Basler goes Mobile

Baloise Insurance has already used BSI CRM for several years as its central CRM solution and in complaint management. After upgrading to the latest BSI CRM indigo release, the next step was to also make it available for smart phones and tablets. A CRM that is accessible on the go opens up many new possibilities for Baloise’s customer representatives, who are often out in the field on numerous consultancy appointments. Mobile access to contact and contract data supports consulting, as does the ability to keep contact and lead data up to date at all times. Pre- and post-processing can now be taken care of directly on site between consultancy appointments. 

The challenge

As a Web application, BSI CRM Indigo provides an HTML5 interface that is specially tuned for mobile devices. The CRM can be used directly in mobile browsers and offers a perfectly adapted user interface, even on small touchscreens.

But how can the comprehensive and highly-sensitive CRM data of an insurance company be reliably protected if the mobile end devices are connected to the CRM server through the public Internet? What happens when unwanted malware, which steals confidential data or attacks backend systems, is installed on a smart phone that is used for business? This poses diverse challenges in terms of data security and data protection. 

What is the solution?

Basically, it is not possible to access the internal CRM server via the Internet. It is generally protected by multiple firewalls and security systems.

The goal can nevertheless be achieved by using enterprise mobility management software: this makes it possible to also use mobile devices safely in a business context. This is specifically attained using sandboxed apps: the browser, file sharing, mail and calendar data, etc., run in their own largely compartmentalized environment, a so-called sandbox. With the mobile browser solution that is already available to all Baloise employees, a connection to the CRM can be established with strong encryption. 

The implementation

After activation of the CRM for mobile devices, the compatibility to the proprietary, secure browser had to be checked since it is not a Web client that is officially supported by BSI CRM. The interplay proved to be absolutely trouble-free, because the render engines of the standard browser from Apple and Google are used. This ensures that the CRM Web interface acts exactly the same as it does on the preinstalled mobile browsers.

This meant that nothing further stood in the way of the first productive pilot operation with five users. At the same time, systematic tests with various mobile devices and configurations were conducted by the CRM development team. The following adaptations and improvements were made in the course of this test phase:

  • Setting up of single-sign-on (SSO): after biometric access is granted via a fingerprint scanner, the user also receives mobile access to the CRM without an additional password entry
  • Optimization of several CRM configurations for the mobile view
  • Screening out of functions that do not apply for mobile devices, such as campaign management
  • Troubleshooting of minor bugs

Summary

Since BSI CRM is entirely based on Web standards, it can also be used without problems within a sandboxed browser. The way is thus free for secure use on both smart phones and tablets. The whole implementation, including testing and communication measures, took place in just six weeks. This short time-to-market was only made possible by consistent use of standard software. This makes the rapid and smooth BSI CRM mobile introduction for Baloise a successful example of the ‘take before make’ acquisition strategy.