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?

Consumerization

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: Techiedoodlers.com. Feel free to follow Taylor on Twitter.

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 (http://blogs.aberdeen.com/communications/the-true-cost-of-byod/) 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.

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…]

What to do When You’re Not Eligible for an Upgrade.

Ineligible for Upgrade – 5 Tips to Reduced Cell Costs!

 

Is one of your fleet’s cellular phones broken, worn out, malfunctioning, or just completely not working?

Lets face it cell phones just do not seem to last the full -2 or 3 years of the contract – when you would normally be eligible for upgrade.

However – don’t despair. There are a few things that you can often try – so that you can avoid having to pay the full price of the replacement costs of new hardware.

[Read more…]

Horror Story of the Week: When Devices Won’t Connect.

4 Steps to Solving Cellular Device Connection Issues

Does your company’s Cellular fleet include mobile Internet Devices?

 

Imagine a situation like this:

You have just ordered a new Internet device for an employee, and are about to set the unit up. You take it out of the box, pop in a SIM, turn the device on, get it set up on your computer and open your Internet browser.  

 

Except you aren’t able to connect.

 

You check your new device, it’s on, and your computer detects it, so you try again, this time keeping your eye on the device. 

There is a glimmer of hope when the “connected” light comes one, only to be immediately squashed when it goes out a second later. [Read more…]

Knowing the Ins and Outs of Your Mobile Carriers

Do You Know the Ins & Outs of Your Mobile Carrier?

Knowing the ins and outs of the Mobile carriers that your organization uses, is always the best way to beat them at their own game. I am sure that you have at one point in time had a very frustrating call to a Mobile carrier that left you angry and pulling your hair out!

You are not alone. This happens to the best of us – however – knowing the ins and outs will help you with your quest for cost reduction &  control of your mobile expense management.

[Read more…]

Handset Insurance Programs

Know What you’re getting with Handset Insurance!

Handset protection programs seem to be available in some way shape or form through most of the North American carriers however each one is different and some are not as good as they may sound – so do your due diligence!

 

Before you decide to purchase an insurance or protection plan from any Cellular Phone carrier make sure that you read the fine print of what is covered and what is not , among the standard legal garble including incidents caused by Terrorists some plans also exclude things like – Abuse, misuse, or intentional acts as well as scratches or incidents that were caused by computer viruses leaving lots of  loop holes to refuse replacement.

[Read more…]

Travel Saver Options

Mobile Plan Management with Travel Saver Options

Business trips are nothing new, and have long been a part of how we do business.  Cell phones have become an integral part of our business too… but these two realities of business when combined have for too long been a huge expense with few options for relief.

 

Large company’s with fleets of employees travelling around the world on their behalf  have had to pay upwards of $4 per minute for using their phone when outside of their country. Bills for upwards of $1,500 would not be uncommon for making and receiving calls while travelling.

 

[Read more…]

How to avoid Cancellation fees with Conversion Credits

Avoiding Cancellation Fees with Negotiated Conversion Credits

In business today there is a lot of push from the mobile carriers/providers to get your business. In some cases there are great cost reductions to be had by moving from your current service provider to a new Mobile carrier. However – you may be reluctant to change, due to still having 2 years left on your current service agreement, that will carry a hefty cancellation fee and in the end eat up your savings moving to the new provider. Therefore, not making it a wise mobile expense management decision.

[Read more…]