Global reinsurer Swiss Re drops BlackBerry and goes BYOD with MobileIron

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Global reinsurer Swiss Re is switching to a new bring-your-own-device scheme, away from Blackberry mobiles. Employees will have a choice between a corporate-owned Windows Phone or bringing in their own devices (BYOD).

All employee and corporate devices will be managed via MobileIron’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.

Swiss Re plans to replace the last of the 2,500+ BlackBerry devices still in use by the end of May in favor of the company’s new standard Nokia Lumia 635 phones, personal smartphones or tablet devices. The roughly 7,000 mobile devices will be managed by MobileIron.

Swiss Re, a wholesale reinsurance and insurance provider based in Switzerland, expects around 80 percent of its employees will decide to use their personal mobile devices.

“We place great value on BYOD. We want our employees to be able to work the way they want, with technology they are familiar with,” said Urs Moser, Swiss Re’s Expert Infrastructure Architect and Vice President of Information Technology, summing up the company’s mobility policy.

“We evaluated some of the leading EMM solutions and came to the conclusion that MobileIron offers the best solution for our needs.”

Swiss Re’s IT department already manages 4,500 iPhones and iPads via the MobileIron platform, which it deployed in 2009. Since then, MobileIron’s multi-OS system has gradually taken over as Swiss Re’s central mobility platform as it seamlessly integrates with both the new program’s “official” mobile OS, Windows Phone 8.1, as well as iOS.

“Also Android may become an option within Swiss Re at some time in the future,” Moser added.

Swiss Re’s new mobility policy is extensive. Not only will BlackBerry devices be replaced by the end of May, but all devices will be migrated from Lotus Notes to Exchange, and the full suite of options offered by the MobileIron platform will be completely utilized.

Productivity solutions developed in-house, including a secure mobile browser and a document management solution, are planned to be replaced by MobileIron’s Web@Work and Docs@Work products. Swiss Re’s proprietary apps, including a sales app and an iPad app developed to support supervisory board meetings, is also expected to be migrated to MobileIron’s AppConnect containerization technology or Tunnel per-app VPN.

Swiss Re has already experienced substantial commercial benefits as a result of using mobile IT, especially BYOD.

“While providing support for virtually all popular mobile operating systems is a substantial technical and organizational challenge for our company, it has clearly paid off,” said Moser. “The positive effect that employee satisfaction with mobile technologies has on productivity cannot be overestimated.”

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