There is a lot of talk about the proliferation of consumer mobile devices in the workplace as more and more employees are coming to work equipped with their own mobile phone. This concept, touted as “bring your own device” or BYOD, is clearly the general trend. In fact, a recent Forrester Research survey of 1,681 U.S.-based workers indicated that the number of workers using consumer devices for work-related purposes is certainly on the rise. Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said they chose a particular smartphone based on their own individual preference, without regard to what mobile devices their company recommends or supports. And, in environments where employees are forced to use a company-approved mobile device, the study found that many workers are bringing in their own smartphone anyway in order to use applications not supported by the approved device.
ShoreTel is one UC provider that is fully behind the open mobile platform approach or BYOD concept, recently updating its mobile device integration solution called ShoreTel Mobility and extending support to the highly popular Android-based smartphones, including those from Motorola, Samsung and HTC that support Android OS 2.2+. Mobile devices based on Apple, Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems are already compatible with ShoreTel Mobility, so the Android integration rounds out a selection of the most popular, consumer mobile devices.
Xtelesis, a top ShoreTel channel partner, is also onboard with the open approach to mobility. In fact, on November 17th, Xtelesis is holding an exclusive event of ShoreTel Mobility demonstrations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle to show their customers how the BYOD concept is a win-win for both employees and businesses.
With ShoreTel Mobility, employees have the convenience of using any of the popular mobile devices as their business telephone. Users can access enterprise calling features, and the mobile device will display the Caller ID name and number of the user’s office extension when the user places a call. At the same time, ShoreTel Mobility addresses important business challenges in terms of security, cost and coverage by supporting authentication and encryption, least cost routing and automatic WiFi-to-cellular call hand-off as a user moves in and out of the building.
Looking forward, there is no doubt that consumer mobile devices will continue to make their way into the business environment. By using the same mobile device for both personal and business communications, workers never miss an important call and can collaborate with colleagues and customers quickly and efficiently, from anywhere. Businesses will find it impossible to ignore the BYOD trend and addressing security issues will be a very high priority. A mobile device that functions as both a personal and business device is closely tied to productivity, and productive employees are really a company’s most valuable asset. So, in the end, BYOD is a win-win for all.
RSVP for our exclusive "Dinner, Drinks and a Demo" with ShoreTel this Thursday - SF, LA and Seattle locations (live webcast available!).