Ballance Agri-Nutrients Limited is a 100-percent farmer-owned co-operative, with almost 19,000 shareholders throughout New Zealand. Ballance's approach is to help its customers' farm more profitably and sustainably through the provision of complete farm nutrient management advice, products and technology including fertiliser, feed, online farm management and aerial topdressing.

With a widespread network of locations, and a large number of staff to support, Ballance Agri-Nutrients continually reviews its systems and technology to find ways to work smarter, not harder. Recent reviews identified an opportunity to leverage smartphone technology, and empower staff to become more productive. The team began evaluating the mobile device management software options currently available, in a bid to find the best solution for seamlessly rolling out new smartphone devices across the business.

"We needed to find a robust mobile management software solution that would make it easy to roll-out new smartphone devices across the business, and in particular, into our 38 service centres throughout the country," says Tim Lloyd, Information Systems Infrastructure Manager at Ballance Agri-Nutrients.

"It's not easy for our service centre staff to physically hand over their phones for them to be configured for email, so we needed a solution that would allow us to set-up their devices remotely," he explains. Ballance undertook a rigorous review of the various software options available, identifying what it felt was the one solution that could meet the specific needs of the business, while also rating highly enough against its strict set of performance criteria.

"We conducted a detailed analysis of independent Gartner Reports in which SOPHOS Complete Security Suite reviewed most favourably," says Mr Lloyd. "We also looked carefully at what our colleagues and peers were using in the UK, and no other solution came close to the positive feedback we received about SOPHOS," he adds.

Mr Lloyd met with IT Security specialist SSS to learn more about SOPHOS Complete Security Suite. "Initially we were only really focused on our immediate need for a mobile device management solution, so when we started to learn more about the other things that SOPHOS could offer, we were pretty impressed," says Mr Lloyd.

"At the time at Ballance we had what could only be described as an 'adequate' MailMarshal solution and Anti-Virus software that was doing an OK job for the business," states Mr Lloyd. "So the comprehensive AV and web filtering functionality that SOPHOS Complete Security Suite also offered was a real bonus for us," he explains.

This unexpected, additional functionality made the overall value proposition of SOPHOS Complete Security Suite even more compelling to the team at Ballance. "The pricing for SOPHOS was already very good, and so the extra features made it even more cost-effective for us, and a stand-out in terms of overall value versus other products on the market," says Mr Lloyd.


Tim Lloyd, Information Systems Infrastructure Manager at Ballance Agri-Nutrients