Consumerization: Stepping Out of the Shadows

The idea of Consumerization – using self-owned technology for both business and personal purposes – is still a notion that is surrounded by a cloud of enterprise uncertainty. But, even with the seemingly negative analysis of its cost-effectiveness, support for Consumerization, or the “bring your own device” (BYOD) system has risen dramatically in a short period of time. What are the complexities of such a system, and how are companies making it work for them?


Image Courtesy of Phil Campbell


Mobile Device Management Outsourcing – The Silver Lining

Besides being more costly, a consumerised enterprise scheme is more labour-intensive due to the nature of Consumerization itself. Companies have to deal with different accounts and different people, making ICT management more complicated. But even with all these, there was a significant increase in companies adopting BYOD – up from 15% in 2011 to 28% in 2012, according to a Yankee Group study. For some reason, businesses were actually making BYOD work for them. A possible reason is that companies are employing outsourced Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. In the United Kingdom, for instance, mobile company O2’s Enterprise arm focuses on such a venture. Besides offering O2’s mobile phones and contracts, the London-based telecom together with Uplands is pushing Joined Up Communications. This initiative aims for a single solution to MDM, removing the burden of work from the enterprise at rates competitive with a corporate-liable scheme.


The Dark Cloud of IT-ification

While the concept of BYOD is seemingly a very good prospect at first look, enterprise costing analytics stands opposed the idea. According to a Q1 2012 survey by the Aberdeen Group, a consumerised business environment will appear to be around 12.5% cheaper to operate than a company-owned solution. But considering the individual cost of reimbursement and expense report processing, BYOD actually becomes 16% more expensive to maintain than a corporate-liable setting. As an example, the survey data showed that on a BYOD setting, typical ICT expenses per user cost $70, compared to $80 for a corporate-managed scheme. But processing expense reports amount to just $5 for the latter, compared to $30 for consumerised, which is six times as much.


Shifting Focus on Apps and Content

One of the underlying problems of a BYOD setting is that MDM puts a tremendous amount of risk to the enterprise. Different platforms require different levels of security with regard to hardware and corporate network infrastructure. The Yankee Group conducted another Yankee survey to determine the levels of difficulty specific facets of MDM. The results of the survey pointed to the idea that with BYOD, security is shifting from the devices themselves to the apps and data, which points to traditional MDM becoming irrelevant in the long run. This becomes a driving reason for enterprises to adopt a consumerised corporate ICT model.


What Works

A point of particular interest is that in the Yankee Group’s study on BYOD adoption, a sizeable percentage of UK-based companies employ a combined approach. 38% of them were already supporting a hybrid BYOD and corporate-owned setup. What’s even better is, over 77% were already planning to provide staff’s personal devices access to enterprise apps and data. Transitioning from a traditional company-owned MDM scheme to BYOD will definitely take some time for large-scale companies. Small-scale enterprises on the other hand, particularly those that lack the resources to maintain in-house MDM will benefit a lot from Consumerization.


Are you considering adopting BYOD for your business? Share with us your thoughts and feedback.


About the Author: Taylor Jennings is a freelance writer who is interested in future tech, art and design, gadgets, as well as the latest developments from brands and industry innovators like Microsoft, O2, and Apple. He is currently a regular contributor to an up-start tech blog: Feel free to follow Taylor on Twitter.

Congrats on That New Phone! Creative Suggestions for Destroying the Old One

We’ve all been trapped behind the technological curve at some point, and at times nothing can be more frustrating than having an outdated phone. Nothing can nurse the desire to break something like your friends surfing the Internet at 4G speeds while you suffer through dropped calls. When you do get a new phone, you probably want nothing more than to destroy the old one, but what’s the most efficient and satisfying way to do so?  Grab your cellphone and protective gear, and remember to wipe the phone’s memory before you start; protection from identity theft is just as important as good safety goggles and gloves. Actually, for safety’s sake, it’s probably better you don’t try any of these methods at home.


Effective, simple and easy, using a drill to punch an inch wide hole through your phone might require some special equipment, but is practically effortless. What’s more, you can put a nail through the hole and hang it somewhere as a warning to other old phones. This will show them who’s boss.

Pros: Feel powerful using tools to destroy things.
Cons: Leaves much of phone intact; it doesn’t feel as “final” as other methods.

Target Practice

If you have several old phones, lining them up in the backyard and taking aim with a pellet rifle can not only provide satisfaction, but can also prepare you for the zombie apocalypse, where paper targets will be in short supply but cellphones will be laying in landfills forever. Blindfolding the phones beforehand can lend this method a particularly effective form of drama.

