Making BYOD work for mobile UC

Bruce Downing
ShoreTel
Allowing employees to choose their own mobile devices undeniably offers significant benefits to organizations, including lower device costs, improved productivity, stronger sales, increased profits, greater agility and enhanced employee satisfaction.
 
There is still a growing concern from Asian CIOs regarding data security and compliance as well as the increase in cost associated with managing multiple devices. However, extending unified communications (UC) capabilities to mobile devices is the key to a holistic approach for BYOD. 
 
For the longest time, the only enterprise communication capability extended to mobile devices was email.  Fortunately, with mobile UC solutions, users can now also access deskphone capabilities, instant messaging, conferencing and presence on their mobile devices.
 
Still, the key to a successful mobile UC deployment is finding a solution that is “BYOD-ready” – maximizing the benefits of BYOD while minimizing the challenges. There are five requirements for this.
 
First is securing communications, considering that security is the primary reason IT managers hesitate to let employees use their personal devices for enterprise communications.
 
Traditional mobile device management (MDM) solutions are designed to manage a large number of devices and mitigate security threats to some extent.  However, they are limited by the device and application capabilities, so they cannot enable encryption on a device or application that does not already support it.
 
Mobile UC solutions now allow enterprise UC data to not be stored on the mobile device, lessening the risk associated with lost or stolen devices.  Additionally, all transmissions between the mobile device and PBX/UC infrastructure are authenticated and encrypted, creating a secure container for enterprise communications while users’ personal applications continue to flow normally outside the container.
 

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