The bring your own device (BYOD) story that will stay with me forever is about the “Mobilizing Your Business: Challenge or Opportunity” conference, hosted by executives from mobile device management provider MobileIron, Apperian (News - Alert), Good Technology and Tangoe earlier this year. As the lights in the conference room dimmed, you could hear the crescendo of a howling primate and that was when across a wide screen a video clip played of an ape shooting an AK47 at Somali insurgents. A keynote speaker dramatically turned to the audience and warned, “This is what can happen when BYOD gets out of control.” But alas, BYOD continues to prevail, and the Info-Tech Research Group predicts that 35 percent of the workforce will be using their own devices for work-related matters by the middle of 2013. But what this means to forward-thinking Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) vendors— is market opportunities.
InfoTech’s Vendor Landscape reports that Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, Siemens Enterprise (News - Alert) Communications and IBM are the burgeoning market’s “champions.” Avaya’s Aura platform has an IP telephony system with unbeatable UC solutions. Cisco is commended for having “the most comprehensible strategy for enterprise communications” with their operation of combining UC, IP telephony, video conferencing, desktop solutions, etc. with real-time abilities. Microsoft’s (News - Alert) solution is perhaps the most “well-rounded.” With Microsoft Lync, companies with few mobile needs can benefit from the flexibility afforded by “cloud and on-premise systems.”
Siemens Enterprise Communications (News - Alert) is also mentioned as a winner for their use of UC tools, which can adapt to different architectures. IBM is the only company named in the Vendor Landscape report that is not directly involved in the telephony industry; however they use Sametime, a unified communications and collaborative software, which the report states is an “over-the-top solution that works with virtually any telephony system.”
BYOD market opportunities are growing and are not solely limited to the workforce. In fact, recent reports indicate that universities are included in the BYOD phenomenon, as well. Texas A&M recently announced that they selected Aruba AirWave to service their growing BYOD needs, while La Salle University, which has physical campuses in Philadelphia and virtual campuses across Europe, opted to go with Bombar’ssecure, remote BYOD solutions.