Q&A | December 26, 2013

BYOD: How To Have It All

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By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-Mobile Devices

Offering choice means you understand that one size doesn’t fit all — even when it comes to the technology people can use most comfortably and efficiently. Just as people and their preferences tend to differ, however, bring your own device (BYOD) choices can seem almost endless.

Ron Hassanwalia, COO of SOTI, a mobile device management (MDM) provider with more than 10,000 enterprise customers worldwide, says adding MDM to BYOD is the way “to give choice without sacrifice.” Designing the right solution, though, might take some creativity.

CIOs want to give their company’s employees the option to bring their own tablets and smartphones to work, but they also want the ability to use administrative tools to monitor them with regard to areas such as content and expense management. They also need to make sure the devices are secure. It doesn’t take long to think of examples of vertical markets like healthcare or finance that makes this even more crucial. “It’s not really BYOD,” Hassanwalia comments. “It’s bring your own certified device.”

In light of emerging devices and changing trends, companies providing MDM have to keep up with  the times to give companies choice. SOTI, for example, added upgrades to version 11 of its MobiControl MDM, including Android + technology to address Android fragmentation, in addition to support for iOS and Windows.

Realistically, limits always exist. SOTI uses a matrix to show companies the level of security they can achieve depending on the technologies they use. Hassanwalia says in some companies, only certain divisions are required to use specific devices. For example, one corporation’s aerospace division uses only Samsung Knox mobile devices because of their enhanced security features, while the remainder of the company is free to choose from a variety of devices to use at work. He points out that 80 percent to 90 percent of devices are Apple or Samsung, but occasionally the remaining devices fall outside of specifications. “We focus on the Apple and Samsung users first, then we address the remaining users with different devices,” he explains.

With a future of an ever-growing Internet of Things, MDM companies can’t stand still. SOTI stays competitive with a staff dedicated to working with emerging technology. Its own remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool enables SOTI to test remotely. “We built the software, so we shouldn’t need to touch the device,” Hassanwalia explains. “We are verifying support, not adding it.” And with the bases all covered — for now — SOTI can add emerging technologies to the matrix of BYOD choices.

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