Audit Office selects Unisys, BlackBerry for workforce device management

The Australian National Audit Office has tapped Unisys and BlackBerry to provide workforce and mobility management services.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

The Australian National Audit Office has re-signed Unisys to manage its desktop, infrastructure, and mobility services for the next three and a half years, and will begin using BlackBerry's managed mobility service platform, BES10.

The ANAO provides auditing and assurance services to over 300 government departments and to the parliament, and Unisys has provided managed services to the office for the past 16 years. Under the 3.5 year extension, Unisys has offered to extend service desk hours, and offer more business applications in addition to its existing offering of desktop support, LAN, security, and desktop asset management.

The ANAO has also signed a support agreement with BlackBerry to provide its BES10 platform for mobile device management that can accommodate BlackBerry, iOS, and Android devices.

A spokesperson for Unisys said it will provide level 1 and 2 support for the BES10 service and mobile devices, and Unisys will take on support from BlackBerry on behalf of the ANAO where required.

The spokesperson said that the mobile devices currently in the ANAO fleet have been procured by ANAO, but there is a small bring your own device (BYOD) trial under way.

BlackBerry Australia managing director Matthew Ball told ZDNet that the ANAO had a long term mobile strategy planned.

"They've got a pretty comprehensive mobility strategy in place. The security part was important, as was having some control and enablement of their team," he said.

ANAO CIO Gary Pettigrove said that it was important that ANAO's mobile plan met the strict security requirements of government.

"As a department that sets best practices for others, it is important that we deliver a mobile strategy that meets our strict security requirements, but also drives productivity through real-time communications and enabling choice for our employees," he said in a statement.

"About 86 percent of our workforce is mobile and needs to work fast and flexibly across multiple functions of parliament, whilst maintaining the integrity and security of national information. By enabling and protecting our workforce with control over the use of work and personal data, we are driving significant efficiencies among our workforce whilst leveraging the capabilities of BES10."

BlackBerry also announced today that industrial services company Questas will also be deploying BlackBerry smartphones across its workforce. The Canadian telecommunications manufacturer is hoping that a shift in focus to mobile device management will help regain some of the company's losses in enterprise businesses as more and more companies and government agencies switch to iOS, Android, or Windows smartphones.

In December, ZDNet revealed that Defence was looking to shift to iOS from BlackBerry in 2014.

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