University of East Anglia brings mobile working online with mobilEcho

News 29 Oct, 2012

Research institution dumps paper for iPads with GroupLogic secure app.

University of East Anglia (UEA) staff have been equipped with iPads, after the institution brought in software developer provider GroupLogic to provide secure file access across the campus.

The university introduced iPads into the workplace for 500 employees in an effort to reduce the amount of paper generated by meetings, as well as encouraging better collaboration and remote productivity. However, concerns surrounding security led the leading environmental research institution to seek out a product that could enable flexible and paperless working without potentially compromising sensitive data.

Jon Woodley, head of systems, IT and computing service at UEA, told IT Pro “We do not have a great deal of resources available to develop [proprietary] solutions in house. In addition, we attempted on a number of occasions ... to find a solution that web-enabled our existing file store solution, [but were never able] to find the right balance of simplicity, security and functionality with and of the solutions put forward.”

UEA chose GroupLogic’s mobilEcho product as it provided “a simple plug and play solution that enabled users to access file shares with no further knowledge or vast amounts of additional infrastructure,” said Woodley.

“[The other products] we had already tested require users to have a level of technical understanding or information that most just don’t want to be bothered by,” he added.

While the university is not intending immediately to a allow staff to adopt a ‘bring-your’own-device’ model, Woodley acknowledges that this may be a potential future development.

“Our initial intention is to primarily support university supplied iPads but ... we recognise that users may want to use their own devices and mobilEcho is ideally placed to allow this to occur,” Woodley said.