Enterprise Mobility: Trajectory and Best Practices

Presented by Mitch Black, MOBI President, in Orlando, FL at the 2014 AOTMP Fixed and Mobile Telecom Management Conference February 11th, 2014.

The mobility industry is on a continuous path of evolution. The progression unlocks a great deal of value for organizations that effectively leverage mobility. In this presentation given at AOTMP’s 2014 Fixed and Mobile Telecom Management Conference, Mobility Expert and MOBI President, Mitch Black, shares: insights, the trajectory, and best practices associated with enterprise mobility.This includes a look at the progression of mobility over time, definition of enterprise mobility management, and an introduction to enterprise mobility management best practices being leveraged by leading organizations today.

Have questions or comments about the trends and best practices discussed?
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Enterprise Mobility Management Perspective on the "One-Ring Scam"

This article, written by Josh Garrett, MOBI Co-Founder & CSO, addresses the new alleged mobility fraud referred to as the “One-Ring Scam”. The article was recently featured on Mobile Enterprise’s website.UNKNOWN-CALLER

Recently, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning to businesses and consumers about the “One-Ring Scam”. National news media promptly picked up the story to spread the word about this new scam.

There are various versions involving the details and consequences of the scam, but most involve a call from an unrecognized international number (Caribbean or Eastern European). The call is either a few brief rings or an immediate disconnect if you happen to pick up. The warning states that if you call back, you could be charged a $20 connection fee as well as $9/minute for the duration of the call. Some warnings go as far as to state that this scam can steal your contacts and your personal information.

This scam has been around for quite some time and is similar to an 809 scam which used faxes, voicemails, emails, and other communication means to dupe people into making unknown international charges. Following some further digging on the “One-Ring Scam,” the severity of the damages may not be as bad as the warning states. The website snopes.com, which tracks all manner of Internet rumor, notes:

“Sprint currently lists its standard rate for placing calls from U.S. cell phones to the countries mentioned in the above example (Belarus and Latvia) at between $2.65 and $2.69 per minute (and as low as $0.41 to $0.43 per minute if the caller subscribes to an international long-distance plan), so a victim who returned such a call and stayed on the line for a couple of minutes before hanging up might realistically be out $5 or so in toll charges. Phone customers can generally get any “premium service” (i.e., “international call fee”) charges tacked on to such a call reversed by contacting their phone service providers and documenting the circumstances of the call.”

In addition, there is no way an international phone call could be used to steal data or contacts off your phone. A more likely scenario involves returning the call and speaking with somebody who may try to get that information out of you.

While this danger may be somewhat overblown, it is important to always remain vigilant on how employees use their devices. This means implementing, communicating and maintaining a wireless policy that guides employees on their use of the device (such as not returning calls to strange international numbers). Further, it is important to always check your bill for improper usage or charges. Even the smallest charge can multiply quickly when billed to many devices.

Implement a BYOD Program Your Employees Can Understand

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The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is the biggest technology issue facing today’s workplaces. Today’s employees are simply more comfortable working on their own mobile devices. And, the trend isn’t going away. Employers can either embrace it or get left behind as their employees jump ship for companies that have BYOD programs in place. Most employers are choosing the latter option, with more than 50 percent of employers expected to have a BYOD program by 2017. BYOD programs do change a work environment, however. Implement BYOD in your own business so employees easily understand the rules:

1. Let Employees Know What Responsibilities BYOD Will Put on Them

BYOD programs make employees responsible and even liable for some things that were previously on the employer. Make employees aware of the legal implications for them in implementing BYOD before starting the program to make sure they still want it after knowing the details. Some areas in which employees may be liable with BYOD are:

Employment Law:  If employees are using their devices outside of working hours to do work, they may run afoul of overtime laws or even child labor laws regarding the number of allowable hours of work a week if they are minors in high school.

Data Protection: Make it clear to employees what their legal responsibilities are regarding the protection of company data, proprietary information, data security and confidentiality when they work on their own devices.

