively with operating system features.
– “Should a smartphone be lost, we have the option of automatically resetting the phone to its factory settings. This way, when a phone gets lost, we’re simply losing a device, not its content ,” Lundberg explains.
Tekla uses F-Secure solutions to protect its whole IT environment, including mobile users, against malware. So far viruses have not caused any significant problems to Windows Mobile users. It is, however, prudent to prepare for future threats early on to avoid the type of problems currently plaguing the PC world.
– “Efficient malware protection helps to avoid cutouts that threaten business continuity and productivity. Mobile devices are an increasingly important part of corporate IT environments. There is no reason why the safety of mobile devices should be less important than the safety of other information systems,” says Information Security Expert Erkki Mustonen from F-Secure Oyj.
Goals Were Achieved
Tekla’s mobile solutions have succeeded in cutting down communication response times. Communications devices that are easy to use, always switched on and connected to the network make sales and marketing people more accessible. This also improves internal communication, the results of which can be seen especially well in a global organization that operates in multiple time zones.
– “I’m satisfied with our mobile solutions both as a user and as a member of IT management. Further development should also be quite easy, thanks to the compatibility of our software and Microsoft's ongoing product development,” Lundberg concludes.
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