Pros: Improve your accuracy; it’s a great chance to quote action movies.
Cons: Neighbors will probably call the cops.


Probably the easiest way to execute an old phone is to toss it in a microwave and press “popcorn.” This method is the most detached and aloof of the techniques presented, which adds insult to injury for your obsolete phone. Remember, you’ll probably want to eat things you cooked in the microwave later, so don’t use mom’s appliances for this kind of wholesale destruction.

Pros: Low effort and built-in suspense. Destruction via radiation is especially ironic.
Cons: Toxic fumes might rend the veil between this world and the next. See Geekologie video on “Cellphone In Microwave.”

Caution: video contains light swearing, which seems appropriate given the toxic fumes and fire.


In a festive mood? Strap some fireworks to your old phone and detonate it to celebrate your upgrade into the world of modern technology. Wearing festive hats is optional, but highly recommended.

Pros: Looks pretty cool in slow motion.
Cons: You could lose a finger, could lose all fingers, or could be placed on the NSA watch list.


For as long as mankind has wanted to destroy something, we have turned to fire. Perhaps the most primal way to destroy your old mobile device, using fire will help you get back in touch with the primitive you, the one who would have seen the cell phone for the evil sorcery that it really is. As ancient strategist Sun Tzu would suggest, it’s best to be upwind from a fire you start, lest you suffer the same fate as your enemy.

Pros: It’s on fire!

Cons: It’s on fire!


Wow… these were some pretty crazy stunts to rid yourself of an old cellular phone, and although these videos were entertaining, we don’t suggest that you do any of them.

So let’s put all kidding aside, and get serious now… for safety’s sake, we do not endorse these methods for the disposing of your old mobile device. Being more environmentally conscious, there are many safe and easy ways to get rid of your old wireless phone. Try selling it on eBay (you never know who may want your model of phone), many non-profit organizations will take used cell phones and then sell them to a recycling company (and use the funds within their organization to do good), and sometimes your wireless provider will simply take your old phone as a trade-in towards the purchase of a new mobile device.

So think about it… you’ve got safe options.


Moving to a BYOD Environment – Good or Bad?

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)… Is it for your Company?

An article posted by the Aberdeen group ( talks about the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) work environments.

The article shows a higher overall cost to those environments that utilize BYOD and they hit the nail on the head, but only scratched the surface. Managing 1000 units across one corporate account will also produce substantial savings opportunities through areas such as: voice pooling, data pooling, internal calling options, bulk carrier discounts, and access to more lucrative plans and features – not generally available to the individual consumer.

Management of the fleet is far more cost effective when managed corporately. Managing individual consumer accounts is extremely labour intensive and generally difficult to find cost savings, as they are outside of the Corporate Group. As an analyst with, GILL Technologies, that reviews thousands of mobile bills on a regular basis, I can tell you that finding carrier billing errors is much less labour intensive when there is some consistency to the account. Plan and feature savings are much easier to lay out with corporate accounts rather than individual consumer accounts. When people travel, dealing with any additional long distance and roaming can produce greater savings over corporate accounts. All this means higher costs when working with individual consumer accounts. You also need to factor in the additional challenge of people on and off trying to manage their own accounts. Sometimes people remember to make the changes and sometimes those changes are the right ones. But this is NOT always the case.

Another area where it is more cost effective to manage a corporate mobile device fleet over individual units is with potential down time. When a business manages a mobile fleet, they typically have spare units so that there is little to no “down time” for their end users when units are damaged etc. Our internal Client Care Team deals with these types of situations on a regular basis and it is usually a very simple process to get the person back up and running on another unit quickly within a corporate fleet. This is still possible in a BYOD environment but not nearly as cost effective, or as simple.

Creating a Corporate Mobile Device policy with regards to security becomes a significantly greater (and as a result more expensive) challenge within a BYOD environment. The IT department within a company may have a security policy that covers their mobile device fleet, but it becomes very challenging to implement and enforce across a BYOD environment. The transmission of company data, the storage of potentially sensitive files on personal mobile devices, no control over what 3rd party “apps” are on a persons personal smartphone, all pose significant and potentially severe challenges for a company that may choose to utilize a BYOD environment. There is also the concern about smartphones and other mobile devices and their cameras / recording capabilities within a corporate setting. This challenge is not easy to overcome in today’s world of smartphones regardless as to what enviroment a company utilizes but something that needs to be considered.

