April 26, 2013 12:27 PM
Posted by: Renodis
CIOs and IT leaders have a tough job. They need to deliver results, hire the right talent, make sure they have the right technology in place, and be relevant to the business. The worst thing in the world is when an IT organization has to use key resources and time to deal with a telecom issue that dramatically impacts their business.
Telecom is not perfect. In fact it can be chaotic. Most IT leaders don’t even like dealing with telecom. Unfortunately telecom problems will happen, issues will arise, and your business will be impacted. There are many things in the back of the IT leader’s mind, but some things are more dramatic than others. Let’s take a look at 5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night:
5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #1: Carrier Service Outages
Outages cause major disruption. It impacts customers, results in lost business and may lead to poor reputation. Service outages also result in critical IT resources spending valuable time trying to resolve these issues. Whether they are handling help desk calls or working with the carriers to get the issue resolved quickly, they are not spending time on more important IT initiatives.
As a preventative measure, it is important to have a disaster recovery plan in place or a backup connection. Make sure to do your due diligence to find the right provider who has a proven track record for uptime and getting issues resolved quickly.
5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #2: Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices
The growth of mobility has spurred great opportunity for businesses, but it has also created potential nightmares for IT leaders. Critical customer data or company data can easily be lost if a mobile device is misplaced or stolen. BYOD has created many risks for companies who allow employees to bring their own mobile device (iPads, iPhones, tablets, etc).
Not having the right security policy or mobile device management platform in place creates risks to your organization, and a nightmare for IT leaders.
5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #3: Fiber or Line Cut
Some things you can control, some things you can’t. When a backhoe goes through your fiber line, the only thing you can do is hope the problem is solved quickly and efficiently with little impact to the business (if that is even possible). Just as a carrier service outage causes a major disruption, so does a fiber line cut. Most companies have a plan in place to deal with this type of situation. Some companies do not, and they pay the price.
5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #4: Data Security Breach
Imagine this scenario. An employee was let go or leaves your company and in the process takes critical company data with them. Whether an employee steals data, your network is attacked by a virus or malware, or someone hacks into your system – the nightmare is made real for the IT leader. Having a secure network and the right platforms/processes in place to protect your company data will mitigate (not eliminate) the risk of your data being breached.
5 Telecom Nightmares that Keep IT Leaders Up at Night – #5: Carrier Implementation
So you feel good about that three year contract you just signed with your carrier. You have confidence in their ability to deliver and they tell you time and time again everything will be “fine”. Think again.
Now it’s implementation time. You may feel like you did your due diligence in selecting the right carrier and technology, but if you 1) don’t have the right resources and plan in place to manage the implementation process and; 2) have not identified the risks involved in the implementation, you are setting yourself and your company up for failure.
Let’s face it, dealing with carriers is not fun and implementations do go bad. Having the right plan in place, resources who know how to work with carriers, escalate issues, and have the resources needed to solve problems when they arise will help mitigate implementation nightmares.
Preventative Measures and Expert Partners Help IT Leaders Sleep Soundly
The fallout from these types of real-life nightmares result in lost customers, poor reputations, lost revenues, lost confidence, and sometimes… lost jobs.
But having the right disaster recovery plan in place, the right technology to protect and secure data and mobile devices, and a plan to implement carrier services will help mitigate these risks in the future and more importantly – you will get more sleep at night! Not sure where to start with preventative action? No need to procrastinate. Enlist the help of a trusted partner to get you started in the right direction.
April 22, 2013 1:16 PM
Posted by: Renodis
In today’s fast paced world we have limited time for absorbing information. The same is true for our social networks. Want to keep up with the latest IT trends and initiatives? Why not hear it straight from the CIO on Twitter!
The following is our list of the Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter. Criteria included Klout score, number of followers, amount of outreach, other social channels/blogs, and discussions.
Without further ado, Renodis presents … The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter.
The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter: #5 – Brian Miller, Davenport University
Twitter handle: @suydam
Why do we like his tweets?
In addition to thoughtful commentary on IT, Mr. Miller is a self-professed web geek which accounts for all kinds of cool tweets on comet watching, drupal, and instagramming. On top of CIO responsibilities, Mr. Miller is also City Commissioner of East Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter: #4 – Bruce Maas, University of Wisconsin
Twitter handle: @uwmadisonCIO
Why do we like his tweets?
