Gauteng Business News

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INFOTECH: Untangle Corporate Mobility – BYOD in the Mobile Revolution


Recent Gauteng Business News

The mobile revolution is well under way, but it comes with problems of its own, including picking among the growing range of options on which to reach colleagues. The answer‘ Ask your employees to bring their own device, says Bennie Langenhoven, Managing Executive, Tellumat Communication Solutions

Join the Mobile Revolution

Office mobility is on the up and up. As the world population hit 7 billion this month, the number of mobile subscribers worldwide is expected to come close to that mark in 2018, according to the latest Frost and Sullivan research.

What’s more, the research firm predicts that the number of smartphones will surpass feature phones by 2013, putting unified communications within the reach of billions – many of them in corporate employment.

Clearly, IT departments will be forced to evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of enterprise mobility sooner rather than later.

Â… but expect some confusion
With increasing mobility there will be challenges. One of the main issues is the sheer ubiquity of smartphones and other mobile form factors like tablet PCs and laptops.

Consider the following gadget confusion – a scenario that is becoming ever more typical of modern office workers:

- Personal laptop

- Home phone

- Personal smartphone

- Personal iPad

- Company laptop

- Office phone

- Office fax

Now imagine trying to reach the average Joe Burger in the midst of all that. LetÂ’s say you sent him a purchase order. You may start off by sending a fax, following up with an email and later a call to his office phone, if itÂ’s urgent. Finally, you try his mobile, an extraordinary feat already, since you first had to find the contact details for all these device platforms.

Still, you have no luck, because Joe is working from home, and he just stepped out of his study. He hadnÂ’t expected to be at home, so his work laptop is locked away at work. As a result heÂ’s not getting emails, even though the company has fax-to-email, and his cellular coverage is poor where he lives, so heÂ’ll only get your voice mail later.

When at long last that happens, he has to piece together your work request from several avenues. If youÂ’re lucky, heÂ’ll apologise profusely and ask you to re-send the e-mail to his Gmail account. A gigantic pain.

BYOD for the Mobile Revolution

Now consider the option of instituting a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) option for staff. It is a real possibility, since mobility is not solely a corporate phenomenon. In fact, the millennial generation has grown up with technology at their fingertips. They enjoy powerful communication tools that literally fit in the palms of their hands, and they want it around at all times.

In such a scenario, some even question whether it is still necessary to provide new employees with a corporate laptop. In a simplified BYOD corporate environment, the out-of-reach average Joe can be far more accessible, as he has the option of travelling with only one device – his own personal tablet – from which he can access emails, the Internet and a soft phone.

Please release them
Releasing employees from the burden of juggling numerous devices does not have to mean sacrificing the benefits of unified communications. In fact, it is a necessary next step in the mobile revolution, as it allows a rationalisation of communication that finally fulfils the mobile promise of efficiency and convenience.

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