By now most of us have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of articles or blog posts about BYOD. This makes sense as by most accounts the BYOD trend continues unabated in the majority of enterprises. Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is BYOD? There are conflicting viewpoints on how one might best define the term Bring Your Own Device. An analyst we work with at Ovum put it best when he said “BYOD is nothing more than a behavior”. That seems right to us, and simply and effectively settles continuing debate on the matter.
There are a many good reasons why a company might allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace. First and foremost, it is initially much cheaper for the company, since there are no upfront costs for equipment. Back in the day when the major U.S. wireless carriers were fully subsidizing most corporate handset purchases, equipment costs were not a major consideration. Today, however, with the most popular smart phones or tablets costing up to $700 MSRP, equipment costs play a significant factor in a company’s decision to allow for BYOD.
As if the industry didn’t have enough acronyms already, we’ve recently seen articles like this one from Will Kelly that advocate new mobile strategies known as Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) and Corporate Owned Personally Enabled (COPE), in part because companies have not realized the cost savings expected after a decision to implement BYOD.
We believe that the major challenge with BYOD, and other individual liability accounts, is the significant expense a company bears in the form of higher wireless services costs with this sort of wireless account structure. This is typically an afterthought, and normally not carefully considered by most companies as they determine wireless policy. That’s a critical mistake. Unlike a typical corporate account that has hundreds, or thousands, of devices on one Billing Account Number, or BAN, a BYOD account structure oftentimes means that each device is on its own, employee-owned account. This is sometimes referred to as IRU, or Individual Responsibility Unit.
IRU’s make it very simple for a company to manage mobility. Employees are generally expected to expense back wireless charges to the company each month, usually via expense reports or through software provided by firms like Concur. While expense management software helps to mitigate the high costs of processing expense reports, the individual liable account structure leads to significantly higher wireless costs to both the end users and, on a much broader scale, to the company itself.
Inseego Corp. partner DataXoom recently announced an unprecedented group of mobile data plans that allow for individual accounts (both BYOD and IRU) to pool data usage for all users in an enterprise. For example, a company with 1,000 individually-owned Apple iPads, 300 company-owned Intermec CN50’s and 700 company-owned wifi hotspots could have all 2,000 devices on one master DataXoom account. This account structure and pooling capability reduces the chance of incurring expensive wireless data overages to almost zero. This exciting new solution allows businesses operational flexibility with the lowest overall costs in the industry. If you’d like to learn more, please visit www.dataxoom.com.