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Why BlackBerry was the Right Choice to Support This Bank’s App Adoption Strategy

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At a Glance

This major bank is well-known and well-regarded as an innovator in its field. An early adopter of the BlackBerry® Dynamics SDK, it employs a dedicated application development team which regularly takes input from its business units on what apps to build. It recently worked with BlackBerry to deploy native Microsoft® Office apps to its workers, managed through BlackBerry® UEM and protected with Microsoft® Intune. 

The Organization

This major bank is known for innovation above all else. It is constantly seeking ways to help its workers become more efficient, and constantly looking for ways to improve the banking process for its clients. To that end, it employs a team of dedicated application developers that regularly takes input from its various business units.

“The different business department heads periodically come together to discuss new initiatives and requirements for the organization,” explains the BlackBerry Account Manager for the bank. “Whichever is the most feasible will be driven through to the application development team to transform it from a concept into something real.”

To date, the bank has developed and released around thirty custom apps using the BlackBerry Dynamics SDK, a powerful app development solution based on the BlackBerry® Dynamics secure app container. Currently, the bank has a consumer banking group for standard banking, an institutional banking group for B2B, and a core services group for employees. Custom applications have been developed for each of the bank’s major groups, including consumer banking, institutional banking for B2B, and core services for employees.

The Challenge

Although the bank was able to easily secure and deploy its BlackBerry Dynamics apps, it ran into an issue with Microsoft Office. Its entire user base wants to use Office mobile apps alongside BlackBerry® Work, a businessclass productivity and Personal Information Management tool that combines enterprise email, calendar, contacts, presence, and more. Unfortunately, the bank realized there was a considerable risk of data loss, something which prevented full adoption of Microsoft Office mobile apps and Microsoft Intune.

“The client is quite innovative, and likes to be an early adopter of a lot of new technologies,” explains the Account Manager. “But they’re also highly security conscious. Whenever they see something new they want to adopt, they first need to take the time to ensure they can adopt it without putting any sensitive data at risk.”

In addition to supporting Microsoft Office, decision-makers at the bank also sought to reduce their mobility management overhead through consolidation. Currently, the bank uses VMware® AirWatch in its consumer banking group to manage corporate-owned tablets, which are meant to handle customer facing tasks like service directories and queuing. It aims to consolidate management of these devices on to BlackBerry UEM – our single-console endpoint management and policy control platform – which it uses for everything else. 

Being able to consolidate on BlackBerry UEM and support Microsoft Office mobile apps made us an incredibly attractive option for this bank. Our long-term roadmap really settled their mind on us – they’re a highly-innovative company and want to work with someone who matches their innovation initiatives. BlackBerry does precisely that.

Account Manager, BlackBerry

The Solution

A long-time BlackBerry customer, the bank began developing custom applications with Good Dynamics®  back in 2013, later upgrading to BlackBerry Dynamics and BlackBerry UEM after BlackBerry’s acquisition of Good Technology. Approximately 12,000 of its users are on BlackBerry Dynamics spread across most business units, though this number will grow by approximately 8,000 in the near future. The bank also uses BlackBerry Work for corporate email and BlackBerry® Access for secure connectivity to corporate intranet, while its IT department uses the ISEC7 EMM Suite for infrastructure monitoring.

When determining how to address the challenge of supporting native Microsoft Office apps on mobile, the bank turned to BlackBerry for assistance, as it had done in the past.

“The client was very excited to learn about the BlackBerry® Enterprise BRIDGE Application for Intune,” recalls the Account Manager. “Here was an application that could pass information from BlackBerry Work to Microsoft Office mobile apps with the ability to enforce the use of a corporate Office 365 account rather than opening on a personal account. It solved what they saw as their greatest risk for data loss.”

Currently, the bank has deployed 2,000 licenses to its User Acceptance Testing Environment – essentially a pre-staging. Once this deployment is complete and any potential issues are ironed out, the bank plans to deploy BlackBerry UEM and Microsoft Intune across its entire organization. 

The Results

The bank has gained a great deal from its relationship with BlackBerry – and not just from the recently-released BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE.

Secure Productivity: Once the deployment of the BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE Application is complete, the bank’s employees will be able to seamlessly and securely access the entire suite of Microsoft Office apps. They will be able to use BlackBerry Work and BlackBerry® Secure Connect Plus in tandem with one another for native applications while still having full access to the custom apps developed through the BlackBerry Dynamics SDK. IT, meanwhile, will have complete control over and visibility into corporate applications and data,  coupled with the ability to protect itself from leaks and breaches.

“The bank needs to control which devices are able to connect Office 365 and other cloud services.” explains the Account Manager. “Leveraging BlackBerry Secure Connect Plus allows us to fulfill the VPN requirement for those apps so that only securely managed devices can connect to cloud services. BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE further allows them to ensure there are no leaks or security holes when data is being shared between apps.”

Powerful Premium Support: As part of its contract, the bank has signed up for BlackBerry® Premium Support Services, with a Premium Services Manager (PSM) dedicated to walking their team through any technical issues they might encounter. They also have several Professional Services Engagements, which they used to help them convert from Good Dynamics to BlackBerry Dynamics and UEM. Finally, they have a Staff Augmentation Contract, which gives them access to onsite assistance from BlackBerry.

“We’ve done a few initiatives with their team,” the Account Manager recalls. “We send people to their office on a monthly basis – to update them on how to properly leverage our portfolio and give them tips on the things they could be using. They’re also regularly engaged on the application development side by our PSM team and the broader SDK support team and development community.”

A Shared Drive For Innovation: One of the primary reasons the bank first began doing business with BlackBerry was because they had something important in common – a culture of innovation. The bank’s IT teams and executives are constantly testing new products, features, and tools from BlackBerry.

Most recently, they began evaluating the possibility of using Vuzix Smart Glasses deployed with BlackBerry UEM, determining how their capabilities might be used to enhance the banking process. They are also exploring the use of Microsoft’s Surface Hubs and evaluating BlackBerry Access on Windows 10 for a Bring Your Own Laptop initiative. Finally, they are exploring the possibility of using BlackBerry® AtHoc – BlackBerry’s crisis communication platform – to send urgent messages and communications to employees who are out-of-band and do not have access to their email accounts.

“The fact that BlackBerry can manage, secure, and deploy apps to nontraditional devices gives the bank the ability to utilize that hardware in its workflows,” explains the Account Manager. “Without a secure management platform, none of this would get off the ground.”