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Do You BYOD?


TMCnews Featured Article

February 19, 2013

Do You BYOD?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon has arrived and companies are quickly adopting this strategy to reduce costs and allow employees more control over their selected mobile device. Even with the right policies in place, however, not all employees are readily taking advantage of this new option. For Ingram Micro (News - Alert), it was time to inspire action. 

According to this CIO article, the company was facing a challenge. A new BYOD smartphone program had been implemented internally, yet only a few hundred employees had actually elected to participate. As contracts with wireless carriers came up for renewal, the company saw an opportunity to drive greater adoption. Moving from a voluntary BYOD program to mandatory involvement only required the company to simply stop issuing corporate BlackBerry (News - Alert) devices. 

The employee base of 16,000 was told to go out and purchase their own mobile device to use while on the job. While U.S. employees have rapidly ramped up, users in Europe and Asia are also following suit as the company aims to convert all employees to BYOD smartphones. Within the year, the company expects 100 percent program adoption. 

When complete, Ingram Micro will be managing a smartphone program across 40 different countries. This demands a different policy for each different country and a robust mobile device management solution to streamline efforts. In fact, according to company officials, the technology was the easy part of the transition as remote deployment, remote wipe, security policies and configuration were all enabled with the solution. 

Like other companies seeking to deploy mandatory BYOD policies, Ingram Micro is facing challenges with privacy issues. The company retains the right to eliminate all corporate data from a personal device and wanted to push for more visibility into personal data. Their legal department, on the other hand, didn’t want the associated liabilities that comes from such access and advised against it. Plus, privacy laws can vary greatly by country. 

The firm did brace for pushback from its employees faced with the requirement that they shell out their own money for a mobile device. The opposite happened, however, even in the U.S. Many employees already owned a smartphone as a personal device, or were ready to make the purchase and viewed this move as an opportunity to do so. While they were selecting the right data plan, corporate was implementing a solid mobile device management solution to protect users, corporate information and the company. 

Making this transition can be a real challenge for any organization, regardless of its size. In doing so, there is benefit in partnering with a mobile device management solution provider like MobileIron. This provider enables companies to become mobile first. As highlighted in this company video, the mobile device management provider truly understands that organizations are most successful when their employees have access to all the information they need to do their jobs.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

Technology Marketing Corporation

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