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Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) continues to be a hot-button topic for the corporate IT community, as companies wrestle with just how much freedom to allow their employees in bringing their personal mobile devices into the workplace. Rather than fading away as a foregone trend, BYOD is actually gaining traction as a topic on CIO agendas.

Stratix, an SAP partner based in Atlanta, Georgia, works with Fortune 1000 companies to provide end-to-end mobile solutions, including providing parameters for BYOD policies. For, I spoke with Gina Daniel-Lee, vice president, Strategic Alliances at Stratix, about the emergence of Managed Mobile Services (MMS), which was recently recognized by Gartner, Inc., in its first Magic Quadrant for this market segment (you can read the article here). While talking with Daniel-Lee, I asked her opinion on where BYOD is headed.

“We are seeing corporations move forward with BYOD,” says Daniel-Lee. “I think it is rapidly becoming a requirement in the enterprise, as corporations recognize that employees today want a choice, and that they’re going to bring their devices to work anyway.”

She says that the challenge for companies is to figure out a way to support that employee choice, while providing a mechanism by which they can feel comfortable that they are not jeopardizing their work environments and their corporate security policies. 

Stratix, which is an SAP services partner for SAP Afaria, supports a number of BYOD initiatives that allow customers to choose devices that their corporation has approved for its environment, and also allow the corporations to put a mobile device management client onto the device. Customers can opt in to a support plan for Stratix to manage the devices through its technical support center.

Daniel-Lee says, “Our BYOD initiative is really focused on allowing the employee choice, while also allowing the corporation to put some parameters around that make them feel confident that they can support the initiative within the enterprise.” 

For SAP customers, the Stratix partnership shifts the complexity — and distraction — of mobile-device support to a provider with expert-level skills in multiple operating systems, devices, and software apps. It also reduces the risk of business disruption by delivering overnight replacement units.

Stratix offers some advice as a starting point for companies seeking to establish BYOD in the workplace.

5 Tips for Making BYOD Work

1.       Define the scope of your program. Identify the devices and specific operating systems that will be offered as part of the BYOD program.

2.       Make it formal with adequate documentation. Have end-user agreements outlined, documented, and in place prior to launch.

3.       Clarify who is allowed to participate. Consider whether your BYOD program will be mandatory or voluntary to your employees. If voluntary, will you offer an incentive in order to drive your associates to “opt in”?

4.       Establish a robust infrastructure. Identify and select the tools you will use to implement your BYOD solution, such as Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), and Mobile Content Management (MCM).

5.       Choose which applications will be supported. Determine whether your organization will support line-of-business applications other than email. If so, what level of support will be offered either by the organization or through an MMS provider?

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