City of Phoenix
AMI helped T-Mobile successfully stage, kit, deploy and manage 1600 connected tablets to residents of a housing project
AMI’s mobilityNOW™ MDM Solution Helped T-Mobile Land 1600 Devices with City of Phoenix
The City of Phoenix Housing Department programs provide public housing, Section 8 housing vouchers, affordable rental apartments and single-family homes to more than 35,000 area residents. In March, at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the city government appropriated funds to purchase devices and Internet service for 800 of its public housing households with school aged children. The goal was to provide a way for residents to stay connected and engage with remote education and other family benefits during the pandemic.
Pretty quickly, the team managing this project for the city of Phoenix came up against some significant challenges. First of all, the city’s IT department wasn’t in on the project, so the team managing it had no way to stage, kit, deploy and manage the tablets. Also, this project occurred in the midst of Covid-19 shut downs, making communication among the team’s teleworking members especially challenging .
The City of Phoenix team lead, Mindy Davis, worked directly with her T-Moblie rep to create quotes for the device and Internet service components of the project. The T-mobile rep also had a solution to help Mindy and her team meet the challenges of staging, kitting, deploying and managing the devices once they were purchased: AMI’s mobilityNOW MDM.
mobilityNOW MDM Solution
AMI and T-Mobile collaborated to develop a full end to end fulfillment solution – including MDM services – to enable the initiative to happen in an IT constrained environment.
These T-Mobile tablets have been:
- Configured with software and custom app catalog
- Loaded into the MDM
- Charged and packaged with a case and keyboard
The devices are supported by the mobilityNOW™ Managed Help Desk that provides all ongoing device management needs.
In addition to providing the software that could help the city of Phoenix stage, kit and image all the devices they purchased prior to distributing them to residents, the AMI mobility team also collaborated to problem-solve around key issues like: which apps to include, how to create bookmark features, how to lock devices in the event of loss/theft and how to broadcast messages across all devices.
In June of 2020, the Phoenix city council approved the budget and plan, and the first deployment event occurred June 25th. The goal was to get these devices in the hands of resident families by the time school started, because families were in dire need of these resources.
After deployment, Mindy and her team started getting thank-you-notes from residents. One woman wrote about the impact of these devices on her family – particularly her son with learning disabilities. This mother had to piece together a patchwork of wifi hotspots – including from the parking lots of various coffee shops – just to allow her son the ability to Zoom with his teacher and keep on pace with his learning. These new tablets made that scenario a thing of the past.
In September, Mindy’s team received additional funding and went back to T-Mobile and AMI for round two – ordering 800 more devices. This time the project is centered around seniors. The hope is these devices will give them a safe way to connect during the pandemic – with family, with telemedicine appointments and with online social activities.
“I would not have delivered the same quality of product if we had not partnered with T-Mobile and AMI. We’re providing tablets to people who may have never had Internet in the home before; they might not even have an email address. AMI and T-Mobile fully embraced my vision. They understood the importance of what we were trying to do for our residents, how this might impact their lives and why it needed to be as perfect as possible. I could not have done this without them.”
Connect Home Project Manager
City of Phoenix Housing