With the introduction of highly-sophisticated smartphones and tablets to the consumer market, a new generation of mobile users has emerged … and they want to enjoy all the advanced capabilities of their new phones at home and at work.
The advent of Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) corporate policies has made mobile workers – employees with business communications and capabilities available on their mobile devices – better connected and more responsive, which allows their businesses to stay agile and competitive. Not only do studies show that the average mobile worker works 240 hours a year longer than the general workforce, leveraging employee-owned devices for businesses communications reduces the need to invest in company-liable devices, device support and replacement – because the user owns their device and is responsible for its upkeep.
What Does BYOD-Ready Mean?
Today, companies are extending Unified Communications (UC) capabilities to mobile devices, which allow users to access deskphone capabilities, IM and Presence on their smartphones and tablets in addition to email. A BYOD-ready solution maximizes the benefits of BYOD while eliminating the challenges. It means different things to different people, depending on whether you are the user, the IT manager or the CIO. Top-notch security is always a priority, as well as leveraging BYOD to increase worker productivity without draining resources and incurring extensive operating costs.
BYOD-ready solutions address the following five requirements:
- Securing Communications – Regardless of the productivity and cost benefits of a BYOD initiative, one of the top reasons for IT managers to shy away from letting employees use their personal devices for enterprise communications is security concerns. One of InformationWeek’s recent Strategic Security Survey shows 70% of companies consider mobile devices a current security threat and an additional 20% anticipate them to become a concern in the near future. These are security concerns mainly around unauthorized access to corporate networks and data, and loss of devices exposing sensitive information.
With Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility, security for mobile UC is built in. Enterprise UC data is not stored on the mobile device, mitigating the risk associated with lost/stolen devices. All transmissions between the RoamAnywhere Client on the mobile device, and the Mobility Router which is integrated with the PBX/UC infrastructure are authenticated and encrypted.) A high level of end-to-end and over-the-air (OTA) security is consistently maintained whether the mobile device is inside or outside the corporate firewall.
- Managing Multiple Platforms – With BYOD comes a wide variety of smartphones and tablets, each delivering a consistent user-experience over a medley of platforms. IT managers are not only challenged with finding a solution that extends UC to these devices seamlessly from their existing infrastructure, but also having to provide on-going support to the application on all these devices. Imagine having to manage three separate mobile UC applications for supporting Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices. It means time and resources required for initial deployment and support are at least tripled.
With Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility, IT administrators have a single point of control and visibility. They manage a single solution irrespective of their PBX/UC vendor, and the mobile device OSes they support.
- Lowering Operating Costs – The obvious cost benefit of BYOD is reducing capital expenditure by eliminating investment in corporate-liable devices and leveraging employee-owned devices. However, CIOs need to ensure that the cost of supporting those devices does not surpass the cost benefits of mobilizing UC.
With Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility, IT managers manage and support a single solution irrespective of the mobile device and PBX/UC platforms. Deploying, supporting and managing a single solution minimizes resource investment and keeps operating costs low.
- Increasing User Productivity – With Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility, extending deskphone and UC capabilities to users’ favorite mobile devices anywhere, on any network allows them to be more productive. They retain the familiarity with the device while gaining enhanced business communication capabilities. Wherever the user is at the office, at home, at a hotel, a hotspot or on the road, features such as simultaneous ring, extension dialing, transfer, conference, enterprise directory query and presence are available consistently on any network. Additionally, with ShoreTel Mobility’s automatic handover, users can continue a single call across multiple networks.
- Simplifying and Enhancing User Experience – While employees are demanding enterprise UC capabilities on their personal devices, they are immediately productive only if their device continues to feel and run the same, and they don’t have to learn a new application.
With Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility, users can continue to use their devices as they always have. Users can continue to make and receive calls as always without having to change their calling behavior. The user experience is simply enhanced with the additional enterprise UC capabilities. More importantly, with built-in security, there is no need to launch a separate VPN session to ensure communications are secure.
Embrace BYOD for Mobile UC
Successfully deploying a mobile UC solution in a BYOD environment means meeting several requirements that address the challenges and needs of all the stakeholders:
- An IT manager requires a solution that addresses security, control and ease of management
- A CIO is challenged with finding a solution that enables employees to be more productive while keeping the operating costs low
- A user (i.e., employee) wants the convenience of using their favorite devices for both business and personal communications without compromising on the ease of usage.
Choosing the right mobile UC solution that is not only secure, but also designed to provide heterogeneous support to a variety of platforms is key. Knowing that mobile UC solutions from Van Ausdall & Farrar and ShoreTel Mobility are BYOD-ready, businesses can embrace the initiative without having to worry about the challenges it brings.