Mr. Maas offers a wealth of information about IT leadership, strategy and innovation through links to articles, videos, and opinion pieces. His Twitter background in two words? Professionally rockin’.
The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter: #3 – Joe Topinka, Red Wing Shoes
Twitter handle: @ciomentors
Why do we like his tweets?
Many talk. Mr. Topinka practices. Well liked for collaborative styles of thinking, he embodies the disciplines of a transformational IT leader, embracing innovation and new ideas. Expect forward thinking, educational tweets. Also, check out his blog at http://ciomentor.blogspot.com.
The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter: #2 – Will Weider, Ministry Health Care
Twitter handle: @CandidCIO
Why do we like his tweets?
Mr. Weider’s communication style is honest and real, intermixing a highly adept understanding of all things technology leadership with music, entertainment and volunteerism. It’s no wonder this CIO has almost 5k followers. His blog at http://candidcio.com is a must read.
The Top 5 Midwest CIOs to Follow on Twitter: #1 – Ben Grey, Oak Lawn-Hometown District 123
Twitter handle: @bengrey
Why do we like his tweets?
Can we say Twitter communication harmony? Mr. Grey represents the ideal when it comes to responding to all @ tweets and comments which makes him approachable and professional. Being a photo hobbyist, you can always expect an inspirational image or cute photo opp. His blog is also a great read at http://bengrey.com/blog.
Okay, what’s the next step? We encourage you to connect with these innovative, forward thinking CIOs to keep up with the latest top IT initiatives and trends.
Have a suggestion for a CIO we should add? Comment below!
April 15, 2013 7:18 PM
Posted by: Renodis
There is a famous Rolling Stones song that contains the line “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” When looking at that line in the context of telecom customer service delivery, it seems to be the credo of most carriers these days – especially when you add the word “barely”. Yes, budgets are tight and staffing levels are low. Business customers can understand that, but that does not mean they have to accept poor customer service.
In today’s marketplace, there are more choices and options than ever before. Unfortunately, that does not seem to have fully registered with all the telecom providers. Many still operate in the mindset of “this is how it is” when it comes to servicing the customer. Rigid and tangled processes, some still driven from painful regulatory chokeholds, are used as an excuse to not change how they support their customers. The question is – what can we do about it?
Get What You Want From Telecom Customer Service: Avoid Sticker Shopping
Stop buying like we always have. Stop buying on up front price alone. What do we mean by “up front price”? Simply stated, it is the price listed at the bottom of your bill. We need to start looking at a bigger picture and applying that to our buying decisions, much like we do when we buy consumer goods. If you buy an automobile on sticker value alone, not taking into consideration things like consumer ratings, needed amenities, and use purpose, you will not be happy with your overall purchase and experience. If you buy taking all of these things into account, the “up front price” becomes a less determining factor. Don’t get me wrong, price is important. Negotiating a good deal is paramount to the end result, but should not be the single most validating bullet point when making your decision.
Get What You Want From Telecom Customer Service: Understand Your Top 3 Business Requirements
Business decision makers need to determine, and take into consideration, the top 3 things that are bottom line important to their business needs. To some, it may be reliability, security and diversity. Others may look at scalability of their overall network plan, service location availability, and disaster recovery options. Whatever those top 3 things are, they should be the determining factor in the direction you take when choosing a telecommunication provider. The top 3 should always be addressed first and foremost when discussing contract options, service and support levels, and yes, price. A decision framework will help evaluation from a quantitative and qualitative approach.
Get What You Want From Telecom Customer Service: Require On-going Sales and Service Delivery Accountability
Once you have shopped a couple of carriers/ providers based on needs vs. wants, and communicated clearly what your business requirements are, sit down with the potential teams and outline an expected service delivery plan. Detail out, in writing, what the expected response times will be for the following:
- Price quotes
- Contract review
- Move, Add, Change, Disconnect Orders (MACD)
- SLA monitoring
- Billing issues
Clarify which parts of the support arrangement are proactive vs. reactive. What specifically will they do for you? What won’t they do for you? Request deliverables. If anyone will not commit to this type of activity, it is pretty telling that they will most likely not commit to supporting you in the manner discussed before the contract was signed.
Get What You Want From Telecom Customer Service: The Results
As I said, there is enough competition out there for businesses to demand what they want, not just let carriers tell them they need. The key to making that happen is engaging in experienced, knowledgeable, up-front negotiation based on the factors above, not just the “up front price”. Signing (or re-signing) on the dotted line should always be the reward of a providers commitment to an on-going partnership of mutually agreed upon deliverables. That gets the results that are wanted, needed, and deserved.
