Federal Agency Automates Mobile Device Management with MuleSoft API-Led Initiative
While most people upgrade their phones for new features, government entities must be concerned about feasibility and security for their employees' devices. Older devices are not only difficult to maintain, but they can also become a security risk.
Managing when thousands of devices are due for upgrades or hit their end-of-life is a daunting task. Our client, a federal agency, was burdened with a manual process for reconciling mobile device and user data to identify employees who should be notified of their upgrade eligibility or end of life warning for each device.
As with many manual processes, the effort and the potential for human error were high. More importantly, missing a device upgrade could leave the agency open to a breach. Our client needed a way to simplify aggregating mobile device and user data with carrier information and automating the notification process.
Big Compass stepped in to help navigate the project's complexity by connecting two disparate systems that were critical to the project’s success - ServiceNow and MaaS360. The client and Big Compass agreed that MuleSoft could provide a path toward a more streamlined identification and alerting process.
Because MaaS360 held sensitive data, including mobile devices and personal information, the solution needed to facilitate secure and access-based API connections. MuleSoft offered that security, plus the ability to rapidly develop the API between ServiceNow and MaaS360 with the added benefit of great API management and governance.
The new workflow removed processing volume and transformations from ServiceNow, taking the heavy lifting in the MuleSoft Process API. Using best practices of API-layering, Big Compass built a MuleSoft process and system API, enabling the process to move from originating with a staff member to kicking off automatically.
Once an email is sent from the device carrier to ServiceNow, the MuleSoft service is instantiated invoked to enrich the data held in MaaS360 through multiple calls. That transformed and updated data is then returned through a MuleSoft API to ServiceNow, whose workflow manages the automated process to handle end-of-life and upgrade notifications and surplus tasks.
The number of devices involved is substantial. The Big Compass developed solution leverages pagination on the MaaS360 API, using parallel processing for enriching each device to minimize processing time.
The results have been impressive for the federal agency and go well beyond the many hours a month saved in eliminating a manual task.
The process can now be run at any time. As a manual process, this was restricted to only once a month and was fraught with opportunities for errors or missed entries. There is minimum delay between notification of a device’s end-of-life or upgrade eligibility and notification to the employee.
While there is no current need for a similar service, the APIs were built with reusability in mind. When another requirement requiring registered access for mobile device data, the API is already available, shortening the distance between agency need and execution.
Primarily, however, the Big Compass solution provides precisely the value that the customer was looking for - the ability to significantly improve security by keeping devices within their support parameters and up to date, simply and consistently.