Watson's Personal Care Stores (Watsons), Asia’s largest health and beauty care retail chain, boasts morethan 1,600 stores and 1,165 in-store pharmacies across ten Asian and two European markets. It opened its first China store in April 1989 in Beijing and has since celebrated more than 1,000 store openings, employed over 13,000 employees and built up a membership base exceeding 22 million across the country, thus standing out as the largest health and beauty care retail chain in China today.
Watsons has always placed a strong emphasis on computerisation. The deployment of ERP, BPM, inventory management, human resource, mobile/handheld device, petty cash management and other systems, has spurred its business development tremendously. Apart from system development, its IT department is also responsible for data analysis. To them, paying attention to customers is an extremely valuable work. According to its Head of IT, “Our customer's words speak much louder than ours.” They collect, analyse, research and incorporate the shopping preferences and related data of different customer groups, and then effectively offer personalised promotions to shoppers. This has resulted in an at least three-fold increase in recurring sales.
Computerisation development, however, has also posed corresponding challenges to Watsons, due to its status as the largest health and beauty care retail chain in China today. Tackling the question of how to ensure that its supply chain can keep up with the ever-expanding operations and maximise its operational efficiency while recovering investments and achieving profitability quickly, has thus become the primary goal of its IT department. In this regard, its Head of IT said, “How to achieve fast and agile responsiveness in today’s business environment, is a pressing problem that we need to solve.”
Widespread Penetration of Mobile Devices Poses New Challenges to Security Management
The widespread penetration of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices has given rise to a convenient, truly unlimited environment that enables work to be done anywhere, anytime. Although such devices bring much convenience to the development of a large company like Watsons with branches all over China, their usage poses security threats and vulnerabilities to the company and has become the focus of attention of its IT department: employees’ mobile devices are being compromised to download malwares, transmit confidential documents or perform other security breaches, leading to data loss or misuse, which, in turn, results in significant liabilities for the company. Thus, how can they safeguard their employees working in the offices, as well as ensure that their managers are fully protected against attacks by security threats while using mobile devices on the move?
Moreover, according to the latest report from CSI, mobile devices are the leading source for loss or theft of corporate intellectual property and user information, accounting for nearly half of all incidents. Companies of all sizes may likely be exposed to data breaches, including loss, theft or misuse of devices, data leakage, and unauthorised use of the corporate network. The Head of IT at Watsons said, “We urgently need a robust security product that can improve the security control and protection of business-sensitive data stored on personal smart devices.”
Watsons’ Safety Requirements
After extensive comparisons and consultations, Watsons eventually decided to deploy the McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management solution. In this regard, its Head of IT said, “We chose McAfee because we were impressed with its unique advantages in terms of enabling mobile devices to be incorporated into the security infrastructure. In addition, its security management software McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (McAfee ePO) is capable of managing more than 30 million terminals, and its renowned smart threat detection system McAfee Global Threat Intelligence offers 24-hour back-end security support. This is also the reason why we finally chose McAfee.”
“In the past, we were unable to manage and control the security of business-sensitive data stored on personal smart devices. After deploying the McAfee EMM solution, we are now able to meet the mobile office demands of our management staff in the various regions, as well as protect our business data effectively and reduce the risks posed by security threats. This is the cornerstone of our IT team’s success.”Head of IT, Watsons
McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management
McAfee helped Watsons deploy the McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management (McAfee EMM) solution. This solution enables employees to decide on their choice of mobile devices while still able to access corporate applications securely and conveniently.
Three-Fold Protection Solution for Mobile Security
Protection of Mobile Devices: With support for all smartphones and tablets running on Apple iOS, Google Android, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Symbian and HP WebOS, the McAfee Enterprise Mobility Management platform enables Watsons to extend its corporate applications to the mobile network. The Head of IT at Watsons said, “McAfee EMM is a complete security solution that supports a variety of mobile devices, thus enabling us to achieve a secure, convenient and scalable mobile office environment.”
Protection of Mobile Data: Protection of sensitive corporate data is of utmost importance, and McAfee is capable of preventing non-encrypted devices from accessing the corporate network and data.
Protection of Mobile Applications: McAfee EMM goes beyond the traditional email and web protection by protecting mobile applications, as well. The Head of IT at Watsons said, “Our mobile applications can now be accessed from anywhere, and the number of users has increased by millions. McAfee EMM has done a good job in helping us eliminate potential threats and free our IT administrators from worries.”
High Level of Security and Control
The McAfee EMM solution comes with the McAfee EMM device agent and brings the same high level of security and control to mobile devices (including employee-owned smartphones and tablets) that IT applies to laptops and desktops. Moreover, thanks to its seamless integration with McAfee ePO, data from the McAfee EMM device agent also gets displayed on the McAfee ePO dashboard, for the relevant Watsons IT staff to view and examine the details directly.
Easy Deployment of Mobile Security
Security Risks Posed by Mobile Devices at Work Reduced
McAfee EMM is capable of minimising business and personal liability risks and blocks unauthorised, unsecured or modified devices such as jailbroken iPhones. Apart from ensuring the security of mobile devices, the McAfee solution also enables the IT department of Watsons to enforce regulatory compliance and corporate policies as well as meet IT audit demands by providing consolidated reports. The Head of IT at Watsons commented: “McAfee’s security products not only satisfy the management and scalability requirements of Watsons IT deployments, but also ensure security and control, thus enabling the management and staff of our various subsidiaries to use their mobile devices securely without any worries.”
Reshaping IT Values through Intelligent Security and Control of Mobile Devices
Watsons has been developing tremendously over the past few years. Owing to their advanced work ideologies and modern ways of working, its IT team has earned an exceptionally high level of recognition in the IT profession. To its IT department, corporate information resources should be a core value held by a company. Information technology helps a company improve operational efficiency by saving manpower and time significantly and providing relevant information to the right people at the right time. In the course of reshaping its IT values, McAfee’s solution has certainly lent a helping hand.
In this regard, the Head of IT at Watsons commented: “In the past, we were unable to manage and control the security of businesssensitive data stored on personal smart devices. After deploying the McAfee EMM solution, we are now able to meet the mobile office demands of our management staff in the various regions, as well as protect our business data effectively and reduce the risks posed by security threats. This is the cornerstone of our IT team’s success.”