Melanie Mortensen is a recognized expert in telecommunications thought leadership and Service Delivery Manager for Renodis Telecom Management.
April 5, 2013 3:22 PM
Posted by: Renodis
With increasingly limited resources and time, there are many IT challenges staff face in today’s business to stay current with the fast pace of technological change. Communications and information technology can no longer be viewed as merely a utility but as a strategic asset to an organization’s goals.
Top IT Challenges in 2013
- Containing costs while delivering increasingly more complex services and providing a consistently higher level of customer service.
- Enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of communications with customers and internal stakeholders
- Utilizing emerging technologies to improve staff productivity
- Ensuring the reliability, availability, survivability and security of all communications
- Implementing centralized administration of services.
Key Initiatives CIOs Must Consider in Transforming IT
There are several common yet key initiatives CIOs must consider in transforming IT as a strategic asset rather than a cost center or mere enabler of communications.
- Improve Collaboration
- The technology for collaboration has arrived but how do we ensure adoption and effective use?
- Explore Cloud Computing
- Most U.S. companies are looking to build hybrid clouds, capitalizing on the flexibility of cloud architectures while keeping their most sensitive or critical workloads behind their own firewalls.
- Accept and Support the Consumerization of Technology
- Consumer technology innovation is outpacing business tech innovation, and many employees are using their personal devices and applications for work because they don’t like their company-issued technology.
- Leverage Social Media
- Your customers, partners, and suppliers are talking about your company, its processes, and its products on some form of social media, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube, or more specialized forums and portals. Companies need to monitor and participate in those conversations, especially with customers.
- Find the Right People
- Finding smart, skilled, talented people is not easy in any economic conditions. Some of the top skills CIO’s are looking for are enterprise content management, business intelligence and data analytics, application development, and application integration.
- Prepare for the Post PC Era
- We’re seeing a proliferation of complementary, sometimes replacement business computing devices, most of them of focused on mobility. More and more, companies are investigating desktop virtualization.
- Improve the Speed and Versatility of IT
- IT departments continually struggle to keep up with the ever changing demands of sales, marketing, product development and HR. The result for IT is simple; be nimble or be blamed for failure.
- Make IT One with the Business
- In order to have corporate relevance IT needs to be considered a strategic asset that will drive growth, profitability, and differentiation. IT can only be effective in this manner with cross department collaboration.
The bottom line? Technology is a solution-enabler. CIOs must eliminate tactical management and legacy thinking and focus on IT projects and strategy that opens new markets and drives new business. Rather than just maintain the status quo, IT needs to be a strategic differentiator to the organization, customers, and industries it serves.
Be relevant or be gone!
Mike Belmont is a respected industry expert in Telecom Management and Enterprise Account Manager at Renodis.
April 3, 2013 5:52 PM
Posted by: ATuzzo
, desktop virtualization
, IT assets
, Server Management
, virtual desktop
Should You Run Your New Business in the Cloud?
Why wouldn’t you? Most mid to large-sized companies have old infrastructure and investments in hardware (servers, network, datacenter), licenses and personnel/resources that limit their ability to move to the cloud given the cost already sunk into a physical environment. CIOs and security officers also have concerns about security in the cloud. However, just because your applications and data are no longer sitting on premise, doesn’t make them any less secure. The reality is that most cloud providers are leaps and bounds ahead of companies in creating an incredibly secure architecture with multiple layers of physical and virtual security.
Startups and small to mid-sized businesses (“SMBs”) in particular are well-positioned to take advantage of the cloud – they can avoid making big investments in hardware, perpetual licenses and resources, and don’t have a legacy infrastructure to worry about; instead the cash can be used to grow the business and focus on innovation. Startups and SMBs now have a leveled playing field – they can have access to the same resources their enterprise counterparts have had for decades. They can also benefit by leveraging the cloud service provider’s expertise and resources as most of them don’t have staff with the capacity or necessary certifications. This could help make a business more agile as cloud providers give a business the ability to scale up/down, reduce costs, and assist with IT management/support headaches. Pay per use is the new trend and businesses that don’t capitalize on that may not be around for much longer.