Copyright Issues: Sometimes, using certain apps for work-related purposes rather than simply personal use can lead to copyright or license infringements regarding those apps. Make sure employees read the terms of use of the apps they download before they use them for work-related purposes.

2. Provide a Clearly Outlined BYOD Policy for the Workplace to All Employees

This is essential before beginning any BYOD program. Management and the IT department must develop a set of guidelines for the program ahead of time so employees will know from the start what the rules are.

Some things that should be a part of any set of guidelines for a BYOD program include:

  • A list of the types of devices that will be allowed. Some companies adopting BYOD only allow one type of device, such as the business-friendly Blackberry. Other companies allow only Apple or Android products. Still others allow any kind of device.
  • Information on whether it is ever acceptable to use open connections rather than encrypted ones.
  • A description of password regulations. Most companies using BYOD require devices to have passwords so unauthorized people can’t access company data. Let employees know how complex passwords must be and whether the IT department will have access to everyone’s passwords.
  • Procedures to follow to protect data if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Clear information on whether the employer is ever allowed to monitor employee use of their devices. If monitoring is allowed, when it is allowed must be explained.
  • Procedures for managers to gain access to company information on the devices of employees who leave the company.
  • A plan for how financial compensation to employees for work use of their personal devices will be handled.

3. Hold a Training Session So Everyone is On the Same Page

This is a simple but essential step of moving toward Bring Your Own Device. Once your company has decided to adopt it and has a set of rules and regulations in place for its use, a company-wide, in-person training session should be held so employees can find out all about the details of the program and get a chance to ask any questions right off the bat. It will make the transition to BYOD so much easier on everyone and increase the chances of success of the program.

Industry Insights Revealed During First MOBI CAB Meeting

CABMOBI recently held its inaugural Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting in downtown Indianapolis. Enterprise mobility thought leaders from five of our most prestigious customer organizations were in attendance, along with MOBI executives, to discuss emerging trends in Managed Mobility Services (MMS). Healthcare, Digital Entertainment, Government, Consumer Manufacturing, and Chemicals industries were represented.

In total, the group makes mobility management decisions on over 59,000 enterprise devices. The CAB meeting served as an open forum for our customers to provide candid feedback on what is truly valued in an MMS offering, in an effort to help shape and validate MOBI’s business ideas. By the end of the day, some compelling industry insights were uncovered.

  • Embedded MDMs such as Samsung Knox will fail in enterprise mobility environments: Manufacturers who have recently launched devices embedded with MDMs, like Samsung Knox for Android, will likely not succeed in larger corporate environments. Because these particular types of MDMs are exclusive to one platform (ie Android, iOS, Windows, etc.), and large organizations support multiple types of devices for their employees, the complexity of managing multiple MDMs would be even more burdensome.
  • The iPad’s relevancy will eventually be dominated by Windows Tablets with 8.0/8.1 software: There was an overwhelming consensus among the CAB members that the iPad’s popularity will soon fade in enterprise in favor of the Windows Tablet. Lower cost, Microsoft integration capabilities, and the ability to have multiple accounts on Windows tablets, are just some of the reasons for this shift in product esteem.
  • There is an emerging need for shared devices in manufacturing/warehouse settings: Organizations that deploy devices to employees who share shifts, much like in a manufacturing or warehouse setting, are realizing the benefit that shared devices, namely tablets, would bring. Referring again to the aforementioned point about Windows tablets gaining popularity—their feature that allows for multiple user accounts on one device adheres to this growing need, as employees could share the same device while keeping their personal information safe on individual login accounts.
  • Biometrics will take off in 2014: We’ve already seen the introduction of fingerprint “passwords” with the iPhone 5S release in September, but other manufacturers are on their heels to release similar security measures, and have the potential to change mobility as we know it today. According to a report by Business Insider, “A total of 74 percent believe that biometric smartphones will become mainstream in 2014,” per a report by Ericsson.

