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.

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.  

 

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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…]

Cellular Customer Service Tips

I am sure that everyone has at one point in time experienced first hand a mobile customer service horror story when having to deal with their cellular carriers.

 

We know that dealing with Mobile Carriers is not always a positive experience! However – if you are prepared, know what to ask the Cellular Customer Service Representative and have a general idea of what to expect – it does not have to be all negative.

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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.

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Horror Story of the Week: Enormous Roaming Bills

Roaming Bill Mishaps – Imagine yourself in this situation:

If you have ever been in charge of the mobile expense management, chances are there have been times when you have cringed opening your wireless bill. Based on usage, the charges fluctuate, big one month, small the next. If you have ever had a user with roaming charges, then you know how much of an impact usage can make. Those charges can get high, however imagine yourself in this situation:

One of your sales persons, or VP’s are travelling outside of the country on a business trip. They tell you that they anticipate using their phone frequently. In an effort to help reduce the potential costs you make a mental note to call the carrier and add some roaming packages. A few days pass, the user leaves and returns. You don’t think much of it until your wireless bill comes in….. and you nearly die of a heart attack. [Read more…]

Flex Rate Plans

Which Mobile Plan is Best for Your New Employee?

When a new employee is issued a phone, you are often left guessing as to what their usage will be like.  Putting a user on a low usage plan when the user actually is a high volume consumer can result in HUGE charges for additional minutes.  I have seen bills where a new user was put on a 100 minute plan, then used 450 minutes.  These additional minutes were billed at $.35 / minute… that means the additional usage cost the company $122.50 on one month of billing.

 

If you are looking to set up a new user and are not sure what their usage will demand, consider one of the Flex Rate plans.   [Read more…]

Accenting your Messages on your Blackberry

How do you Accent your Messages on your Blackberry?

There are at least 6700 recognized languages used in the world, and, chances are, you speak at least one of them. Maybe two. Perhaps more.
And chances are, if you speak the language, there may come a time where you will need to compose some sort of message, maybe even on your Blackberry.
Problem is, that often languages have funny letters and accents. When was the last time you have seen an ß, an É or an ñ on your keypad?
Your first guess might be to pull up your symbols menu, but alas, the accents are not to be found.
Fear not my fellow multi-linguists! There are a couple simple solutions for you!