The truth is most businesses already know about these benefits. Some are making the move to the cloud, but most recognize that the paradigm shift is happening – it might not be this year or the next, but eventually all things will be cloud. It just doesn’t make sense to have on-premise hardware and do all the management and support in-house. The question then becomes how much cloud and what cloud? Public? Private? Hybrid?
Most companies are working with over four cloud providers – this seems shocking until you add up all the different components like SaaS (CRM, accounting, etc.), IaaS (servers, network, storage, desktops, etc.) and other hosted services (VoIP, UC, etc.). While SaaS and other hosted service providers will be tough to consolidate given the vastly different nature of the services, it would be a prudent business practice for companies to consider consolidating their IaaS cloud needs. When there is a disaster or any issue with business continuity, companies should demand a single point of accountability (SPOA). This ensures quick recovery and getting back online with little impact to day-to-day business activities. Some companies might think the best idea is to work with the largest IaaS provider in order to ensure a smooth and stable environment – but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When disaster strikes or even for normal support calls, companies stand a much better chance of higher quality of service if they aren’t customer number 103,857,365. Furthermore, several of the larger IaaS providers had major outages last year leaving customers without access to their infrastructure.
The startup IaaS providers are far more innovative then some of these large enterprises. For example, at dinCloud, we’ve figured out a way to secure virtualized network resources and automate Active Directory synchronization from a physical to a virtual environment, while providing a complete virtual private datacenter, or an extension of a customer’s on-premise footprint to the cloud. We can offer a proprietary end-to-end solution for its customers providing them with a SPOA in the cloud. This is a very unique perspective – our customers on the east coast suffered no business disruption during the recent hurricanes and storms. Most businesses out in that area had their applications failover to different datacenters (perhaps on the west coast), but what good is that when the large IaaS providers like Amazon struggled failing over to other datacenters or employees don’t have physical access to their work desktops? dinCloud’s unique IaaS offering allowed its customers in the northeast to run business as usual, just from the cloud.
In the end, cloud providers offer free proof of concepts to address any concerns around performance, service level agreements, and support, so why not take them up on the offer and begin your inevitable journey to the cloud?
Saad Shahzad is Chief Strategy Officer for dinCloud, a Los-Angeles based IaaS provider, offering hosted virtual desktops, servers, and cloud storage. Follow @dinCloud on Twitter.
April 3, 2013 5:35 PM
Posted by: Dr. Werner Hopf
, IT assets
With SAP recently announcing a major directional shift to its core business strategy, revealing that its SAP Business Suite will be running on SAP HANA, businesses are now faced with determining how to best prepare for that journey. SAP has essentially left it up to its customers to decide if they want to make the switch or keep their current systems, evaluating both cost and performance factors. If your IT organization is considering this journey, you may feel the need for a check list on how to proceed and what pitfalls to avoid on the road to SAP HANA. Here is a “roadmap.”
Companies that embark down the road to SAP HANA should be aware of one sobering aspect of this technology: it utilizes disk space on a “pay-as-you-grow” basis and because in-memory blades are rather expensive, cost becomes a consideration. Keeping databases as lean and mean as possible will be a major priority for businesses pursuing a HANA strategy. Even with commodity servers, the performance and scalability that SAP HANA offers can carry a considerable price tag. While it is inevitable that many companies will want to pursue the road to SAP HANA because of the clear performance advantages gained by keeping data in memory, it is important to understand that the process is more involved than flipping a switch, especially around the critical aspects of optimizing performance and database size.
Since the extra cost to add sufficient capacity can be higher than expected, most businesses need a more cost-effective approach. This involves moving large amounts of static data to a lower-cost, high-performance “nearline” storage (NLS) environment that complements the in-memory SAP HANA architecture. NLS is an inexpensive, scalable option for storing large volumes of data. When using NLS, it is critical to segregate frequently used, “high-value” information from data that provides lower business value, regardless of environment or current (or planned) platform. Data archiving is an essential part of this data management process and an NLS solution ensures the right balance between performance and storage costs. It also provides the ability to maintain size and growth of production environments through archiving processes, while protecting data for business and audit requirements.
Other considerations include what kind of database preparation and infrastructure is needed. For example, what data and documents should be migrated, what information is archived or purged, what are the access requirements, and what strategy should be adopted to maximize cost-to-performance ratio (which determines value to archiving efforts).