The predictions/industry trends that amassed from our CAB meeting will be revisited throughout the year with CAB members. If you have any questions about the MOBI CAB meetings or have an interest in joining, email me at megan.baird@mobiwm.com.

MOBIwatch Now Available in the AirWatch Marketplace

MOBIwatchAirWatch, the leader in enterprise-grade mobile device management and MOBI partner, has recently added our portal collaboration, MOBIwatch, to their Marketplace. With MOBIwatch, admins and account specialists’ jobs are more convenient, as they can now view a device’s AirWatch information along with standard Portal information. They are able to log into the MOBI Portal and perform a number of actions typically associated with AirWatch, including GPS look up, device locking, and device wipe. Additionally, MOBIwatch offers new information to administrators, including: Device Summary, Apps Installed, Profiles, and Action History. Finally, MOBIwatch adds an additional layer of security to customer by ensuring that employees who have left the company no longer have access to corporate information or carry an active AirWatch license.

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The AirWatch Marketplace serves as a community through which they can showcase the products, applications, and solutions of trusted AirWatch technology partners, including Windows Phone, Samsung, and Webalo. We are excited and honored to be counted among this population of industry leaders.

Improved User Experience Results in Greater Employee Productivity

MOBI User-Interface Designers Create a New End-User Dashboard in the MOBI Portal. new end user dashboard overview download

The key to employee productivity is empowerment. As the old adage goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Here at MOBI, we are in a constant pursuit of empowering our customer’s employees. Instead of fish, we help organizations and their employees efficiently manage mobility.

Studies show that on average, enterprise employees conduct as many as three support activities for each mobile device they use for work in a given year. Consider the notion that many employees carry multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, data cards, etc.), un-assisted support activities can take over 45 minutes to complete, and that most large organizations have device counts in the thousands. Under these circumstances, an organization with 10,000 devices is at risk of losing 22,500 hours of employee productivity in just one year. That equates to over 2,800 full working days of employee productivity lost.

Losing 22,500 hours is a lot. Because of this, we’re continually taking steps to reduce employee downtime. Through the help of our account specialists, a.k.a. support gurus, MOBI customer organizations already experience a much lower rate of employee downtime. On top of the assistance coming from MOBI account specialists, MOBI has developed an incredibly robust and easy to use portal, so enterprise employees can self-serve their unique mobility management needs.

Today, we’re excited to announce a new enterprise employee (end-user) dashboard in the portal that makes it even easier and faster for enterprise employees to complete required mobility management activities. With this update, there are several features that streamline the use of the MOBI portal:

  • End user dashboard_thumbnailMOBI Device Bar - End-users with multiple devices can manage all of their devices in one place. 
  • ‘I Want To…’ Drop Down Menu - End-users can quickly take action regarding their device or service plan from a menu that is automatically generated based on popularity of use (based by company), or configured by an administrator.
  • Activity Newsfeed - End-users are presented with their latest activity history and are color-coded by urgency if action is necessary.
  • FAQs & Help Showcase - A relevant and curated list of FAQs that apply to the user’s specific group or role are presented to each user.
  • Dashboard Settings - Administrators can quickly and easily choose which FAQs, Activities, or Line Restricted Attributes are displayed.

Interested in learning more about MOBI’s new end-user dashboard? Click the PDF image above to download an overview with more detail.

MOBI Services Now Available to Tech Data Solution Providers

Tech DataFollowing an agreement with Tech Data Corporation—one of the world’s largest wholesale distributors of technology products, services, and solutions—MOBI will now be offering its suite of services to Tech Data’s network of solution providers by way of their TDMobility business unit. Tech Data serves small- and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises, educational institutes, government agencies, and consumers. In the face of a quickly growing MMS industry, these new enterprise and mid-market segments will benefit from the following: a full suite of MOBI’s MMS capabilities; MDM implementation and administrative services; migration services; BYOD evaluation, deployment, and ongoing support; financial analysis and savings recommendations on wireless service spend.

For more information on MOBI’s partnership with Tech Data, see the full Press Release.