Cytori Therapeutics Help its Global Team Stay on the Cutting Edge with Mobile Device Management
We wanted to keep our travelling staff happy, but we were uncomfortable with the security issues.”
- Matthew Bradford, Manager of IT Services, Cytori Therapeutics
About Cytori Therapeutics
Cytori Therapeutics Facts
Allow highly mobile global employees highly secure access to critical email and communications while travelling domestically and abroad on business
AT&T Wireless Services for smartphones, with centralized mobile device management using MobileIron VSP from AT&T
Easier administration of smartphone access and usage worldwide, while allowing employees to benefit from leading-edge devices
Over 125 employees
Cytori Therapeutics is a biotechnology company specializing in advanced cell therapies to repair injured tissues in the body. Based in San Diego, California, Cytori is conducting clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe using stem and regenerative cells found in a patient’s own fat tissue as a potential treatment for cardiovascular disease. Cytori also has clinical systems on the market in Europe and Asia, which allow physicians to access and re-deliver their patients’ own cells in a single surgical procedure.
As Cytori manages multiple clinical trials, product development, training
and sales efforts around the world, key employees spend considerable time in
hospitals and clinics – and need ready access to email and communications 24/7.
The company wanted to replace its employees’ devices to take advantage of
touch-screen smartphones for their ease of use and greater communications flexibility in the field. Cytori’s IT team needed a way deploy and manage these new devices, while providing highly secure access to company email.
To simplify the administration of wireless voice and data services, Cytori migrated its employees from multiple carriers to a single AT&T wireless plan with attractive rates. In addition, the company deployed MobileIron VSP from AT&T, a part of the Mobile Enterprise Management suite of solutions, to manage access to email, as well as accommodate users’ own devices – all with the same mobile device management platform.
Developing Cell Therapies
The human body has a remarkable ability to heal and repair itself, but it cannot always overcome damage brought about by certain diseases or severe tissue injuries.
Now we have one carrier and one mobile device management platform that’s easy to roll out to new people. And employees can bring their own device, which they couldn't do before.”
- Matthew Bradford, Manager of IT Services, Cytori Therapeutics
Cytori is developing innovative therapies that take advantage of the body’s natural healing ability by providing patients with access to their own stem and regenerative cells that are trapped inside their own adipose tissue. The Company’s technology allows physicians to access and deliver these cells promptly in a single surgical procedure.
Cytori is currently conducting clinical trials for its cell therapy in the U.S. and Europe as a potential treatment for cardiovascular disease. Through the funding and support of with the U.S. government, Cytori is also developing a treatment for thermal burns combined with radiation injury as part of the United States Health & Human Services National Preparedness initiative. Additionally the Company offers its technology to physicians and hospitals in Europe and Asia interested in conducting their own clinical studies to uncover new ways in which stem and regenerative cells from adipose tissue may be used to treat disease.
Whether it’s managing a number of ongoing clinical trials, navigating the labyrinth of regulatory processes in multiple countries, or visiting with physicians and clinics, Cytori’s staff conducts most of its day-to-day business far away from the office.
“We have a very large mobile fleet,” said Matthew J. Bradford, Manager of IT Services for Cytori. “With 125 employees in the U.S., Japan and Europe, we have personnel connected to and working from a mobile device every single minute and hour of the day somewhere around the globe.”
Mobile Teams Look for More Capability
To keep in touch with the company, and with each other, Cytori’s staff had relied on devices that provided voice communications as well as access to company email, contacts and calendars. While that platform was inherently secure and reliable – which was important to the IT staff – employees felt the devices were too limiting compared to the newer devices available.
“Our people saw that touch-based smartphones were more versatile, especially for access to the web, applications and reviewing or editing critical documents and presentations from the road,” said Bradford. “We even had employees who were using their personal smartphones to access company email. We wanted to keep our travelling staff happy, but we were uncomfortable with the security issues.”
Logistical considerations were also involved in migrating from the prior platform – which handled its email and other services through a special server for a flat fee. To support other smartphones, the company would need a global data service plan that would cover the access to email, calendars, the web and other services as well as a system for managing all the devices. What’s more, Bradford and his team would have to implement an Exchange Server to manage the email access.
A Data Plan and Management Platform
Bradford called in wireless carriers for ideas and noted his AT&T team offered the most attractive solution. With the number of users Cytori needed to support, AT&T was able to provide a cost-effective data plan that could cover the countries where the company operated as well as supply the smartphones. AT&T also equipped Cytori with the MobileIron VSP platform for managing the new devices.
“When I researched how MobileIron is configured I saw how easily I could secure the communications between the MobileIron servers, my server and all the devices out there. What’s more, the fact that AT&T was able to roll the MobileIron VSP into to my monthly bill made this a no-brainer.”
Bradford and team first migrated a test group and then moved over the remaining users in small batches on a weekly basis. Now a new user’s smartphone can be activated in a matter of minutes through the MobileIron portal. Each user simply downloads a free application that authorizes the phone to access the Cytori Exchange Server for email and calendars. The user employs the native mail and calendar applications built into their device with no new apps or interfaces to learn.
Similarly, if an employee leaves the company his or her device can be ‘retired’ just as quickly, rendering it unable to get to Cytori email or calendars. The action also deactivates the pop-up notifications on the phone, which would ordinarily alert the user to a new email or calendar event.
If a device is lost or stolen, Bradford can wipe all data off of it (although that capability is rarely needed, since the company enforces pass code locks for the phones). Even if an unauthorized person should find the phone, without the pass code, it would be difficult to use it.
Bradford prefers to provide, and pay for, all employees' smartphones and usage under the corporate data rate plan, which provides more attractive rates. This also offers better visibility into his costs and greatly simplifies the administration of the plan. There is essentially one bill to pay each month and one pool of minutes from one carrier. About 60 percent of his users are covered this way.
The MobileIron solution from AT&T also allows Bradford to manage and help secure the smartphones of Cytori employees based outside the country, where he cannot purchase the devices directly. In addition, Bradford can provide access for employees to email on personal phones at home or on weekends. The employee enjoys the same capabilities and Bradford and his team have the same control over the device’s security.
For Cytori, the before and after picture is dramatically different. “Before I had older phones on two cellular networks with everyone wanting more advanced devices. Now we have one carrier and one mobile device management platform that’s easy to roll out to new people. And employees can bring their own device, which they couldn't do before.”
As far as the future is concerned, Bradford says it’s difficult to make long-term plans because the business needs can change very quickly, even from day to day. He does, however, see his company having a much larger fleet of tablets.
“We can walk into a doctor's office with a tablet and show them a video of our procedure and technology or of patients that have had our procedure as well as walk them through clinical and scientific data relevant to their area of expertise. It's very moving and very effective. MobileIron will enable us to secure and manage those devices with the same platform we have now.”
Whatever happens, Bradford sees the business trending toward more mobile employees, and more mobile devices. “We used to be 60 to 75 percent desktops and 25 percent laptops, and now it's the exact opposite. Mobile is where we’re going.”