You’ve heard it everywhere: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is here to stay and there’s nothing you can do about it. What if I told you that this is complete nonsense? BYOD isn’t here to stay. It’s eventually going to be phased out by something else that offers a more convenient modus operandi. This time might come sooner than expected with a new wireless management concept known as “corporate-owned personally-enabled” (COPE).
COPE is basically a plan you make with a wireless management firm to order smartphones for your employees. Some companies already issue mobile devices to their employees, but COPE handles this process differently.
Brandon Hampton, the director of Bluefish Wireless Management and MOBI Wireless Management, tells us more about how COPE operates differently: “Traditional corporate liable programs create support challenges and, without the right technology, billing and cost challenges. The difference lies in the support system that is introduced. By off loading the support burden to a mobility management company, the organization eliminates the cost of providing day-to-day tier one support. It also introduces a partner that is an expert at supporting multiple operating systems and multiple carriers. This expertise allows the organization to offer more flexibility to its users in the form of an increase in the number of devices and carriers they allow into the environment. Finally, by introducing technology designed to manage procurement, reporting, billing and cost allocation the corporation can ensure lower costs with this increased flexibility.”
What he’s saying basically means that you can offer employees a wider range of telephones, operating systems, and carrier choices. More choice equals more happy employees! They pick up a piece of the tab, you pay the plan, and you manage the exchange of information as you see fit. You see, letting employees bring their own devices to work gives you only one choice: You have to place proprietary software on their personal devices such as mobile device management (MDM). Employees sometimes feel wary of this, since MDM allows you to track phone location. To avoid all the privacy issues, they can have a separate device for work paid partially by you and managed by you.
“COPE addresses the privacy issues because it is still a corporate liable device,” said Hampton. “Mobility policies address the issues involving personal information by ensuring that the end users are aware that, ultimately, the data on that device is owned by the organization.”
To adopt COPE, your mobility management provider will work with you as a partner to help you acquire and manage any mobile device you want to issue to your employees. Support for the mobile device happens directly through the provider, eliminating the need for frustration with the carrier or phone manufacturer. When an employee leaves the company, all the data remains in your hands, and you can decide what you will do with the device. It’s a more feasible solution than scrambling around trying to manage a bunch of personally-owned devices!