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Focus on Communication, Connectivity, and Security: Pepperl+Fuchs Focuses Fully on Spatially Flexible Work Assignments

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Remote Work Concept Forms a Solid Pillar at the Manufacturer of High-Performance Sensor Technology for Industry

For more than 70 years, Pepperl+Fuchs has been a pioneer in the field of industrial sensor technology and explosion protection. With its portfolio, the company supports both conventional and industry-4.0-capable applications. In order to open up the performance potential of Industry 4.0 for the process industry as well, Pepperl+Fuchs is working intensively within a consortium to make Ethernet usable for this market. The aim is to set the course for Industry 4.0 to make its entrance everywhere in the automation industry. This requires a set of reliable, networked communication technologies for the mobile use of employees from product development, sales, support, and communications. Here, the company relies on BlackBerry® solutions.

An Inherently Mobile Company

Originally, BlackBerry® smartphones were mainly used for business communication at Pepperl+Fuchs. The management was often on the road to meet with partners and colleagues. Seamless access to emails, contacts, and the calendar was also essential on business trips, so the company decided to use BlackBerry devices as early as 2003. As smartphone technology evolved, the company began to look at how it could use the devices to enable a wider base of its workforce to benefit from the advantages in their daily work. Finally, the industrial supplier extended the use of BlackBerry to a number of other areas of the company, such as field service and sales.

As BlackBerry discontinued production of its smartphones with BlackBerry 10 operating system, Pepperl+Fuchs was required to look for another mobile operating system. They finally decided on iOS. The company needed a secure management solution that could guarantee this change without interfering with its resources or interfering with workflows. The choice fell on the Dynamics container solution, which BlackBerry had adopted with the purchase of Good Technology. 

“For us, it is essential that our employees can always access our services and applications via a secure and stable infrastructure - whether in the Australian outback, Asia, Europe, or America,” says Markus Bummel, IT SIS/MC Administrator at Pepperl+Fuchs. “It is also very important to us that our employees are satisfied with the solutions we offer them. We were therefore looking for a suitable approach to combine both in the form of a company-specific and individually designed equipment deployment”. In addition to a secure device management solution, Pepperl+Fuchs needed a way to effectively and efficiently separate work-related and personal data on its proprietary equipment.

We are the world leader in sensor technology and trust BlackBerry to secure our mobile devices worldwide. The company has provided us with a stable, cross-platform solution that allows our employees to work seamlessly, connected, and without compromising security

Markus Bummel,
IT SIS/MC Administrator at Pepperl+Fuchs

Clear Advantages of a Long-Term Business Relationship

Having worked with BlackBerry for 12 years, Pepperl+Fuchs decided to choose a solution from the corresponding portfolio again in 2015 and took two different options from the BlackBerry Spark® UEM Suite2. Together, these offer employees secure access to their email inbox, calendar, and contacts, as well as secure surfing. They also guarantee secure file exchange, custom ISV applications and application containerisation via BlackBerry® DynamicsTM

“The BlackBerry solutions have several significant advantages over the competition,” explains Bummel. “The other vendors we evaluated had shortcomings in terms of infrastructure, speed, or usability.” Against this background, the knowledge of being able to trust BlackBerry was even more important—Pepperl+Fuchs had worked with the company for years and knew that its solutions were stable and reliable. “With BlackBerry, the entire range of functions is directly integrated into one solution,” he adds. “In combination with the high-security standards and the cost balance, this proved to be the decisive factor for the use in our company”.

Pepperl+Fuchs was supported in the introduction of ISEC7, a global provider of mobile, digital solutions. As one of BlackBerry’s largest partners, ISEC7 provides comprehensive technical support in the local language for customers around the world. With ISEC7, they have a partner who can provide even better support through its many years of know-how in the area of BlackBerry solutions. 

Pepperl+Fuchs benefits from the very close cooperation between BlackBerry and ISEC7. It is always the same team behind it, which facilitates cooperation between specialist departments and service. In the case of Pepperl+Fuchs, there is also a dedicated support manager (PSM) on the BlackBerry side, which is only available for ISEC7. This gives Pepperl+Fuchs direct contact to BlackBerry. This means a much faster escalation and thus the fastest possible solution to any problems. 

Currently, Pepperl+Fuchs uses the BlackBerry software to manage around 1,300 users with a total of 1,800 devices distributed across 50 countries. Although mainly iOS devices are used, Android devices are also among them. These are manufactured by ecom GmbH, a market leader in security-oriented smartphones and tablets, which was recently acquired by Pepperl+Fuchs. They are explosion-proof and specially designed for use in industrial environments. These devices are also in daily use by Pepperl+Fuchs employees and are secured via the BlackBerry solution.

Safety and Productivity: The Best of Both Worlds

Employees in the field or on business trips can now quickly access email, calendar, and contact synchronisation when needed. They also have direct and secureaccess to Pepperl+Fuchs’ internal applications, including the ERP platform, CRM platform, and file access. Finally, they are able to use custom applications for a variety of individual process flows, such as the secure capture and transmission of infrastructure photos at maintenance sites. All this can be achieved with minimal workflow disruption and without compromising sensitive data on the devices. 

“Thanks to BlackBerry, private and business data can be easily separated, so we don’t have to worry about endangering the privacy of employees,” explains Bummel. Employees can also freely use their company devices for private purposes without consciously or unintentionally endangering business data, for example, by installing an insecure third-party app. “Apart from the security aspect, perhaps the biggest advantage of BlackBerry from the employees’ point of view is the registration process,” he continues. “All that is required is an email address and an activation code. Other vendors often require a lot of data entry, but with BlackBerry, it remains extremely user-friendly.”

For more information, visit BlackBerry.com/Spark and follow @BlackBerrySpark on Twitter.

1&2 Formerly called BlackBerry® Secure UEM & Productivity Suites - Choice and Freedom Suites

Organization Profile

Industry Manufacturing
Location Mannheim, Germany