Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company (LG&E and KU) are electric and natural gas utilities serving customers in 93 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. The companies are recognized for continuous best-in-class customer satisfaction ratings of all Midwest utilities.
LG&E and KU serve customers across Kentucky and Virginia with a distributed workforce. Approximately 60 to 70 percent of LG&E and KU employees work in the field maintaining infrastructure, performing repairs and supporting customers. Increased demands for mobile device access, along with secure connectivity to SharePoint sites and network shares, led the utilities to look for an enterprise file sync and sharing service that worked with the existing XenMobile MDM deployment. Since the company had previously been using XenMobile, it felt ShareFile was a beneficial add-on for the mobile workforce.
LG&E and KU has used Citrix XenMobile as an MDM solution for the past 5 years. The company chose to upgrade to XenMobile Enterprise because of its integrated capabilities with Citrix ShareFile for enterprise file sync and sharing. “Users can now leave the command center and effortlessly pull their session over to their mobile devices for secure real-time access in the field,” says Jason Adwell, senior IT systems engineer at LG&E and KU.
Granting employees mobile access enabled the company to securely retrieve and send real-time data anytime, anywhere, on any device. LG&E and KU primarily used the Citrix solution to share files but noticed an increase with collaboration between teams.
“ShareFile allows the ability to collaborate and sign PDF documents right then and there,” says Adwell.
LG&E and KU are seeing more groups use ShareFile for real-time collaboration. Field reps are using ShareFile for damage reporting documentation and to create repair work orders. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” says Adwell. “Being able to document damage, required repairs and updates with pictures instantly creates a more efficient workforce.” The companies see this as a growing trend for their teams to expand on.
LG&E and KU consider “ease of use” to be the biggest benefit of ShareFile.
“You don’t have to jump through hoops to get on the network anymore,” says Adwell, while emphasizing that their use of the WorxWeb app included XenMobile. This allows their employees to leverage single sign-on, accessing data quickly and securely whenever needed. LG&E and KU employees now use mobile devices to access the corporate network within seconds, no longer requiring time to pull out laptops and log on via VPN connections. “ShareFile has brought a sense of efficiency to LG&E and KU and continues to bring this to the business,” says Adwell.
Delivering data in a manner that exceeds government compliance regulations was a top priority for LG&E and KU. They had a vision of developing a process of handling response time more efficiently, allowing their mobile command center to be more productive and reduce service response times. On top of supplying staff with secure access, the company needed a way to provide specific corporate data and applications to contracted support teams without compromising the rest of the network and data. Realizing the need for real-time data, LG&E and KU worked with Hogan Consulting Group to implement XenMobile Enterprise, which included ShareFile to fully leverage mobile devices by delivering specific outage management apps and data to the mobile command center.
“The ability to safely and securely roll out new suites of mobile apps and data to the business will be a growing trend for us,” states Adwell. Having a fully integrated enterprise mobility management solution that included mobile device management and enterprise file sync and sharing services together was a key reason they chose Citrix as their solution provider.
Due to LG&E and KU’s high and growing demand for mobile use, ShareFile’s StorageZone Connectors feature allowed their staff quick mobile device access to SharePoint and network file shares. The team also uses Connectors as part of their workflow approval process. Users can submit requests to access team shares and team drives in the event of emergency reporting. The manager approves it and accesses ShareFile to create Connectors with team shares and team drives.
“If there is an ice storm or thunderstorm, people in the field can capture pictures and document any damaged infrastructure into ShareFile directly to their SharePoint team site and all appropriate personnel are notified immediately,” said Adwell.
LG&E and KU are finding new ways to use ShareFile every day as their use cases are continuing to expand. Currently, LG&E and KU are only using the connector functionality available through ShareFile. Thanks to ShareFile’s efforts to increase security with Restricted StorageZones and DLP integration, LG&E and KU are considering an evaluation of the full functionality available through ShareFile to address more use cases they have in their organization.