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Lörrach Council in Germany benefiting from secure mobile communications with Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G

The rollout of nearly 400 smartphones — which have gradually replaced existing devices — is about to be completed. The new Nokia smartphones offer simplified work processes and increasingly satisfied employees with their new devices.

• Nearly 400 Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones purchased for Lörrach Council administration office

• Fast and regular security patches for long-term information security

• Native Android OS prevents side effects from unwanted pre-installed apps on other applications

As a public administrative authority in Southwest Germany, the Lörrach Council Administration is strongly committed to information security plus the responsible use of taxpayers’ money. Therefore, these criteria played a major role in the selection process of new smartphones for its employees. Following extensive testing and feature comparisons of the available devices with the list of requirements, the district administration decided to purchase Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones.

The decisive arguments in favour of the Nokia phones were the native Android operating system, which doesn’t come with unnecessary apps on devices; the long-term and fast provision of security patches for the smartphones; and the large selection of services at a modest price. The rollout of nearly 400 smartphones — which have gradually replaced existing devices — is about to be completed. The new Nokia smartphones offer simplified work processes and increasingly satisfied employees with their new devices.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Objective

Lörrach Council would like to replace its employees’ devices with secure and powerful smartphones. The existing phones are outdated in terms of security patches. With a mandate to use taxpayers’ money responsibly, the new smartphones must have a long security patch support – preferably three years. Due to the highly sensitive nature and handling of personal and sensitive data, there must be no security breaches throughout their use.

Solution

Following an extensive real-life trial and a comparison of the technical performance data with the list of requirements, the Lörrach Council decided to commit to Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones. The attractive price of the devices also met the requirement for the responsible use of taxpayers’ money. Nearly 400 Council employees now use high-performance Nokia smartphones with long-term security updates.

Advantages

• High-security level and long life cycle with monthly security updates for up to three years*

• Smartphones with pure Android and no bloatware simplifies processes for IT and users

• Low investment costs with cost-effective, but powerful, Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones

• Simple operation and detailed user guides reduce the support workload

“Never change a stable system”. Günter Dußmann, IT system administrator at Lörrach Council, would have loved to follow this motto for the mobile phone infrastructure. “However, the manufacturer of our previous mobile phones, which we had been using for many years, was no longer willing to continue providing security patches,” explained Dußmann. As a result, he took urgent action regarding the Council’s smartphone fleet last year to prevent the mobile phones from weakening the IT infrastructure.

NO COMPROMISES ON SECURITY

“The district can’t afford a security breach,” said Dußmann. Why he doesn’t compromise on security becomes clear when you consider the variety of tasks performed by the staff in the southern German district. Among other things, they take care of public health, construction supervision, educational counselling and family assistance, support immigrants and provide disaster control. This brief overview from the list of tasks of the Lörrach Council shows that the employees deal with highly sensitive and personal data. Informationsec urity and data protection must therefore also be a top priority for mobile communications. A team led by Dußmann set out to find new smartphones. High-security standards, compatibility with the existing applications, outstanding battery performance for a whole working day, cost efficiency and an attractive design were the most important requirements for the new devices. Of course, they also had to be compatible with the existing Blackberry mobile device management system.

NOKIA SMARTPHONES CONVINCING IN FIELD TEST

Following a comprehensive evaluation, it was decided to equip staff with Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones in the future. *“First, we asked our long-term supplier, Brodos, to provide us with a selection of smartphones from different manufacturers and with different operating systems,” Dußmann reported. “We wanted to test these in real-life scenarios within our infrastructure.” This was when a favourite already emerged. “The Nokia devices mastered all of our tests without any problems,” said the IT administrator. He suspects that the good result “is largely due to the fact that the devices are free of unnecessary software when delivered and therefore no unwanted side effects result from the many other applications used in the Council”.*

HMD Global, the manufacturer of Nokia smartphones, offers a wide range of devices that are part of Google’s Android One programme.The programme includes phones furnished with a native Android operating system and free of unnecessary apps (aka bloatware). The excellent performance of Nokia smartphones in the field tests only brought about a preliminary decision. As mentioned earlier, the devices needed to fulfil the security requirements of the district administration. Here, the Nokia smartphones succeeded thanks to HMD Global’s security patch promise, which is linked to the Android One programme. To fulfil the programme’s requirements, devices must receive monthly security updates for three years in addition to two upgrades to the Android operating system*.

This commitment provided another argument in favour of Nokia smartphones. Dußmann said, “As a public sector organisation, we are obliged to be as economical as possible with taxpayers’ money. Saving costs is one reason why we want to use the devices longer.” However, this is only possible if the smartphones receive security updates for a longer period of time.

DURABLE SMARTPHONES IMPROVE TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP (TCO)

The extended term of use is another reason why the Lörrach Council purchases the smartphones rather than leasing them. A cost calculation for the predecessor models had already revealed that buying made more sense than leasing over the entire period of use. This attractive total cost of ownership was another reason Nokia smartphones were selected. *“It makes a difference whether we spend 1,000 euros on a device or only a few hundred euros as in the case of the chosen Nokia smartphones and which provide us with the required performance,”* explained Dußmann. The Nokia 7.2 and Nokia 8.3 5G smartphones had easily fulfilled the performance test in the field.

MINIMAL SUPPORT REQUESTS

The replacement of the smartphone fleet at the Lörrach Council is nearly completed. There are nearly no support requests from users for the new Nokia smartphones. The IT administrator considers this a good sign that the users, who are also allowed to use their smartphones privately outside of working hours, are having no issues with the new hardware and software.“For IT, a good device is one that we never see again after the rollout,” said Dußmann. He added: “The Nokia devices’ very good user guides in German, which users can access online, contribute to their satisfaction.” Dußmann also credits the low number of queries to the roll-out, which he handles in a personal way: *“There are many users in our organisation, who appreciate a device being set up completely before being taken into use. We want and need to offer them a helping hand,”* he explained.

That is why he enrols the smartphones into the Council’s Administration’s device management solution, which takes just a few minutes. During the faceto-face handover, he can explain a few special functions and answer questions if necessary. The administrator is convinced that the additional effort is worth it. If he gets tired of the handover or can no longer manage it in time, he then has the option of automating the roll-out via Android Zero-Touch enrolment. This allows the devices to be preconfigured in such a way that they automatically register to the mobile device management solution when they are switched on for the first time after the users have logged in with their access data.

__All in all, the IT administrator is extremely satisfied with the renewal of the smartphone fleet of the Lörrach Council. “We are happy with the choice of Nokia smartphones,” he concluded.

*From the time of launch of the respective Nokia smartphone.

About the Lörrach Council

The Lörrach Council is the local authority of the district of Lörrach and at the same time a lower state administrative authority with a wide range of different functions: service provider and contact for citizens and businesses in the district, licensing authority, regulatory authority and supervisory authority. The District Administration also offers apprenticeships in various professions. The District Administration is headed by the District Administrator, both at the municipal and the state level. For further information: www.loerrach-landkreis.de

About HMD Global

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, HMD Global Oy (“HMD”) is the home of Nokia phones. HMD’s mission is providing accessible connectivity for everyone. HMD designs and markets a range of Nokia smartphones and Nokia feature phones and an expanding portfolio of innovative HMD service offerings. With an ongoing commitment to security, durability, reliability, and quality across its range, HMD is the proud exclusive licensee of the Nokia brand for phones and tablets. For further information, see www.hmdglobal.com.