back to article Mobile: what they need - and what they want

Many years ago an IT manager, responding to one of our research studies, said one of the saddest and most pathetic sights he had ever seen was a 100Kg salesman coming into his office telling him that his 120g mobile phone was too heavy. He needed an upgrade to something smaller and lighter. That was back in the days when …


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How have I solved it?

After counseling them to the contrary, I give my clients whatever fancy bling that they think they want ... and then charge them when the mess needs cleaning up later. And it always needs cleaning up.

Me, I carry a 10 year old Nokia 5185 ... Works everywhere, even in Sonoma's infamous "dead zones" ... Kinda handy, when a phone can make a phone call, no?


Fighting a rising tide

It's just you, the IT person, against a hundred or two hundred users.

You've got bigger more important battles to fight. I say pick your battles and let this one go.

Now if you insist on micro-managing the devices allowed on the network, then no matter how you do it, there will always be a formal exception. The "marketing director" must, must, must have his "yphone". So, then you'll breed envy within the organisation and you're making it clear that there definitely are two classes of users.

No, best not to go down this road. Therein lies madness.

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Keep a drawer of old crap around.

Stuff gets broken, but if people get rewarded for breaking their older stuff with a new shiny replacement there is going to be a lot of opps, it broke (especially in the sales and marketing departments).

Sales #1 gets a new Blackberry (the old one was over 4 years old).

Sales #2 my Blackberry broke, I need a new one.

Me. Well it's only a year old, so we will get it repaired or replaced with a referb. While you wait you can use the loaner... did you know that this was the first colour Blackberry? It used to be owned by the CEO! (the look of horror on sales #2's face is priceless).

Sales #2 but sales #1 got a new one! Why don't I get a new one!

Me. His phone was 4 years old, so he automatically gets a new one. Your phone will qualify in 2 more years.

My opps it broke loaner laptop is a Dell D800 with the letters warn off the keys (they were tanks, I still have three of them, and they are about the same weight as a tank too).

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....that sounds very much like how I handle exactly those problems. +1 internets, sir.


ActiveSync policy is enough

If you really need over-the-air email, you get a BlackBerry. Put up with it.

If you want to BYO handset (and that's most of those we don't give a BlackBerry to), then you get PC ActiveSync only. NOT over-the-air ActiveSync.

IT supports the PC, and will fix ActiveSync on the PC if it breaks. ActiveSync is configured for Outlook only - no senitive CRM data or anything, just Outlook. You can plug any handset you want into that PC, but it's entirely you're problem to look after it. If you loose or break it, go buy yourself another one.

The only time it gets messy is The Very Senior Manager. (It's best to just give in - those people pay the wages, and they more-or-less get whatever they want). Fortunately, they generally don't have anything left-field in mind. they just want everything done yesterday.

i've been in several places that have done this over the years. It works as well as anything, and better than most, in imo.


Use the "Carrot and Stick" Approach

The key I've found is figuring out how to say yes to what they want and not make it too painful for the user. Establish set of policies and use a "Carrot and Stick" approach.

Carrot -- you can get access to corporate data, so long as you allow me to apply and enforce security policies like encryption, passwords, etc. So I'm saying yes and am accommodating your request, but you have to follow company policies. I will also charge you for this special additional service.

Stick #1 -- if you do not follow company policies, I will shut down your access. The minute you override or bypass or jailbreak you will be cut off from company data.

Stick #2 -- I will charge you higher for monthly IT services and support calls for these non-standard devices than I will for the corporate standards. Often 2-4X more. Let's say you use a chargeback model. I might chargeback each mobile user in a department 10-15 quid per month for standard company smartphone and then 30-45 quid per month for a special employee owned smartphone. Don't pay and I'll cut you off.

So now you can say Yes to the mobile user, protect the company, and get paid for it.

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