Sprint has teamed with Vision Wireless to offer business customers a bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, management solution. This new offering helps to round out the carrier's suite of professional mobility services, which includes device management and mobility management offerings.
Pete Parish, senior product marketing manager with Sprint, said that with each of the services in the suite, Sprint has turned to third-party experts in their respective fields. Vision, a telecom expense management provider, offers solutions that its carrier customers, which include AT&T and T-Mobile, can self-brand.
The BYOD management solution will enable Sprint customers to:
- define and enforce employee compliance with their BYOD policies;
- secure corporate data on employee-owned devices with mobile-device-management and security features;
- manage the process for employees to be reimbursed for devices and services that company BYOD policies cover;
- use reporting/analytics tools to keep track of employees and devices participating in BYOD policies; and
- offer employees a customized Web portal where they can register their personal device and find answers to questions.
"IT management has told us about their challenge to stay focused on key priorities while also securing corporate data and managing a dynamic environment where employees use a variety of mobile devices from multiple carriers," John Dupree, vice president of business sales at Sprint, said in an Aug. 27 statement. "Our new BYOD management service is a simple, turnkey solution that eliminates this challenge by bringing together key elements from our device management and mobility management [services] and adding the critical features needed to manage a BYOD environment."
The solution can scale, but Sprint expects it to be particularly popular among companies with 1,000 to 10,000 employees.
Parish told eWEEK that Sprint has seen customers "walking around the edges of BYOD." They have parts of a solution in place, but they're missing certain key components.
"We feel there's a large number of customers who haven't taken a step forward in this space and would like to, so we've put together a very nice package to offer [BYOD] without a company having to spend the time sourcing all the different parts."
Key elements of the Sprint BYOD management service, Parish added, are the abilities to help a company define what it would like its BYOD policy to be, and for it to tie the solution to payroll or a number of other options that make it simple for a company to reimburse an employee, if a stipend or reimbursement is a part of their BYOD policy.
BYOD policies are ways for employees to use their own, preferred devices and for enterprises to benefit from the influx of employee-owned devices in the workplace, while having a way to maintain the security of corporate data. A survey from Research and Markets found that 65 percent of the corporations in its study plan to have some type of BYOD policy in place by the end of 2012, and only 11 percent said they have no BYOD plans in the near future.
Forrester Research has also conducted surveys about the BYOD trend, on behalf of security software maker Trend Micro, and found that having proper BYOD policies and procedures in place are keys for companies and IT managers to not feel overwhelmed by the trend.
When addressed properly, Cesare Gariati, vice president of mobile security at Trend Micro, said in a statement, "the BYOD phenomenon gives companies that allow it a competitive advantage as it enhances innovation and creativity in the workplace while reducing overall costs for the entire organization."