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IBM's BYOD Approach Shows the Way to Enterprise Mobile UC

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IBM's BYOD Approach Shows the Way to Enterprise Mobile UC


November 18, 2011

By Art Rosenberg

I have long suggested that business UC implementation planning include mobility use cases for several practical reasons.

  • Mobile users have greater need for UC flexibility
  • Mobile business users will also be mobile consumers
  • Business applications that deal with time-sensitive notifications can benefit from end user Mobile UC
  • Mobile accessibility will require federated presence information that UC can support
  • Messaging with “click-to-call/chat” is becoming more practical with mobile smartphones
  • Mobile access to web portals make multi-modal devices more effective for application interactions

The big news in business communications is that IBM (News - Alert) is supporting employee use of their own mobile devices (smartphones, tablets), while focusing on secure access to internal information. By the end of the this year, 100,000 IBM employees will be able to securely access IBM internal networks with their own devices and network services that will also be used for personal applications and entertainment (dual persona). In 2012, another 100,000 employees will also be BYOD enabled.

Employees will be paying for their own devices and will require loading IBM management software for security purposes. In addition, IBM will require passwords and use VPNs for access to information applications. Initially, IBM will provide contact and calendar access through its Lotus Traveler.

In addition to allowing employees to use public mobile apps, IBM will also provide approved third-party and internal apps from its Whirlwind app store, launched in late 2010.

IBM’s move to BYOD will expand the role of UC for its mobile users, enabling both person-to-person contact flexibility and CEBP notifications from time-sensitive applications. IBM’s BYOD policy is setting an example for large organizations to migrate their legacy telephony business communications to a more cost efficient and productive virtual and mobile UC environment.

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Art Rosenberg, a veteran of the computer and communications industry, contributes his column, The Unified-View to TMCnet. To read more of Art’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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