Wells Fargo has 50,000 mobile devices deployed: The majority are BlackBerrys, but some iPhones are mixed in. With its 280,000-member workforce spread throughout the United States and around the world, the company manages carrier relationships with multiple wireless providers.
E-mail and calendaring are the primary applications used on mobile devices right now, according to Jim Spicer, EVP/Group Executive and CIO of Wells Fargo Corporate Technology and Data. However, BlackBerry devices specifically have the ability to connect to the company's Intranet, from which users can access Microsoft Sharepoint collaboration sites and anything else available on the Intranet, he notes.
Spicer says Wells Fargo's approach is, first and foremost, to view mobility as an enablement tool. "Everything we do begins and ends with the customer in mind," he says. "It's not about the shiny new toy or [functionality]. It's about what kind of capability it provides to serve our customers.
"We want to support the flexibility that mobility provides for our team members across our company. We know that many of our team members are not tied to their desks and need to stay connected with the enterprise."
In the highly regulated industries in which Wells Fargo operates, compliance is also a major concern. Says Spicer: "We have to make sure we have appropriate guidelines in place to ensure that we follow requirements of regulators. For brokers, we have to block certain kinds of communication and have to limit their capabilities to get to things that other users might be allowed to get to."
Another challenge is managing the devices themselves, as well as all the apps on those devices. Regulatory compliance and information security are two of the metrics that help gauge whether a solution provides business value. The company leverages BoxTone mobility management solutions, as well as a number of other apps, to ensure that it can manage its mobile devices.
"We don't limit ourselves to any one vendor," says Spicer. "Our goal is to make sure we close every gap that we've identified, and we use the best of the best to make sure that it happens."
Want more on this topic? Read the feature article Mobility's Rise in the Enterprise.