SAP is investing heavily in its partner and developer network and allocates resources for Web services and startups. This eventually will make the path to SAP HANA more straightforward, however, organizations currently weighing their options need a place to start.
To begin, evaluate current needs for streamlining infrastructure and accessing data. This first step identifies key performance indicators (KPIs) for system performance, and specific areas for cost reduction, management and avoidance. It also allows CIOs to more fully understand their environments, especially as they consider a move to SAP HANA, and understand what could be if they decide to pursue that path.
Another important consideration when migrating to SAP HANA is a comprehensive database assessment or HealthCheck. The HealthCheck from Dolphin is a proactive audit that will help safeguard against costly system down time and ensure that the in-memory infrastructure remains lean and stable.
The HealthCheck incorporates standard SAP reports and specifically designed utilities to identify areas that need attention. Based on assumptions and a series of non-intrusive transactions from the system, data focusing on opportunities in three key KPI areas can be gleaned. These include:
- System performance
- Size and growth of production environments
- Cost reduction/containment
The resulting report will provide an overview of the health of the database on a monthly basis.
What can businesses hope to achieve from this audit process? In this context, the HealthCheck for SAP archiving provides insight into realizing significant opportunities for SAP systems improvement and a clearer path to SAP HANA. It includes:
- Increased Performance: including smaller database size, faster data load, queries, back up, refreshes and upgrades.
- Sustainable & Predictive Growth: including reduced storage and server growth.
- Reduced Total Cost of Ownership: including operational, system infrastructure and administrative savings.
The Dolphin’s HealthCheck for SAP databases is a structured examination into what areas need attention. Whether or not a company running SAP systems is considering moving to SAP HANA, the need to evaluate their databases, taking stock and assessing system performance, its design for capacity, and the business needs for data, may uncover specific areas where building an archiving strategy, engaging in database clean-up, or more aggressive data archiving to nearline storage makes sense.
The recommendations that come out of that evaluation become the foundation for making informed decisions for an efficient, more cost-effective footprint. The benefits for increased performance and stabilized growth can result in substantial cost savings. Add to that a lower total cost of ownership and lower risk factors IT has a business win-win for the critical business stakeholders – Finance and Compliance.
# # # # #
Dr. Hopf is responsible for setting the Dolphin’s strategic corporate direction and is the Archiving Principal. With more than 20 years of experience in the information technology industry, 14 focused in SAP, Dr. Hopf specializes in SAP Information Lifecycle Management initiatives including Data and Document archiving, SAP Archive Link Storage Solutions and Business Process solutions.
March 28, 2013 7:10 PM
Posted by: Renodis
As a child I always loved concept cars and that someday planes and cars would merge and cars would be able to fly. Well as we still wait for those flying cars, here is something more reachable. In my latest trip to the car show there were cars that could connect to the internet and cars that would allow you to dock your phone and play your music from your phone over your car’s radio system.
So, what else can be done? Let’s look at some of the new technology on the market now as well as dive into the future of smartphones and cars.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: Ready, Set, Start
Most of us have seen or used a key fob that we can just keep in our pockets. When we touch the car door it unlocks. Then inside the car we push a button to start – all very cool. But, I still have to have the key fob with me.
There are several applications newly on the market that join your smartphone and car to allow for interaction with your vehicle. Take for instance the new product by www.viper.com for starting, locating, locking or unlocking your car. It only makes sense that since that you always have your phone with you, you should be able to have this type of functionality.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: Are You OK?
Not sure if this has happened to you, but it’s happened to me – twice. My check engine light comes on and stays on (I can hear the cash register ringing up in the background). So I take the car in and they hook it up to a computer to check it. Interestingly, it was just letting me know that it’s 500 miles or so short of the next oil change.
OK, well wouldn’t it make sense for the car to just display a message that says, “This is a reminder that your next scheduled oil change is due in 500 miles.” This new technology is something you can have today from www.automatic.com. Their technology helps you become more cost aware by tracking and notifying you of wasteful driving habits while monitoring your engine status. So when the check engine light does come on you get real time information of what the problem is. You might be able to correct the problem yourself and clear the message which removes the check engine light for that issue.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: My Dashboard
On average most families have two cars and three plus drivers. Today each person in your family that drives probably has a cell phone. Now, image that your phone can function as your key fob. In addition, when you open the car the seats, mirrors, headrest etc. will adjust to your personal specification that you set with your phone.
