Western Airways: Managing mobile devices in the sky with Hexnode


The company

Western Airways in Texas has been providing global charter flights since 1974. Founded by Captain George A. Dodge, the company began as a single-aircraft, single-pilot operation. Western Airways has since grown into one of the largest and most respected charter and management companies in the U.S. Aircraft types from turboprops to mid-size business jets to a 30-passenger regional jet are available for charter. With the highest standards of safety, Western maintains the Argus Platinum Rating for Charter Operators and IS-BAO (International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations) Certification.

The story

Western Airways has provided iPads to flight crews as EFBs (Electronic Flight Bags) in order to avail flight charts and work-specific apps to each crewmember. The technical administrator at Western Airways needed a solution to keep track of the devices. The documents and apps also needed to be regularly maintained and updated.
The technical team began looking for Mobile Device Management solutions on the market, evaluating most of the popular vendors. Many product interfaces seemed overly complex and time-consuming for what was needed. After signing up for the Hexnode MDM free trial, the team realized that the interface of this solution was very simple and could be set up and configured in no time. The uncluttered and organized UI made it possible to navigate and understand things quickly and easily.

The challenges

  • Push apps and company documents to crew member devices
  • Track the location of the devices
  • Distribute apps via Apple’s VPP (Volume Purchase Program)
  • Wipe device remotely in case of emergency
  • Basic device management

The solution

  • The apps could be easily pushed to devices from the MDM console to all the devices or selected devices remotely. The admin can make apps mandatory and discover if the device has installed the mandatory app or not. There is also an option to blacklist and whitelist the apps, where installing a blacklisted app will make the device become non-compliant. Creating an app group will make the app pushing easier since the apps are dedicated to a particular group of devices. Assigning the app group to the dedicated device or user group will get things done in two simple steps.
  • Hexnode MDM has a detailed location tracking feature, which will enable the admin to track the location of the devices at specified time periods and also see the location history of the device. The solution also allows fetching location manually whenever needed. The location history report can be downloaded from the console.
  • Apple’s Volume Purchase Program can be configured very easily from the console. Integration with VPP will help in distributing the purchased apps to the devices. Also for the devices which run on iOS 9 or higher, the apps can be pushed directly without sending an invitation first. VPP also enables the silent app installation in supervised devices which requires no intervention from the user while installing the app, making app management the more efficient.
  • Due to the importance of all data in the iPads deployed to the flight crews, an option to wipe the device when needed is crucial in the event a device is lost or compromised. With Hexnode MDM’s remote management functions, the device could be wiped or locked remotely.
  • The basic device management functions like remote wipe, lock, clear passcode, clear activation lock, app install as well as advanced features like policies and restrictions help in managing the devices to the fullest capacity.

The Result

Western Airways has secured their devices while allowing for easy, cost-effective device management with the implementation of Hexnode MDM.

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