Village Roadshow is a large Australian company with a diversified portfolio of interests. The firm is one of Australia’s largest cinema operators, and combined with joint venture partner Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited has nearly 600 screens across 58 sites across all Australian states. It also has a national film distribution business supporting film production companies and their audiences. Village Roadshow is also Australia’s largest theme park operator with properties such as Warner Bros Movie World and Sea World on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
In mid-2018, Village Roadshow was facing an increasing challenge posed by the number of staff who needed to work outside their traditional offices. Staff members wanted to be able to access core services, such as email, calendar applications and files, via mobile devices while in the field.
The company was also keen to improve its overall levels of IT security to ensure data and applications were protected both while being stored and when accessed by staff.
“We knew we had to find a better way of managing the mobile devices staff were using to access our core IT services,” says Village Roadshow Group IT Lead Architect Rob Marathakis.
After evaluating a range of options, the Village Roadshow IT team developed a new strategy. Dubbed the Federated Identity and Access Management program (FIDAM), it was designed to better manage the way users were accessing the company’s applications and resources.
“A core part of this strategy involved implementing a new platform to better manage our fleet of mobile devices,” says Marathakis. “We wanted a solution that could support our diverse ecosystem, manage devices and help to protect our data.”
Working with IT partner Linktech Australia, Village Roadshow assessed a number of alternatives before deciding to deploy Microsoft Intune. The Intune integrated endpoint management system ensures both company-issued and BYOD devices are secured and up-to-date.
Deployment of the platform began in December 2018 and was completed within six months.
With Intune in place, the Village Roadshow IT team could quickly see that the company’s mobile device security had significantly improved. The team could view all devices connecting to the network and check to ensure that they had the most up-to-date security software installed.
“We were also able to make use of multi-factor authentication which we had not had in place before when it came to things like remote access for email or Microsoft Teams,” says Marathakis. “It gives us an additional layer of security which is essential for providing our staff flexibility without increased risk.”
With staff now fully trained on the new device management platform, efficiencies are beginning to appear. The number of calls to the help desk has fallen and staff report they are easily able to access the centralised services and data they require.
“We are now moving to implement a single sign-on system for a range of our applications, which will smooth workflows even further. People will no longer have to log separately into applications which will improve their productivity and reduce frustration.”
Marathakis says the IT team has now rolled out a number of new services including Windows 10 and Teams Video Conferencing to further improve functionality for remote and mobile workers.
“Working with Linktech Australia, we now have in place a foundation that can support our endeavours in the future,” he says. “Staff can take advantage of the benefits of remote working without being constrained by security issues or cumbersome log-in requirements. With this in place, we’re ready to meet the changing needs of our business.”