Let’s take it a step further. The whole dashboard would be a blank touch screen panel that you could setup your personal preferences and save to your phone. Then when the car is started all the features of the dashboard are just the way and where you like it to be (within reason). I like my stereo controls to be above the heater controls. I like my speed to show up on the right side not the left. I like my gears display to be vertical not horizontal. I like my background to be green not red, etc.
To go a step further, imagine that all cars are designed this way. When you rent a car on vacation or borrow a car from a friend or family member, the cars can wirelessly get your preferred settings so all your pre-loaded configurations are there. How cool is that!?
And if you really want to reach for the sky, let’s take the current functionality some cars have to parallel park themselves. Why not have the car drop you off at the mall entrance and then go park itself? Then when you’re finished at the mall, pull out your smartphone and tell your car you’re ready to be picked up. By GPS your car comes to the entrance and picks you up.
The Future of Smartphones and Cars: The Summary
In the future of smartphones and cars no matter which car you take, your setting will be your settings. Your spouse’s settings will be their settings. No more getting in the rental car and having the steering wheel hit you in the chest because the last person who drove it was much shorter than you.
All in all I see these future visions of technology taking place based on the latest technology we’re seeing coming out of the market as the future of smartphones and cars start to merge. Let’s hope this vision does not take as long as the flying car scenario.
Reynaldo Lyles is a recognized expert in mobility thought leadership, new industry standards in Mobile Device Management and compliance, and the Mobility Practice Leader for Renodis Telecom Management.
March 21, 2013 2:46 PM
Posted by: Renodis
Most of us have already heard about BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” and know what it means, but it is the “why you should care part” that some people struggle with. Isn’t it just another phone accessing my corporate email and applications?
In this blog, we’ll get back to the basics and explain why it’s important to know about – because dismissing the BYOD phenomenon may be done at your own peril.
BYOD: What Is It?
The acronym BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device”. In this environment an employee comes to the company with their own phone. On the surface this is nice. Your organization does not need to provide them with a device to communicate, access email, access corporate applications, receive text messages etc. So, yes, on the outside this looks like it may be a winner. The reality can be different when you take into account the security and policy measures you need to take to make sure your mobile ecosystem stays secured and policies are followed.
BYOD: Why You Should Care
The positives of allowing your employees to bring their own devices is appealing: no equipment cost for the company, small stipend to help pay for the phone plan, what’s not to love? A lot (this is the part where you start to care). Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
What about support for the device? Is your support desk ready for the extra calls that may not be related to your corporate information? The support requests might come in as, “The corporate application is not working!” only to debug and find out that it is due to some game that was downloaded for their kids which caused a conflict with that application. It is a personal device right. So now your support cost might go up.
What if this employee leaves the company with confidential information on their device? This could lead to loss of information, loss of clients, and legal ramification due to loss of data.
Will top talent work for me if all I have to offer for connectivity is a laptop or desktop? Yes this is a concern for top companies that want to attract the best and the brightest. Most students coming out of college today are well versed in the usage of their phone and will want to use it for all their communication needs. So do you cater to them and allow them to use their own phone or do you risk losing the talent by forcing them to carry two devices?
BYOD: What Else You Should Know
As you start to dig deeper into understanding the full picture of a BYOD environment, here are some things you need to pay attention to and get under control in your mobile ecosystem.
Establish a mobile governance team composed of HR, Legal, IT and any other stakeholders. Their job will be to create policies similar to employee code of conduct, but directed at mobile. Policy guidelines should include 1) what’s acceptable use and what is not 2) what rights you have to confidential information and how they will be put into effect in case of a layoff or resign.
Be aware of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act if you are planning to use a Mobile Device Management tool to manage your BYOD environment. Remember, texts are electronic communications so caution goes out to both sides: the user and the monitor of the managed BYOD’s.
Think about overtime implications. Recently, hourly workers have been bringing legal action when putting in more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay. Smartphones and other technology have allowed a bleed into personal time. Examples of this are replying to a corporate email here and there at 7 pm, 9pm 2am or reading a document that was sent out at 4pm around 8pm. This time adds up. Before smartphones and mobile devices, these types of items would not get addressed until the next work day.
BYOD: The Summary
The BYOD phenomenon is changing the Where, How and When workers do their jobs. It can provide a lot of good synergy on how your organization conducts business, but it also has the risk of leaving your organization open to legal challenges and cost overruns if not properly managed.
