At a Glance
Based in The Netherlands, iBabs is a global market leader in paperless meetings. The firm was first founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of MSI-Communication – itself a market leader in enterprise digitization since 1999. The goal of iBabs is simple: to help clients host greener, more efficient, and more effective meetings.
With a client base that includes local and federal governments, school boards, hospitals, and financial services firms, iBabs provides paperless meeting functionality to some of the world’s highest-security agencies.
“The Health Board have been using the iBabs system since Spring 2016,” explains Dawn Sharp of NHS Wales, the Welsh National Health Service. “The Board and Executive Team have found the system extremely helpful and very easy to use. The system helps us meet some of our responsibilities in terms of sustainability. Staff involved in uploading to the system love it and departments are keen to expand its use beyond the core Board/Committee functionality. The IBabs support staff have quickly resolved any minor teething problems encountered along the way.”
Preparing for a meeting can be a painstaking process, and one which only grows more difficult in larger organizations. Ensuring every participant has up-to-date documents is difficult enough without accounting for the immense amount of time, money, and effort spent on printing and distribution. With iBabs, none of that is necessary – documents can be forwarded directly to employee devices, and staff can communicate and collaborate digitally before, during, and after a meeting.
One iBabs client, for example, printed an average of 250 pages per employee per month. And they had 200 employees involved in their meetings. That’s over 50,000 pieces of paper that might only be used once.
Since implementing iBabs, that company can prepare for meetings up to 70% faster, and host faster meetings, besides. Employees can easily look up past meetings and find out what was discussed, what actions were taken, and how they participated. And more importantly, they can do so securely - and as easily as they’d use any consumer mobile application.
“Since iBabs is very user friendly, our clerical officials explored its functionalities almost intuitively,” says an official from the City of Amsterdam. “The application is easy to use, and tablets have actually replaced the current users’ briefcases containing loads of documents. The app has been made widely available within the municipality to increase efficiency and decrease the use of paper significantly.”
“We have a lot of users in the board and higher management levels of our customer base that use nothing aside from email and iBabs for their meetings,” says Paul Neefjes, iBabs Managing Director. “It’s all they need.”
BlackBerry is incredibly easy to work with and their support is amazing. If we have a problem, we can contact them and find a solution right away. They’re one of our best partners and we love working with them.
Paul Neefjes, iBabs Managing Director
Since their application is used most frequently in high-security agencies, iBabs needs to ensure flexibility and compatibility – not in the least because they have a strong reputation to uphold. With a growing camp of enterprise clients choosing to host their meetings over mobile devices, this means implementing support for a wide range of MDM solutions. Good Technology was among these – and when it was acquired by BlackBerry in 2015, iBabs came with it.
“We have a lot of customers in regulated industries,” notes Neefjes. “I’d say governments make up around 30% of our customer base, but there are also a lot of schools, hospitals, health companies, and so on. Within any industry, data confidentiality and security are paramount – but even more so in regulated fields.”
Efficiency without compromising security is critical for these organizations. Integrating their product with BlackBerry’s software was therefore a must for iBabs – especially since many of their highest-security clients were already using BlackBerry software. And it formed the basis of a long-standing partnership which has greatly benefitted both organizations.
As one of BlackBerry’s most valued partners, iBabs makes extensive use of the BlackBerry® Dynamics SDK, ensuring their solution can slot readily into their clients’ existing infrastructure, and that it can do so easier than with any of BlackBerry’s competitors. Many of their customers were already using the SDK for their own internal apps when iBabs was brought on-board, and the ISV wanted to ensure they had access to all the necessary functionality to protect their data. As an added benefit, this helped them to bring in an influx of new clients – and that isn’t the only benefit to the partnership.
New Clients: Since partnering with BlackBerry, iBabs has seen significant growth in its overseas clientele. As many high-security agencies were already closely aligned with BlackBerry’s solutions portfolio, incorporating iBabs seemed to them a natural choice.
“Support for BlackBerry was a prerequisite for many of our clients in the US, and even here in Holland,” says Neefjes. “It was why we initially sought the connection, and doing so has actually brought in a surge of global clients. That’s the good thing about our relationship with BlackBerry – it’s a two-way street.”
Ease of Use: According to Neefjes, one of the best things about working with BlackBerry is the level of support his firm receives. Finding the right person to contact about an issue is easy, and problems are quickly solved before they grow severe. That said, such situations occur infrequently – integration and management of iBabs for BlackBerry is easier than with any of BlackBerry’s competitors.
“The good thing about BlackBerry is that they’re actually focusing on this product,” Neefjes says. “Our developers keep saying they wish every integration was as easy as it was with the BlackBerry SDK. Integration only took a week, and the SDK has never been late with an update. Our clients call us if a new version of iBabs isn’t ready in time, but they’ve never needed to do that with BlackBerry.”
Trusted Security: Since iBabs is used by so many high-security organizations, it follows that a great deal of sensitive data is stored within the app. It must adhere to a number of security certifications, and take measures to protect highly-confidential documents. BlackBerry enables this with ease.
“The most critical thing, security-wise, is when people lose their device,” says Neefjes. “Keeping the information on those devices protected – keeping it off the street – is very important. Having BlackBerry security protecting our customers’ data is extremely valuable. The ability to control and protect on-device information makes it a lot easier for us to sell.”