The challenge

Being a global company, it is critical for Cushman & Wakefield’s employees to travel overseas for face-to-face meetings with clients, colleagues, contractors and suppliers. The majority of the company’s international travel takes place in Europe, but occasionally its staff venture much further for business, to places like the United States, Africa and Australia.

The company’s staff were originally given BlackBerry devices, which were working well for basic email connectivity, but giving staff access to more web services would improve operational efficiencies. Recognizing this opportunity, the company’s UK, German and French operations underwent a major change, switching from BlackBerry to iPhones and at the same time they each did a full laptop refresh. The project was a significant one, and took more than three months to complete.

“One of our UK-based managers went to Australia for work and while he was there he watched a YouTube video on his phone. The bill ended up being £2,500. We couldn’t foresee this”

– Robert Fallon, IT Manager, Cushman & Wakefield

With the migration successfully finished, the 2,000 corporate-owned devices now in the hands of Cushman & Wakefield employees are mostly iPhones, and a small number of people also have iPads. Equipped with these powerful new devices, staff began using more services that consume large amounts of data like YouTube, Spotify and Netflix. Naturally, the increase in data consumption and resulting cost became a real concern for the company, especially when users were roaming.

The company’s IT Manager, Robert Fallon, knew its telecommunications provider was never likely to cap that sort of unpredictable data usage. At the time, the IT team realized that although they could try to create an acceptable usage policy, he would have no way to enforce one.

It also became clear that staff didn’t need to be overseas to exceed data allowances and incur excessive mobile data charges. Even within the UK, the company’s employees are always on the move, accessing maps and video services over a cellular connection.

Cushman & Wakefield

Company profile

Cushman & Wakefield is an American commercial real estate services company. The company has its global headquarters in Chicago, with regional headquarters in New York, London and Sydney. It’s one of the largest commercial real estate services firms on the planet, operating in 60 countries with more than 43,000 employees.

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“A member of our senior management had seen Wandera published in a Gartner report as a recommended mobile data cost management solution. After completing our own analysis, we came to the conclusion that Wandera was more feature-rich and provided better reporting than any other competing solution we looked at. Plus, with Wandera, we have the added benefit of a robust security service for our devices.”

– Robert Fallon, IT Manager, Cushman & Wakefield

The solution

In an effort to address the problem of uncontrolled mobile usage and high costs, Robert and the team started looking at Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions and solutions to manage the mobile data itself.

The company chose EMM giant AirWatch to manage its mobile devices and Wandera to manage the mobile data. Wandera’s tight integration with AirWatch made deployment straightforward and minimized administration time. Once the devices were enrolled, Wandera was pushed down to the devices, fully configured.

“Wandera works very well with AirWatch. When we deployed the AirWatch profile it was just a case of launching the Wandera app, no configuration required. The integration delivers a seamless experience to our end users.”

– Robert Fallon, IT Manager, Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield set up custom policies for different groups of users depending on how often they travelled. Infrequent roaming users have 100mb per month and frequent travellers have 500mb. He also whitelisted work-related apps to ensure they were always accessible, regardless of caps.

Customized notifications were also set up for end users when they are approaching their data allowance so they would know when to cut back on downloads and streaming, connect to Wi-Fi or contact IT to ask for an increase in their data allowance.

“We don’t get the bill shock anymore, our data consumption is stable and we can monitor what portion of data is being used for personal versus business purposes. We always know how much we will spend each month because Wandera gives us the ability to lock it down to a certain amount.”

– Robert Fallon, IT Manager, Cushman & Wakefield

The results

Cushman & Wakefield has seen great success using Wandera to optimize the international data pool plan it has with its telecommunications provider. Wandera allows the company to manage each individual’s data allowances in real-time in a way that maximizes their investment in the plan, for example by reallocating unused data to other users. Without Wandera on a device, a single user could’ve easily consumed all the data in the pool leaving other users without data and without cellular connection.

Initially, the IT team had enforced full category blocks to control unnecessary data usage, but eventually were able to leverage the flexibility of Wandera’s Content Filtering by opening access to specific services. For example, social media was blocked completely but eventually it was customized to allow marketing staff to use Twitter and Facebook. YouTube and other services that aren’t used to promote the business remain blocked.

“In the first few months of using Wandera, we were able to address access requests from staff by opening specific services for specific groups of people, provided they had a reasonable use-case for it. Now we rarely get access requests because we have adjusted the policies in a way that keeps everyone happy. The flexibility to tightly control access is good.”

– Robert Fallon, IT Manager, Cushman & Wakefield

The company has also been able to reap the compliance benefits of Wandera by blacklisting full categories that pose legal risks, such as gambling and adult services.

As the company’s mobile device estate grows and its employees’ needs change, Fallon and his team are now in a good position to continue expanding upon its comprehensive and flexible device management program.

“We find Wandera to be very helpful and always professional. From the account managers to the technical support staff, everyone is keen to hear feedback and ways they can improve the service. A lot of service providers become unresponsive once you sign on the dotted line, but with Wandera it’s more of an open dialogue and a beneficial relationship. Going forward we’d like all the devices to run Wandera, we are very happy with the solution.”


Overage fees


Average monthly reduction in roaming data usage


Content blocks through policy enforcement each month

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