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BYOD: serving a professional purpose

February 9, 2015

Anthony Bartolo   

Blog contributor

The exponential growth of connected devices, emergence of social media, analytics, cloud computing and the acceptance of BYOD are all resulting in a major transition in the way businesses utilise and engage with technology. This, in effect, has evolved the way enterprises conduct business. From my own perspective, I’ve noticed that with the rapid evolution of technology, many customers are asking me the same question: “How do we maintain a consistent experience across our enterprise?”

Today’s tech-savvy employee is working from a variety of devices—smartphones, tablets and computers—in some cases, all three—running a variety of operating systems. In addition, the employee chooses which applications to use, and how to use them. Combined, these nuances create variance, leading to a vast spectrum of IT support needs that may or may not be available in house.

Without getting too nostalgic, imagine IT departments of the early nineties. At the time, we had a ton of different network elements—routers, switches etc, all hard-wired and available within reach. An SNMP server collected status information from discrete network elements, monitoring all of the working pieces so that if and when a problem occurred, the department could pinpoint exactly what went wrong.

Now imagine our wireless environment today with variance as the norm. In a BYOD program, the device itself enters a grey area between serving a personal and professional purpose. And now, without a common mechanism (such as an SNMP manager) to evaluate issues, employees often resort to becoming their own help desk—sending tickets in the form of a search engine query. Solving an issue now relies on deductive reasoning—assessing everything from the network to device to connectivity—and can be far less efficient.

To circumvent these challenges, companies can easily implement a set a parameters for their BYOD policy. Start by building a security framework around a limited subset of devices that employees can bring into a network, and exercise caution with older devices that have standing security flaws. Just as in driving, you’re not required to own a specific make and model of car, but it is required to be street legal. Creating a workplace equivalent helps maintain a civil society within your business framework.

Recently, an automotive manufacturer and Tata Communications customer decided to implement a BYOD program across offices in 56 countries. Over the course of a year, they run more than 8,000 product design reviews—working internally with product experts and externally with automotive manufacturing teams—increasing the complexity of organising meetings.

For each review cycle, the company includes design experts from across the network and is dependent on their availability and travel time. A more holistic business approach was needed to be more accommodating to the productivity of talented resources and reduce the time to market of products by several months. The company needed something more application driven and global, and explored telepresence products like jamvee™ to help save travel time without losing the quality of communication that occurred during an in-person review. By leveraging the convenience and efficiency of BYOD and using tools such as jamvee™, their teams can collaborate with manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe, and access insights from design experts in 56 different countries. All in the same day.

In order to ensure interactions are streamlined and seamless, multiple parties need to open up their network to various communication platforms. This level of federation is easily applied to voice communication, but can be difficult for cloud-based tools. With jamvee™, users can securely collaborate beyond their enterprise without having to change their network, implementation or client.

Our industry is approaching the next wave of business, making it all the more important to ensure unified, flexible and forward-thinking communications offerings.

Is your business prepared to manage the next phase of growth? Leave your comments below.