With most of its workforce on New Zealand’s protected lands, the Department of Conservation wanted a secure mobile solution for accelerated productivity in the field.
Spark New Zealand delivered its Workspace ONE cloud hosted, digital workspace platform for comprehensive device management, integrated access control, application life cycle management and endpoint support.
Powered by Spark, DOC field workers enjoyed a consistent and secure end user experience, accessing applications anywhere and filing reports on the go for enhanced productivity and reduced administrative tasks.
Access on the go: How Spark mobilised the Department of Conservation
With thousands of personnel engaged in managing a vast public estate, remote working solutions are an obvious necessity for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. However, with complex systems and strict security requirements, the Department had experienced barriers in its journey towards a fully mobile workforce. The Department engaged with Spark for the delivery of its Modern Management - Workspace ONE solution, which has enabled secure remote access to core line of business applications, substantially improving staff productivity and user satisfaction.
Generally known simply as DOC, the Department of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with the conservation of the country’s natural and historical heritage. All Crown land designated for conservation and protection is managed by DOC and consists of about 8 million hectares, maritime parks, marine reserves, nearly 4,000 reserves, river margins, some coastline, and many offshore islands. Providing for recreation is a major part of its core work, and this covers the management of family picnic sites, as well as maintaining rugged backcountry tracks and over 1,000 accompanying backcountry huts that are used by hunters and recreational trampers. DOC employs some 3,500 people nationally.
DOC operates a core line of business application (ECMS) hosted out of Australia. However, secure access to documents in the system was not available from the field, where most staff are for the most part working, explains DOC CIO Mike Edington. “Our goal is to enable staff to work anywhere any time. When in the field they require access to data and documentation, and I require that access to be secure,” he notes.
Prior attempts to enable online access to the ECMS application to remote workers had fallen short, Edington adds, with complex access and authentication procedures making implementation difficult and unreliable. “There was a requirement from the Senior Leadership team and the limitations were becoming a source of frustration. It was quite clear that enabling ‘anywhere anytime’ access would boost productivity and relieve issues related to data management and timeliness of task completion. As part of our move to ‘Mobility as a Service’, Spark recommended, demonstrated, and delivered an appropriate solution,” Edington explains.
While working on the delivery of an adjacent solution for DOC, Spark’s Client Management Team was alerted to the difficulties faced in accessing its ECMS application. Spark’s Professional Services Team were engaged, assessed the situation, and determined that the outcome required a different solution using an alternative technology to the one they had previously explored.
Further examination of DOC’s network, application and security architecture confirmed that Spark’s Modern Management - Workspace ONE could meet the outcome.
Powered by VMware, Modern Management - Workspace ONE is a cloud hosted, digital workspace platform for comprehensive device management with integrated access control, application lifecycle management and multiple operating systems endpoint support, delivering a consistent and secure end user experience. “Spark came forward with a proposal which would directly address a real business need – so we went further with an open mind,” remarks Edington.
Spark conducted a multidisciplinary discovery workshop which engaged DOC’s security architects and project teams, gaining an understanding of the technology and architecture. This resulted in a successful proof of concept establishing Modern Management Workspace ONE’s capabilities and suitability for the task at hand.
This was followed by a full review with DOC’s internal cybersecurity team, profiling staff devices with the application and connectivity in place. This confirmed both availability of the application as well as compliance with DOC’s standards. The solution was subsequently rolled out to an initial 1,500 users and has since been deployed to 3,000 devices.
Spark’s consultative approach and Modern Management Workspace ONE solution has solved the security and accessibility challenge, says Edington. “Our people now have no problem accessing our application from their mobile devices.”
Thanks to Modern Management Workspace ONE, DoC’s remote workers now perform their ‘paperwork’ on the spot. This makes staying on top of it easier and more convenient, saving every individual time in their day. It also means a dramatically improved user experience, while management benefits from up-to-date insights. Productivity is up, while administrative hassle is down. “Not only have we delivered what was required, we are confident in the security measures as it complies with our mandated standards,” Edington notes.
In addition to delivering secure remote access, Modern Management Workspace ONE has facilitated the creation of a tool for asset management and software and application delivery lifecycle management on 3,000 end user devices, including policy management, device compliance application configuration, WIFI configuration and security reporting. The resulting intelligence is informing decisions on the selection of the most appropriate end user services from a security and user performance perspectives.
Since implementation, Modern Management Workspace ONE has integrated well with other services in use at DOC, including Active Directory Domain and Azure AD which manages user access, and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform as the ingress point of their Line of Business Application and datacentre services.
Working with Spark to enable DOC’s remote workforce has been a great success, says Edington. “We knew where we needed to be, and Spark has provided the right direction with a secure and dependable service that has changed the way we work.” Spark continues innovating this service including adding remote-control functionality through Modern Management Workspace ONE Assist. This will allow the provision of remote assistance to all devices – further improving user experience, simplifying support, and boosting DOC productivity.