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.

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…]

Preferred LD Rates

Does Your Mobile Service Provider offer Preferred LD Rates?

Telecom Audits and Expense Management

Mobile Expense Management

As carriers are pressured to bring mobility plan costs down, they constantly find new and less obvious ways to get money out of your pocket.  A long favoured way is to keep increasing the rates they charge for Long Distance calling.  Standard plans now charge $0.40 per minute!

 

Rogers, at least, has gone back to offering a Preferred Long Distance Rate feature that can be added as a $5 option.  This feature will then give you a rate of $0.10 per minute for calling long distance from Canada to Canada or Canada to the US.

 

[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…]

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…]

Business Best Practices Do Not Believe in Status Quo

Status Quo As A Best Practice Might Kill Your Business

 

Some businesses have the big guy as their competitor. Some have a whole bunch of competitors in a local block. Some businesses have so much competition, that its easier to say who the’re not competing with. However, our competitor tops them all! Our competitor is “status quo”. Yup, I’d rather say I’m competing with XYZ Company than to say – we don’t really have anyone that does what we do or the way we do it (TEM 360° Solution). At least you can compete with the other women/man. Ok, but this is not about me venting that I have no direct competition to speak of. This is really to discuss that viral disease that slowly gets a company called “Status Quo” and how to avoid it with best business practices. 

 

I want to share a story about a meeting I had several years ago, with Toyota and the manager of their mobile management team. [Read more…]

Horror Story of the Week: How Not to Do a Hardware Upgrade

Hardware Upgrade Mishap: Imagine yourself in this situation: 

 

You are faced with the task of getting a new employee a new phone and number. In order to keep costs down, you decide to recycle one of the old unused numbers on your account.  You Find a number on your bill that is showing no usage and has the user name of employee who is no longer with the company.  A quick call to the carrier customer service confirms that there has been no usage, so you go ahead with the upgrade and switch to a new SIM card. 

[Read more…]

Turn Data Off While Roaming

Enjoy Cost Savings by Turning Your Data Off  While Roaming

This is really nothing new – however – very often forgotten about until your Cell Phone Bill arrives.

 

Although there are data roaming features that can be added through your carrier’s Cellular Customer Service before you travel –  using data can still be very expensive. Not to mention data usage is hard to judge – How do you know how much Data you will use while traveling or roaming?

 

If you are traveling with your smartphone and you do not want to rack up huge data roaming charges, it’s good to know that your handset has the ability to temporarily turn the data function off.

[Read more…]