When all of these considerations are taken into account, the choice to reject a BYOD environment becomes easier for a business to do. The costs are higher and the security risks are greater.

Backing Up Data

Backing Up Data – What & Why?

“From the Fence with JP”

Data data data – what happens if it disappeared? For some people this is not a concern, yet for others it would be a problem – ranging in intensity of a minor inconvenience to an apocalyptic nightmare.

Everyone has more and more data – every day we accumulate lots of information from varying sources – email, calendars, phones, chats, texts, facebook, twitter, MSN, tax software, documents, etc (the list goes on)!

In the “old” days we had physical filing cabinets filled with paper, which many people used as reassurance of physical originals someplace – if soft copies disappeared. Now – even though there seems to be more and more paper there seems to be less reliance on this form for original documents.

So what does this mean?

[Read more…]

Choosing a Stylus for your Touch Screen Device

Do you Need a Stylus for your Touch Screen Mobile Device?


Perhaps you own a tablet. Since the day you brought  your device home, it has been a whirlwind love story of epic proportions.

You and your touch screen mobile device have become inseparable. Together you create the ultimate productivity machine, able to email, browse and accomplish innumerable amounts of tasks with the apps available at your disposal.

And then suddenly, while you’re enjoying a large and rather sticky pastry (with your crafted hot beverage), an urgent email comes and, alas, there are no napkins at your disposal. Uh Oh – Now what?

[Read more…]

Frustrating Customer Service

Frustrating Cellular Customer Service

In the course of a day I likely speak to a majority of the Cellular Communications Carriers several times each, and it still baffles me the frustrating things that I continually encounter.


My favourite of course is the SCHEDULED upgrade or maintenance in the middle of a business day that prevents them from being able to see or do anything on any account! Seriously – Who schedules an upgrade or maintenance at their busiest time the of day?

I can understand that systems go down and there is little you can do about it, but why schedule it that way – why not wait until less busy hours?


Or how about the representative that has no common sense at all? [Read more…]

Horror Story Of The Week: Removing IT Policies From a BlackBerry

2 Simple Strategies to Remove an IT Policy From a Used BlackBerry

Hopefully you never find yourself in a situation like this: 


A few days ago, one of your employees came to you with a broken Blackberry that needed replacing. 


Unfortunately, they were not eligible for an upgrade yet. 


Fortunately, you were able to secure a used device from the neighboring business, who had recently switched carriers and mobile devices. 


You wiped the device (removed the previous stored information), swapped the SIMs (removed the previous card & inserted your  user’s SIM) and then had that user set a device password. 


So far all is good.  


[Read more…]

Horror Story Of The Week: When Phones Don’t Work.

Simple Troubleshooting – For When Your Mobile Device Stops Working

Mobile devices have become an integral part of today’s business. Whether it is mobile phones for the fleet, or a variety of smartphones or mobile internet devices for sales people, they are indispensable tools for staff away from the office.

Imagine then, what would happen if suddenly a phone stopped working:

Sometime during your workday, one of your users was forced to return to the office from the field because their phone has stopped working. They are getting told all of their calls are going  to voicemail, and they are unable to place any outgoing calls from their phones. [Read more…]

Horror Story of the Week: Surprise Pay-Per-Use Charges.

Surprise, Surprise – You Have Pay-Per-Use Charges

Having the right plan for your company’s mobile devices can hugely impact your mobile expense management. The right plan, can help reduce overage charges, or, in the case of features, pay-per-use features. What would happen if the features or plans you had in place, were to disappear?


Here’s the Situation:

While going over your company’s bills, you notice a user who would benefit from a higher messaging plan. You email your corporate rep with the change you would like to make and leave it at that. A couple days later you receive your confirmation from the carrier that the change has been made. 


The next month your receive and open your bill, then nearly die of a heart attack. Where you had expected to see savings from changing the plan, you are now seeing thousands of dollars in usage charges on the same line. Somehow the users data plan had been removed, and has been paying for the 200+ MB of usage at pay-per use pricing!  Maybe it’s a mistake you think.   [Read more…]

Travel Pack Combos

What’s In Your Travel Pack Combo?

As the Cellular Carriers continue to tweak their mobile plan offerings, one thing they are selling a lot of  is the Travel Pack Combos for travellers going to the US from Canada.

These combos offer Voice and Texting, Voice and Data, or Voice, Texting and Data allowances, at reduced rates.


But are these offerings the best option? 


[Read more…]