MobilEcho on iPad Speeds File Access, Decision-Making

— December 12, 2012

Behind every great company, especially one that's nearly a century old, there's a great story, and Rust-Oleum is no different. As the tale goes, Scottish-born sea captain Robert Fergusson was looking for a way to prevent the spread of corrosion on his boat. What seemed like an innocent accident, spilling fish oil on deck, prompted the development of a fish-oil-based paint that stopped rust, dried overnight and left no lingering aroma. Thus, Rust-Oleum Corporation was born.

The company has worked hard to maintain this legacy of innovation, both with regard to its products and among its employees. This includes the tools Rust-Oleum employees are given to do their jobs better, smarter and with greater efficiency.

Rust-Oleum Embraces Mobile
Rust-Oleum offers laptops to its mobile staff, which includes executives and management, but for hauling around a heavy laptop can be a hassle. While the laptop is a great tool, it's traditionally slow and clunky and has a limited battery life. In other words, it's a pain to take on the road. Even after arriving at their destinations, there is still the added annoyance of users needing to boot them up, log in, find wireless, and all the other time-consuming things people do to access work files.

Rust-Oleum wanted a new way to make users more mobile and more efficient, while still offering systems and file access workers needed.

To help eliminate the unnecessary hassle of traveling with unwieldy laptops, Rust-Oleum decided to introduce the iPad 2, but the company's IT department faced one looming question: how can executives and management personnel – the first two groups that were issued the iPad – securely use the device to the fullest extent?

As Rust-Oleum's director of enterprise technology, Brad Hillebrand, said, "We knew iPad was a superior product that could provide our users with the flexibility they needed to do their jobs effectively, from whatever remote location they happened to be working from at the time. But in the IT department, we were still faced with the challenge of how to make using devices like iPad and iPhone more efficient, while at the same time giving us more control. Basically, we needed to figure out how we could take it up a level."

mobilEcho at Work
Hillebrand and his team had started switching the company's BlackBerry users to iPhone concurrently with the iPad rollout. As part of their multi-product plan to implement greater security and control, Rust-Oleum's IT staff implemented MobileIron's mobile device management framework, which helped them control and audit apps being installed onto the iPads, as well as implement secure IDs and password/security policies.

In their continuous efforts to make the iPad the most efficient tool possible, the IT team kept asking, "What's next? What else can we do?" They incorporated email into Lotus Notes – including calendar and contacts – and enabled access to corporate resources via VPN. Taking a step back, Hillebrand says, the team said, "Okay – we've given our users secure email, VPN access, access to corporate resources… what else?" That's when they realized the missing piece was secure mobile file management – something a solution like mobilEcho could address.

According to Hillebrand, "mobilEcho allows the Rust-Oleum iPad users to grab the content they want and access corporate files on the fly, without the hassle of having to carry a heavy laptop and boot up. They can read and edit the most up-to-date documents, make decisions, and get back to people in a timely manner, totally streamlining their work process."

For other staff, Rust-Oleum's IT is investigating two-way sync features. Having this capability at their fingertips means users can sync all of their content — from PDFs and marketing content to sell sheets and brochures — on their iPads so they're prepared for meetings with the latest support materials.

By the Numbers
The company has distributed more than 50 iPads to the executive team, management personnel, HR, and finance, to rave reviews. With word of the devices and their benefits spreading around the company, demand is now extremely high. Rust-Oleum has also introduced more than 250 iPhones across the company and the rollout continues.

Says Hillebrand, "From the president to our VPs, managers and directors, iPad is a winner. We have plans to do even more with the iPad and iPhone this year, and we know that with mobilEcho as part of that mix, the experience, and the user response, will be just as positive."

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