Not only do users want to use their own devices, but they want to use applications familiar to them to get work done. “Users want consumer hardware, as well as consumer-type devices,” Finneran said. While tools like Microsoft Lync are ok, LinkedIn is preferred by many users, as is Skype over other real-time video products developed specifically for the enterprise by the likes of Avaya and Polycomm he added.
BYOD is all well and good, but this is where a mobility strategy must come into play. It’s not crucial for IT to make users happy by allowing them to use their iPhones and applications they enjoy for work, Finneran said. It is critical for IT to create a balancing act with users, however, by making them accessible and enable them to easily reach the right person at the right time, while offering a certain level of support for certain devices.
“If you can’t beat them, join them — responsibly,” he said, noting that some companies have even begun offering something of an app store for its employees and their devices. Companies are learning that if the UC product or application is not easy to use or familiar to the employee, they won’t use it.
But the responsibilities of IT are not changing with the addition of the mobility component. “Their responsibilities are staying the same with a different set of tools in a different environment,” Finneran said. In developing a mobile strategy, identifying the right tools (Apple iPhones, Android and Blackberry devices, tablets and applications) appropriate for the company and user, and ensuring security without breaking the bank is where IT should begin.
From there, different use cases should be established — like what applications can/should be downloaded on the device, depending on the user’s job function, for example. IT also must consider device issues “from the cradle to the grave,” Finneran noted, explaining that the policy must address what happens when users lose or purchase a new device or leave the company, because IT can’t worry about whether or not they can wipe a device after a person has been terminated.
Since the game is always changing in mobility, a mobile policy just can’t be set and forgotten. BYOA is a major change and new struggle for IT departments, so addressing these issues early on can mitigate problems for enterprises later.
“The goal with mobility is to enable business transactions based on what tools are available, not necessarily making users smile,” Finneran said.
BYOD and BYOA are the little issues enterprises are facing now in the grand scheme of things, but the ability to improve business with available tools in a responsible fashion, all while balancing user experience will be the grand-scale concern as the need for mobility continues to grow.]]>
This week Agito came out with something slightly new that is targeted at a very specific, yet pricey problem faced by many companies which do international business.
Many corporate telecom and mobility managers today probably support executives who travel internationally and need to buy a temporary international roaming plan for their smartphones while on the road. These short-term voice roaming minutes are pricey. We’re talking more than $1 per minute in many cases. If you have a lot of guys on the road, this can get out of hand fast.
This week Agito announced Agito Global Enterprise, a feature in the 4.0 release of its RoamAnywhere routers and clients. This feature will automatically handover voice calls from an international cellular voice network and convert it into a VoIP call over a 3G data connection. Since most short-term international roaming plans offer relatively lower flat fees in the range of $20 or $30 for a unlimited data, this could be a huge savings for mobile employees who are traveling overseas. A $20 flat fee is a bargain compared to the $300-$400 a worker might rack up in talk time with a typical arrangement.
Late last month Pejman Roshan, founder and chief marketing officer for Agito, visited my office and gave me a demo of the cellular to VoIP handover on both a BlackBerry 9700 and an iPhone, both of which Agito also now supports as of this week. The voice quality was on par with what you might expect from either device, although there was a probably a half-second of latency in the call. Roshan attributed this to the fact that we were using a custom built demo version. The production version won’t be available until next month.
Image from Technodorm.com]]>
In June we reported that Agito finally managed to add BlackBerry suppoprt, expanding beyond the 40 or so Nokia Symbian and Windows Mobile devices it had already been supporting.
DiVitas, on the other hand had been quiet for awhile on the BlackBerry front, limited to Windows Mobile and Nokia E series and N series phones.
Today DiVitas announced a huge expansion of the mobile platforms it supports. It has developed a native client and a web-based client that extends its FMC technology to the iPhone, BlackBerry and Android operating systems.
Check out this PDF data sheet on the new Divitas offerings. You’ll see snapshots of what DiVitas’ FMC client looks like on each mobile platform.]]>