So you’re ready to embrace BYOD, but you know you could use some help with its management – what next? How do you identify the right partner?
Most businesses look for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) management at the same time as, or just shortly after, they initially introduce the policy to allow staff to work on their own preferred devices. So it can be hard to know for sure what you really need from a vendor.
Or perhaps you’ve been dealing with it in-house up until now and don’t want to jump straight into the arms of the first BYOD provider who offers to carry the burden for you.
For starters, BYOD management shouldn't be conflated with mobile device management (MDM). MDM is important, but you need a different approach for BYOD items than for corporate devices. Standard MDM can be far too heavy-handed for devices owned by your employees, and it should be considered an element of a BYOD management program not a replacement for one.
So what do you need to look for if you want to be sure you've chosen the best BYOD vendor for your enterprise?
Because BYOD is a relatively new way of doing things, and something of a trend within business, not all vendors will have a great deal of experience in its management, and some may have simply added the service to jump on its popularity. Look out for those who have been offering it as a discrete managed service for at least a few years.
As with anything, experience and happy customers who stick around, and enjoy good ROI, is a solid indication of a good partner.
Service not just software
To get the most out of BYOD and achieve peace of mind that your data is safe on employee-owned devices, you’re much better off working with a vendor who offers a full management service, not just glorified self-serve MDM software.
The best vendors will become your trusted partners and can advise and assist you in getting the most from your processes and creating robust, effective policies.
Stability is a must have for any business relationship. And there’s no point engaging a business to relieve your burdens if you’re just replacing one stress with new worries about whether your new partner can shoulder the responsibility of managing your most complex telecom tasks.
BYOD Service Characteristics
Of course in addition to evaluating vendors, you will want to consider the actual services offered by those you have shortlisted.
Ease of Compliance Management
It’s worrying enough allowing company data out of the building on corporate-owned devices, but the headache doubles when you’ve got employees accessing and storing sensitive information on devices they use for personal as well as business purposes.
But heavy-handed MDM on an employee-owned device will at best lead to disgruntled staff, at worst be ignored or actively-avoided.
A good BYOD provider will seek to help you achieve policy compliance, ensuring your business is following best practice and data remains as safe as possible.
For example: We use reimbursement as an incentive for MDM enrolment – for reimbursement to start employees must accept the MDM system, and automatic alerts mean that it’s impossible to slip through the cracks by deleting the program.
Great End-User Experience
The right BYOD provider will care about your end-users as well the needs of the account holder.
The best vendors make your BYOD program effortless for its users, giving them the freedom to use their preferred technology without losing any access to the resources they need or feeling their privacy is compromised – and eliminating unnecessary admin.
Look out for those who offer an end-user helpdesk – ensuring employees get their queries answered and issues resolved as soon as possible and your IT staff don’t sink time into worrying about individual devices.
Direct to Carrier Payments?
We always recommend seeking a vendor that takes the reimbursement headache out of your hands and makes payments straight to the end-user’s carrier account.
It’s how we take care of reimbursement, and we find both end-users and IT management or accounts teams love the convenience – for the end user: direct stipend credit instead of having to remember to fill out tedious expense reports, for the business: no more expense report burden for BYOD or worries about issues such as compliance and tax issues in making payroll stipends.
As with all elements of telecoms management, a good BYOD vendor will be a helpful strategic partner, not just a faceless supplier. They can advise you on the best ways to manage every aspect of your telecoms and offer help in drafting policy and programs.
At Cass Telecom, we recommend that any business running or implementing a BYOD program creates a comprehensive policy to guide account holders and employees. Our downloadable enterprise BYOD policy guide will help you write yours.