Department for Environment, Food
& Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

Case Study

Department for Environment, Food
& Rural Affairs

Case Study

“We’re very pleased with boxxe’s mobile device management service. To date, the system has fulfilled all of our expectations, and boxxe has proved to be a responsive and supportive service provider. They are quick to adapt to new requirements and have delivered all projects on time and within all agreed performance parameters.” Graham Wells, Cloud Service Manager, DEFRA

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The Challenge

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) needed to find a technology provider to manage its vast fleet of mobile devices. DEFRA wanted a cloud-based solution, with no hardware housed in its own premises. At full capacity, the service would need to manage up to 25,000 mobile devices used by employees of DEFRA, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Each of these agencies has its own data centre and first-level helpdesk, provided by their respective system integrators, and the new mobility management service would need to integrate with all of these.

The Solution

boxxe proposed VMware AirWatch as the preferred Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution. The rich functionality it provides precisely matched the needs and aspirations of DEFRA and its stakeholders. AirWatch simplifies the management and monitoring of large numbers of mobile devices, while ensuring the security of those devices and the data they access and store.

AirWatch enables all DEFRA mobile devices, of any type, to be managed from a central console. This includes enrolling new devices, managing all apps used by field personnel and providing secure access to central servers at DEFRA, managing email access and encryption, and allowing content sharing and collaboration across devices.

It also enables both boxxe and DEFRA to access a vast array of reports and information, which can be collated and presented to help monitor the performance of the service and keep track of user activities and requirements.

The Delivery

Once boxxe was appointed, its technical consultants set about designing and building the infrastructure for the hosted service, integrating it with existing service providers through a central network hub, and with DEFRA’s recently implemented Identity Management System (IDM).

boxxe built a highly available and resilient, active\active architecture, hosting the service across two geographically dispersed data centres. This enabled the load to be shared between the two sites and meant all services could be switched to one data centre in the event of a fault at the other. This gives DEFRA assurances about the continuity of its mobility management service. boxxe carried out full penetration and security testing before the system was launched.

boxxe proactively monitors all connections to ensure the availability of the overall network and to react to any events or loss of connectivity, either at the hub or any of the connected data centres. The service provided by boxxe includes 24-hour second and third-line service desks, which interact with and support the three existing first-line helpdesks.

boxxe runs the second-line service desk, which manages device enrolments, device support, request fulfilment and fault identification. The third-line desk is managed by AirWatch, which is responsible for rectifying any faults with the AirWatch product.

boxxe also developed detailed enrolment guides, and provided training for existing first-line helpdesk operators. The company provides ongoing support to the user enrolment teams, as well as 24-hour major incident management.

The Results

During the project initiation phase, boxxe established clear metrics with the project stakeholders, from all parties, to ensure that assessment processes were in place. These metrics are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the service continues to meet DEFRA’s changing requirements.

In the first four weeks following the launch of AirWatch, boxxe needed to migrate 1,800 devices onto the system before an existing Blackberry hosted environment expired. boxxe completed all enrolments on schedule.

In the first five months of the project, boxxe registered 6,000 devices onto AirWatch and enrolled 5,000 active users. Enrolments continue at a rate of approximately 250 per week. boxxe also handles up to 800 access requests per month through its service desk.

Availability has been maintained at more than 99% since the service was launched, and boxxe has answered 99% of calls to its service desk within the time agreed in its SLA.

Project Numbers:

6,000
devices registered to AirWatch

5,000
active users

250
new enrolments per week

800
access requests per month handled by the boxxe service desk

99%
availability across the board since launch

Why choose
boxxe?

Expertise and experience in deploying and managing AirWatch on a large scale

As an SME, boxxe could be more flexible and responsive to changing requirements and able to react quickly to events and requests

All elements of the AirWatch system could be hosted by boxxe in secure data centres – keeping all hardware out of DEFRA premises

boxxe offered a cost-effective solution

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