Switching Smartphone Platform Needs Planning
August 13, 2012
By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor
With BlackBerry (News - Alert) maker Research In Motion (RIM) on the decline, corporations are quietly switching to other platforms, primarily iOS-based iPhones and Android smartphones. As a result, companies are reevaluating their mobile device management (MDM) plans.
Not paying attention to RIM’s claim that the company still has a future, some companies have started migrating to iPhones and Android (News - Alert) based smartphones. According to a report on InformationWeek’s BYTE site, some companies are setting up contingency plans in event of a RIM collapse. As an example, the BYTE report cites Boston-based Suffolk Construction Co., which has been a RIM customer for over a decade. But, now it is planning to switch most of its 700 employees using BlackBerry devices to iPhones by the year-end.
BYTE highlights a few MDM issues that must be addressed before companies migrate from BlackBerrys to iPhones and Android devices. These include renegotiation of mobile plans, deactivating unused BlackBerrys and securing iOS and Android platforms and policies around app downloads.
With employees bringing their own BYOD devices to the workplace, companies must lay a framework for employees who plan to use personal devices as work tools interchangeably. The report quotes enterprise expense management company Xigo’s chief marketing officer Dave Snow, saying, "We're starting to see a full transition to fully corporate-issued iPhones and iPads and Android devices, and it's a catalyst to get companies to ratify expense and security policies."
He added, “The lines are being blurred. They need a consistent set of policies on expense management and security and how they're going to let users use these devices."
However, Tyler Lessard (News - Alert), chief marketing officer at mobile security and risk management provider Fixmo, told BYTE, “Its customers across vertical markets are planning to support additional device platforms. If they have 1,000 Blackberrys deployed, they're not ripping them out; they're expecting the next 500 devices to be something else. So it tends to be complementary...they're not decommissioning Blackberrys by any means."
Additionally, Lessard said companies must look into four areas-- expense, security, policies and applications-- as they transition to supporting additional platforms.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey