Multifaceted: Enterprise Mobility with One Container for Standard Applications

Case Study: Primagas

Thanks to the multi-functionality of Cortado Server, Primagas Energie GmbH & Co. KG can now run an intricately programmed Acrobat Reader application in a secure sandbox environment.

For most, Acrobat Reader is just a simple program for viewing PDFs. Then there are companies like Primagas Energie GmbH & Co. KG in Krefeld, Germany. For them, the Adobe product represents an extremely important application because of the business-critical information their workforce generates from it. As such, the Reader should have added protection. This is not simple on an iPad because you would need a mobile device management system that can enclose such standard apps inside a secure container. Cortado Server implements this approach at the iOS operating system level, without requiring specially wrapped, individually customized apps.

Since Cortado Server provides exactly the unique combination Primagas needs, they dropped their old MDM solution and now manage mobile devices solely with Cortado software.

We bought such a multifaceted tool in Cortado Server, one that gives us device management, mobile access to data, and native enclosure of standard apps in one system. There are also helpful features like converting photos to PDF, which saves us many steps.

– Jo Walsdorff, IT director at Primagas Energie

Contract creation risks eliminated

There was always a small risk of data being compromised when Primagas Energie’s sales personnel filled out contracts on an iPad. This is largely due to Acrobat Reader in which the eContract solution had been developed and that it ran as a normal, not specifically secured app on the mobile devices. If there were another corrupt app on the device, then it would be possible for unauthorized persons to access the contract data through that corrupt app at any time. To lessen the risk of such a data leak, applications with content worthy of protection – email, calendar, contacts, or user-written programs in the Acrobat Reader – can be put into a secure container. Container (or Sandbox) is what the secure area on the device is called that is encrypted separately and cannot be accessed by the operating system or other applications.

The shortcoming of most MDM solutions

Beyond their core competencies of counting, inventorying, and blocking apps, etc., most MDM systems are not capable of enclosing standard apps in a secure container. Primagas Energie’s former solution wasn’t, but with Cortado the company was able to implement its usual contract workflows in a protected environment.

Proof of concept right on the phone

The solution was implemented in summer of 2015. 150 licenses for 150 users – primarily sales staff and engineers – were purchased. Primagas Energie’s device pool consists of 120 iPads and 50 iPhones and will be expanded again shortly. Jo Walsdorff:

With one call, we were able to clarify how to transfer the Reader into the container. The proof of concept occurred practically right on the phone.

In his opinion, Cortado’s advantage in matters of training is that employees do not have to learn any new apps when working in the container; instead, they can use the ones they know. Cortado Server always stores a copy of the original app in the container. There are no special apps like with Airwatch, for example, making the transition to the new product seamless.

After the server was set up Primagas Energie quickly rolled Cortado Server out to the users. Most users were accustomed to storing their contract documents directly in the Acrobat Reader in order to have a quick overview. Since the old Reader could not just be moved to the container, Cortado reinstalled it and the documents were then transferred to the secure container area.

Improved file access – separate worlds merged

“These local duplicates are redundant because the data is all on the server too,” said Jo Walsdorff. No one will have to use this redundant storage now because all users have direct access to their data on the central network through the Cortado app. Until now, only processes based on forms were performed on the iPads in addition to contract creation, some photo documentation or generating reports. Employees accessed most of their applications and storage media using a Citrix environment with thin clients. Until now, different, isolated silos of applications existed within the company that have now been brought together by the Cortado software. Access to documents is available from an iPad any time, any where.

Jo Walsdorff also enjoys Cortado Server’s ability to convert photos to PDF. Primagas Energie employees often have to provide onsite photo documentation of their system installations. Previously employees were required to submit the pictures through an automated process but the pictures had to be manually converted from JPG to PDF and were then stored in the CRM system. Cortado performs this conversion automatically on the iPad, submitting a PDF from the start – saving a step every time!

ABOUT PRIMAGAS ENERGIE:

PRIMAGAS Energie is one of the largest liquefied gas suppliers in Germany. For over 60 years the company has provided households, businesses, and public facilities with environmentally friendly liquefied gas. What began as a small family business with the “Propan-Butan-Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH” (PBG) founded in Krefeld in 1950 by Helmut Aretz is today a modern, midsize company that offers customized energy solutions for a variety of industries and applications. The liquefied gas comes from the North Sea region and from German refineries. With over 80,000 customers and sales of over €300 million, Primagas Energie is one of the largest liquefied gas suppliers in Germany today.

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