Do you wince when someone brings up the topic of BYOD or Bring Your Own Device? It can be more than an ulcer producer for IT managers. The whole company’s intellectual property can be put at risk by employees blissfully aware of the threats. They bring in what they want and connect it to the company network. Your carefully planned security protocols go out the window. What to do?
Most companies have drawn a clear line between what belongs to the company and what belongs to the individual. Unable to manage the wild and wooly world of consumer electronics configurations, they simply lay down the law and say you can’t use your personal phone, laptop or tablet for company business. But since you clearly need technology to do your job, something has to give. In frustration, the company issues you a corporate smartphone, laptop or tablet that are only used for business. Does that put the issue to rest?
Oh, not really. Smaller companies can’t afford to pony up the capital to hand out gadgets to everyone who needs or wants them. They may simply wince and take their chances that nothing will go horribly wrong. Larger operations install firewalls and other means to protect key information and hope they will be a bulwark against data going out and intruders coming in. Meanwhile, employees continue to casually use their own equipment, both inside and outside the company, for business activities.
Why? Partly because it’s more convenient. Also because everybody likes what they’ve customized for their own use. They don’t want to be carrying two copies of everything and switching back and forth. They don’t want to have to mentally jog between different hardware and different operating systems. It’s just not human nature.
Is there anyway to bridge this gulf and make everybody happy? One answer may be found in the new XO WorkTime service. It’s a cloud based UC (Unified Communications) application that integrates your company’s communications systems with employee smartphones and laptops. In effect, the personal devices become access devices to the same resources provided within the corporate walls.
So, here’s why you actually want BYOD… as long as you keep it under your control with an app like XO WorkTime. The first big advantage is capital investment. Why should you as a company manager spend thousands or millions of dollars to build and manage a pool of equipment when your employees will do that for you at their expense. You don’t have to buy them a smartphone because they’ve already bought their own iPhone or Android smartphone.
The next big advantage is happier employees. You’re no longer on their case about turning off their personal gadgets inside the company. Less nagging, less spying, less scolding and everybody’s in a better mood. It gets even better when employees realize that they have their desk phones on their personal phones. They can roam at will and be connected with other employees and customers effortlessly.
Here’s how this works. Your company needs to be using XO’s VoIP service internally. These include IP Flex, IP Flex with VPN, SIP, Enterprise SIP and Hosted PBX services. You simply install the XO WorkTime application on every device that needs it. At that point employee devices have a dual personality. They are work phones and they are personal phones.
The personal side remains unchanged. Personal apps and information are the same as they were. They also remain outside of the company side of the WorkTime app. What happens on the personal side stays on the personal side.
What happens on the business side also stays on the business side. You can safely transport business communications using encryption and VPN tunneling. Your company applications stay in a secure, password protected environment.
Employees have their business calling plan and office number while they are in WorkTime mode. They’ll use the same calling features they use in the office from the WorkTime applications while on the go. That includes features such as simultaneous ring on desk, smartphone or home computer plus presence, IM and video. On-net, local and inbound calls are free. Long distance calls are included in the company plan and don’t count against your personal minutes.
Are you frustrated with the cost and security problems related to enabling mobile business communications? Get expert consulting to learn more about how XO WorkTime and other sophisticated hosted VoIP services can work to your advantage.