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Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)  |  Case Study

Mobile Device Solutions

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) 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.

What Defra says about our work

“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 boxxe has delivered all projects on time and within all agreed performance parameters.”

Graham Wells , Cloud Service Manager, Defra


Mobile device management


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) required 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 35,000 mobile devices used by Defra, Environment Agency (EA) and Rural Payments Agency (RPA) employees.


Each of these agencies had 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.




boxxe proposed VMware Workspace ONE as the preferred Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. The rich functionality provided precisely matched the needs and aspirations of Defra and its stakeholders. VMware Workspace ONE simplified the management and monitoring of large numbers of mobile devices, whilst ensuring the security of those devices and the data accessed and stored.


VMware Workspace ONE enabled all Defra mobile devices, of any type, to be managed from a central console. This included enrolling new devices, managing all apps used by field personnel through secure access to central servers at Defra, managing email access and encryption, and allowing content sharing and collaboration across devices.


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


Hosted service & ongoing support

Our technical consultants began designing and building the infrastructure for the hosted service, integrating it with existing service providers through a central network hub, 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 allowed the load to be shared between the two sites and, and meant that all services could be switched from one data centre to the other, in the event of a fault.  This gave Defra assurances about the continuity of its mobility management service.  boxxe carried out full penetration and security testing before the system was launched.


boxxe continues to proactively monitor all connections to ensure the availability of the overall network and to respond to any events or losses 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 VMware Workspace ONE, responsible for solving any related issues.


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

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 VMware Workspace ONE, boxxe migrated 1,800 devices onto the system before an existing Blackberry hosted environment expired, achieving all enrolments on schedule.


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


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

Key takeouts

6,000 devices registered to VMware Workspace ONE
5,000 active users
800 monthly access requests handled by boxxe service desk
99% availability across-the-board since launch

Why choose boxxe?

Expertise and experience in deploying and managing VMware Workspace ONE on a large scale

All elements of the VMware Workspace ONE system can be hosted by boxxe in secure data centres – keeping all hardware out of Defra premises

boxxe offers cost-effective solutions, with capabilities to react quickly to events and requests

Want to more about how we supported Defra with mobile device management?

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