With thirteen offices across the United Kingdom and Ireland, BLM provides legal services in an extremely diverse range of specialties, including brokerage, construction and property, general insurance, healthcare, and the public sector. It is also a founding member of Global Insurance Law Connect, a network of insurance law firms designed to help connect clients with experts and advisors around the globe. Given its expertise, BLM understands both the importance of keeping its data secure and the consequences should it fail to do so.
“We’re very much client-led when it comes to technology and security,” explains Darren Broughton, BLM’s Head of IT. “Because so much of our work involves security and risk, it follows that we ourselves must understand it – that if we help our clients be more secure, we must be secure ourselves.”
BLM employs approximately 1700 staff, over 800 of which are lawyers. By the very nature of what they do, those lawyers need to be mobile. They need to be able to seamlessly connect with both colleagues and clients; to access documents, schedules, and other data related to their cases – the firm realised early on that mobility was a way by which this could be achieved.
“Our lawyers use mobility a fair amount to stay in touch over voice and email,” says Broughton. “They also use third-party apps like BigHand for digital dictation. We needed to enable them to do all this, but also help them do more.”
User empowerment was not the only mobility challenge facing BLM. The emergence of AndroidTM and iOS® brought with it an entirely new problem. BLM’s IT department found itself dealing with a push to support a wider range of devices.
“We couldn’t simply roll out consumer smartphones,” explains Broughton. “We have our own set of strict internal security requirements. Native email, consumer apps, unmanaged smartphones, none of this would cut it – it had to be something more, something containerised, something we could control and remove if the need arose.”
A long-time customer of both BlackBerry and Good Technology, BLM had been using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server MDM platform alongside Good Technology’s Good Work PIM application to manage its mobile infrastructure for some time. With BlackBerry’s acquisition of Good, it recognised an opportunity.
Not only could it consolidate its mobility solutions into a single platform, it could deploy and support a far more diverse fleet of devices. That in turn would allow it to extend its mobile application infrastructure. With help from BlackBerry Platinum Enterprise Partner and Managed Mobility Partner Appurity, in 2017 the firm migrated from the BES to BlackBerry® UEM, and from Good Work® to BlackBerry® Work.
A powerful endpoint management platform, BlackBerry UEM allows devices, apps, and policies to be monitored and secured from a single, integrated view. BlackBerry Work, meanwhile, is a productivity tool that combines enterprise email, calendar, contacts, presence, document access and more, all connected with and managed by BlackBerry UEM. It is protected by BlackBerry® DynamicsTM, an advanced, mature, and tested secure container for mobile apps.
“When UEM was released, the firm was very keen to unify its platforms,” explains Steve Whiter, Director at Appurity. “Appurity helped them plan their mobile initiatives, scope the migration and conduct the installation, and also assisted with a rollout of Android Enterprise.”
BLM’s mobile fleet now consists of a mix of AndroidTM and iOS® devices. For Android, the firm has deployed Android Enterprise and BlackBerry Work. On iOS, staff use BlackBerry Work, protected by the BlackBerry Dynamics container. BlackBerry UEM is used to manage and secure both operating systems.
Confidentiality and Usability: For a law firm like BLM, security is the utmost priority, but it also needs to ensure that its lawyers are able to work efficiently while out of the office. BlackBerry enables the firm to achieve that goal. As the highest scorer in all six uses cases in Gartner’s 2017 Critical Capabilities for High Security Mobility Management Report, BlackBerry’s solutions are designed with security at their core.
More importantly, BlackBerry solutions keep the firm knowledgeable about and in control of the confidential data it needs to keep safe – without impeding its end users.
“A lot of our users are used to native email on iPhone or Android,” explains Broughton. “We needed to offer a user experience that’s just as intuitive. BlackBerry provides that, and the security they bring cannot be replicated anywhere else.”
Ease of Compliance: Through BlackBerry UEM, BlackBerry Work, and the BlackBerry Dynamics container, BLM is well-suited to meet even the strictest of regulatory guidelines with its mobile deployment. To comply with the GDPR, for example, the firm already had the requisite policies and profiles in place, backed up by a stable, secure platform – this made adapting to the EU’s new data privacy law much less cumbersome.
“Our compliance team made a lot of changes to other areas of our business to prepare us for the GDPR.” says Broughton. “We haven’t had to make any radical changes to how we manage mobility, however. On the mobile side, we’re pretty much on top of it – thanks in no small part to BlackBerry.”
Future Plans: Currently, the firm’s lawyers use third-party app iManage extensively on both laptops and desktops. A document management system that tracks and stores files, iManage is widely used in the legal services industry. As such, BLM’s next step is to seek a means to enable the use of iManage on iOS and Android.
Beyond that, the firm is also evaluating several new apps that will help its lawyers be more productive while out of the office.
Appurity are top-tier BlackBerry Platinum Partners with many years’ experience in design and delivery of UEM, the first UK accredited partner for BlackBerry® Workspaces and also deliver BlackBerry® AtHoc®crisis management solutions to its customers.