March 15, 2013 5:43 PM
Posted by: Renodis
As an IT leader, do you remember the first time you had that ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you can’t be all things to all stakeholders because of the pesky, immutable Economic Law of limited resources/unlimited opportunity? If you are like other IT leaders, that moment of enlightenment was probably both liberating and frustrating. The former because it took the pressure off of trying to do too much with limited money, time and talent; the latter because you still knew there were many un-done or un-initiated projects or solutions that could drive your business forward by leveraging technology correctly.
Well the difference between great IT leaders and those locked into spending approximately two thirds of their budgets on operational needs vs. innovation, are those that do something about this Law of Economics vs. simply accepting it.
Another way to approach the challenge is to ask “What is NOT worth the limited resources you have (Time, Money, Talent), but you always assumed it had be done by your department”?
Telecom. Even the word implies out-dated and non-strategic, limited ROI, and frustrating. Important, yes. Strategic, no. A wise use of your time, people, and money to manage wireline and mobility? No.
Here are three key reasons Telecom Management should not compete for your valuable time, people, and resources.
Reason #1 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: IT is Strategic. Telecom is Tactical
What would you rather have your star IT talent focus on:
a) Transformative IT technology that will grow your business and keep you at the CEO planning table, OR
b) Answer help desk calls on why someone’s mobile phone is not pulling email
Sound familiar? How about this long list of tactical, talent-wasting activities that have a huge opportunity cost for your IT achievements:
- Meeting with numerous Carriers that waste valuable time selling their brand of Kool Aid
- Reviewing Wireline and Mobile Telecom bills and contracts
- Evaluating Mobile Device Management platforms and how to manage them
- Staying current on the best DR strategies and solutions
- Escalating trouble tickets with non-responsive Carriers
The list can go on and on….it’s all tactical Telecom Management, and it’s all preventing you from being efficient and innovative.
Reason #2 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Expertise is Unlikely; Mediocrity is Best Case
It is no secret that Carriers have reduced investment in customer service to the Mid Market Enterprise. This trend has required companies to either accept the frustration and inefficiency that it produces, or expect their IT staff to pick up the slack. Do you want your best IT talent (or any valuable FTE role) investing their training and educational time on learning the latest mobility rate plans, or how to mitigate risks in a SIP environment, or even what is the lowest cost/most reliable DR solution deployed by peers in your industry? Will these tasks transform your business or create innovation relative to your competitors? Of course not. Your staff knows this as well, and that is precisely why they don’t gain this expertise; namely, there is not a strong ROI to them or you, hence Mid-market firms are destined to experience mediocre Telecom Management outcomes at best, and very wasteful and potentially damaging outcomes at worst.
Reason #3 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Money
Let’s face it, at the end of the day all business decisions are about a return on investment. However pouring money into developing the people, processes and tools to manage world-class Telecom outcomes is not a good use of finite resources nor will it produce innovation or business growth from technology that your Executive peers demand.
Conversely, ignoring one of your largest operating expenses within your IT budget will surely mean substantial money will be left on the table. In fact, most industry experts put the financial costs overruns that occur when mid-market firms try to take on Telecom Management internally at 20 to 30% or more in terms of Total Cost of Telecom. Therefore, accepting the status quo will guarantee one thing: waste. And that means less money for IT, and less focus from your IT staff.
Telecom Management: Conclusion
Firms have always sought to fill this inevitable gap between what your internal talent can effectively do, and what is desired to run wireline and mobility outcomes well. Usually this results in viewing Telecom Management as catalyst driven and thus contracting with third party experts on an as needed basis such as contract renewals, expense management, consulting etc. However that still leaves most firms with managing multiple parties to produce the outcomes desired.
The solution is to view Telecom as a process and not an event. This thinking then frees up firms to gain all the benefits of solving the three areas highlighted here. Seeking fully outsourced Telecom Management by partnering with a firm that invests in the people, process, and tools to run world-class Telecom Departments is the only sure path to an efficient IT staff focused on strategic initiatives, world-class service to your end users, and substantial savings that can be better invested in technology vs. Telecom.
Like what you hear? Contact Renodis today to learn how Turnkey Telecom Management helps businesses manage all Telecom outcomes in a holistic and integrated fashion while allowing valuable IT staff to focus on strategic transformation not operational chaos.
Myron Braun is an industry expert in Telecom Management and Vice President of Sales for Renodis.