Mobile devices and the corporate world: rising to the challenges. Takeaways from the Beltug X-change of 12 December 2017


Digitisation and mobility go hand in hand. But within the business world there are many challenges for securing and managing mobile devices, and using digital to streamline processes. In this session, we heard from two organisations from different sectors - the European Court of Justice and Cepa (a private federation in the port of Antwerp) - about how they tackled their challenges.  Presentations from the event are available, exclusively for Beltug members (after login):


There is a distinct difference between Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), Yves Vande Walle, Head of Section at the European Court of Justice, began:

  • MDM is strictly about phones and managing them
  • EMM is a more extendable concept, which can cover devices, apps, tablets and data.


At the Court of Justice, the first EMM challenge starts with the age of the staff: as judges don’t have to retire at 67, staff ages can range well up into the 70s. Furthermore, while some staff are very tech-savvy, others prefer ‘good old’ paper. Somehow, mobility projects need to meet the needs of all the diverse profiles.


But ‘mobility’ isn’t a single concept: there are different types, Yves explained (slide 5):

  • Informational mobility
  • Job mobility
  • Functional mobility.


The EU Court of Justice (CURIA) called on the help of Comparex and mobco for its mobility project.  Its journey started in 2008 with a teleworking project; initially, data was only accessible from home, using PCs provided by the organisation, and was limited to 60 users.  This project is still evolving and growing: in 2018, an unlimited number of users will be able to work, via a device of their choice.


When the iPhone came along in 2012, people wanted to read their mails on their smartphones. This posed a new challenge for CURIA, to find the right platform with proper security to manage access. (See slide 9 for additional challenges).


When it came time for a new EMM system, CURIA gathered information from Gartner and issued a Call for Tender.  The KISS principle ('keep it stupid and simple') guided their consideration of the resulting offers


Yves shared four key learnings from the CURIA project:

  • Communicate with users, facilitate the change and the adoption
  • Clearly define what is expected by the business, management, users and security.
  • Try to keep it simple: complexity can be expensive.  If possible, subcontract or use a SaaS-based solution.
  • Respect privacy, and don’t ignore the GDPR!


Throughout this project, support in particular is an ongoing challenge for CURIA: it is very time consuming, must be customised to the various profiles, and the (hidden) cost is high.


Yves wrapped up with some useful advice (slide 16).


Next up was Filip Matton, Organisational Advisor and IT Manager at Cepa. Cepa is a private organisation that ensures the smooth daily operation of the Antwerp Port, and is active in 5 domains:

  • Personnel management
  • Equipment
  • Education
  • Safety
  • Emergency and health assistance


Up until a few years ago, the only communication channel was physical.  Dock workers communicated directly in the office, by fax or by mail. But the port area is vast, and the Cepa offices were located in a far corner. Dock workers lost a lot of time going back and forth between their work locations and the office for administration.


Now, people can communicate with the Cepa contact centre (by phone, e-mail, chat) or virtually (via the website, Facebook, the web app, twitter, mobile app). To realise this project though, the Cepa back office first needed to prepare for the changes.  The project principles were:

  • Simplify
  • Secure
  • Virtual
  • Agile
  • Connected


Everything that could be, was digitised and automated. (Slide 13).

  • The full payroll calculation for all 9000 dock workers can be completed in 14 minutes, without the intervention of a human being.
  • Through the MyCepa self-service platform, dock workers can easily access information now and communicate with Cepa.


The application was adopted in only two days by all 9000 dock workers - they immediately felt the added value of the easier, faster assistance and support.


Starting in January 2018, Cepa will transfer from using a web app to a mobile app, for even greater user flexibility and simplicity.  This will allow for the counters of the recruitment office (the 'Kot') to close completely.


Over only four years, Cepa transformed its highly transactional procedures into a very service-oriented process, Filip concluded.  And the smartphone becomes the dock worker's central device - giving access to all the services he needs.


To close our session, Jan Ponnet, IT Officer at BNP Paribas Fortis, facilitated a highly interactive roundtable.












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