The City of Oulu is the leading information and communications technology cluster in Northern Europe. Oulu was selected asThe most intelligent city in Europe 2012 and 2013 by Intelligent community Forum (ICF).

The City of Oulu Information Technology Public Utility acquires the mobile devices used by the City of Oulu and installs them to the customers so that they are ready to be used. Customers get also the end-user support. Altogether, there are 3500 mobile devices under the administration, 3000 of which require remote management.

Mobile applications have recently increased in the public domain, for instance in the service sectors of early childhood education and home care.

The City of Oulu uses a mobile application called Daisy with which kindergartens monitor the presence of children and do follow-up reporting. When a child is brought to the kindergarten, the parent tags the them in to an NFC-enabled mobile with an NFC tag. The same process applies when the child is being taken home from the kindergarten. If the mobile device is taken from the neighborhood of the kindergarten, it gets locked for security reasons. The target is to enable customer invoicing based on the presence of children in the kindergarten.

Why was Mobile Device Management needed?

The increase of mobile applications and the possibilities they engender was the main reason for the City of Oulu to ignite the sourcing and deployment of the mobile device management project. Recently, mobile device management and end-user device technologies have gone through a breakthrough and, as a result, it is possible to do full-blown mobile device management.

As there were lots of possibilities in the market, spring of 2014 was the right time to initiate Requests for Bids for Mobile Device Management (MDM).

The bidding process was started off with an initial investigation that gave direction to the requirements for the MDM system and what is possible with it. With wide market study, the existing systems were mapped and different Gartner quadrants were analyzed.

During the initial investigation, the requirements rose. It was desirable for the users to access their own applications with the mobile device, so they could use GIS functionalities and that the commonly used mobile devices could be managed. The solution provided by Sofor enables that one of the common requirements in the public enterprises namely common usage of mobile devices is possible so that each user can use the desired mobile applications with their own username.

As a result of the bid process, the City of Oulu chose Sofor to deliver the new Mobile Device Management solution. Sofor also delivers support and expert services to the specialists in the Oulu Information Services Department.

According to ICT Service Manager Heikki Mikkonen Sofor has excellent professional attitude: Sofor keeps its promises. The cooperation between sales and production seems to work also well. Sofor team has a strong will to do everything that has been said in the offer.

In addition to this Sofor has a good network. The tight cooperation goes well both with Arrow ECS and Citrix of whom both are actively involved in the making of business and they provide support when needed. This is important today as through a good and wide network even the most difficult things can be managed swiftly.

This is just a start

The MDM solution makes the updating of applications much easier as it can be done centrally and applications can be pushed to users’ mobile devices when desired. Oulu is launching myriad of new mobile services based on Citrix technology such as the remote management of tablets which are at common use at schools. Employees of Oulu use iPads which are in common use in their meetings. They can read and share meeting materials and documents through Citrix ShareFile. More over schools intend to use volume licensing agreements of Apple to share educational programs and materials.

“XenMobile enables the development of new services in a way that would otherwise be only a dream”, states City of Oulu ICT Service Manager Heikki Mikkonen.

Please join us at Synergy 2015 to hear more about our breakout session SYN107: Successful mobile device management project with City of Oulu, Finland. Check us out on our website

Jukka Hieta has more than 19 years’ experience in successful business development, leadership of winning teams, and marketing and solution sales at companies such as Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Tieto and Aricent. Currently, he is the head of sales and marketing at Sofor Oy. Jukka is an open-minded international sales executive who has presented at numerous conferences and customer events. Find him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter: @Durfing1

Citrix invited the author of this blog post to present at Citrix Synergy 2015 and to participate in a related contest.  The author received an entry into the contest for submitting this Blog.

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