Complete Enterprise Mobility from Vox Mobile
Empowering you to achieve your business vision through complete enterprise mobility. At Vox Mobile, we believe that keeping your people connected and communicating wherever they are and whatever they are doing is the foundation of a successful, efficient and productive business. Today we call this mobility. At Vox Mobile, we think that someday soon, we will just call it life.
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Are We Suffering Mobile Device Overload?
The cost to own multiple mobile devices might surprise you. Should you cut back on your mobile devices to save money?
Vox Mobile Included on Weatherhead 100 List In Recognition of Rapid Growth, Innovation
Vox Mobile was included on the 2014 Weatherhead 100, an exclusive list of the region's most innovative, fastest-growing companies awarded by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management.
Adapting to BYOD and COPE
Our job, as the consulting team at Vox Mobile and a member of the GEMA global consulting network, is to help organizations sort through the increasingly complex world of mobility.  Clients reach out to us with a variety of issues including: governance, cost, operations, strategy, infrastructure, policy, and transformation.  This blog is intended to highlight some of the lessons we’ve learned that fall within the ‘policy’ category. Web EvolutionIn recent years, organizations have been shifting their mobile device policies from Corporate-Owned Business-Only (COBO) environments to mixed personal/corporate use environments.  This mixed environment usually involves Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Corporate-Owned Personally Enabled (COPE) or a combination of both.  However, for the purposes of this discussion, it doesn’t really matter which policy approach has been taken. The focus that most organizations have had during this shift has been on the technology, typically infrastructure, such as the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution, and the devices themselves, such as iPhones.  Some clients have also tackled the increasing operational challenges such as support and acquisition complexities, usually after the fact.  However, most organizations have focused very little on their written end-user policy.  Not only did the shift away from BlackBerry significantly decrease the ability of organizations to enforce policy, but increasing personal use has created new challenges that didn’t exist in the past. Vox Mobile has developed a Policy Inventory Workbook which is the central tool for this popular consulting offering.  With over 90 policy topics, it is comprehensive, and is continuously updated to account for the ever-changing environment.  Through our many consulting engagements, we’ve identified five of the most overlooked, thought-provoking, and most concerning topics for our clients.

First a caveatWe are not lawyers and we are not accountants.  The commentary below is not intended as legal or tax advice.  Clients must always check with their own legal, HR, and accounting department on any policy-related matters.

 1.    Legal discovery of personally owned devices JusticeWith most BYOD programs, this topic is usually not overlooked by clients.  However, the implications are rarely thought through.  Many organizations default to a stance where they have the right to seize an employee’s personal smartphone, or tablet, in the event of a legal matter.  While this may be technically true (again, not a lawyer), it’s important to think through the resulting impacts. First, is it consistent?  What about an employee that uses Outlook Web Access from a home computer?  They can save attachments to their home computer.  Does the organization have the right to seize their home computer?  Isn’t this the same situation as a personal smartphone connecting to corporate email? Secondly, is it necessary?  A majority of corporate data on a smartphone would have gone through corporate servers with evidence of that communication stored there.  Technical measures can be put in place to ensure that corporate data stays in the corporate container of a smartphone.  If absolutely necessary, technology can even be deployed to backup other forms of communication, such as text messages. Finally, is it counter-productive?  It is in the best interest of an organization to encourage BYOD adoption amongst employees that currently do not have corporate-issued smartphones.  For more details on this matter, I suggest our whitepaper “The 5 Best Reasons for Adoption of BYOD” (Click Here)  Overly harsh policy measures will blunt adoption of a BYOD program.   2.    Taxable benefit of reimbursements Tax-FormA vast majority of organizations that explore BYOD must also explore the matter of reimbursement, stipends, or allowances.  This will often necessitate some degree of financial modeling.  If an organization decides to provide a flat reimbursement to BYOD-enabled employees on a monthly basis, let’s say $40, it’s important to determine if this is a taxable benefit.  If it is deemed a taxable benefit and a $40 gross payment is maintained, the benefit to the employee is substantially reduced and adoption will be negatively impacted.  If it is deemed a taxable benefit and a $40 net payment is maintained, the corporate cost of the program would be significantly higher than anticipated.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer on this matter and our clients take varying stances based on direction provided by their corporate accounting team.  However, the following notice from the IRS from 2011 should shed some light on the matter for your accounting department:;-Provides-Small-Business-Recordkeeping-Relief. Just remember, if the corporate objective of a BYOD program is a net reduction in mobility spending, getting this matter wrong could shatter your plans.   3.    Overtime implications OvertimeCaution and due diligence is absolutely required when enabling smartphones to employees that are overtime eligible.  What constitutes overtime eligibility can vary significantly state by state in the United States.  In some cases, explicit approval from the manager would be required in order to qualify for overtime.  However, in other cases, an implicit approval may be construed by the context of the situation.  For example, let’s assume a manager is accustomed to sending emails to his/her staff in the evening expecting action to be taken during business hours the following morning.  Little does this manager realize that a BYOD program has been put in place and the staff now receives those emails in the evening.  If the staff takes action on those emails immediately, are they eligible for overtime? This situation is not hypothetical.  In Allen v. City of Chicago, members of the Chicago Police are suing for overtime due to their use of BlackBerry:  Lawsuit Against Chicago Police for Blackberry Overtime.   4.    Privacy expectations in various use cases PrivacyConcerns around employee privacy are increasingly important and complex, with or without BYOD.  Most organizations have, formally or informally, permitted personal use of corporate devices for a very long time (COPE).  While organizations would prefer to indicate that there should be no expectation of privacy, it’s usually not that simple and certainly not realistic.  Even if an organization did want to observe non-corporate communication, such as a personal email account, it wouldn’t normally be possible unless you seized the device (see above).  Due diligence by your legal department will be required here. Remember, from a productivity perspective, you want to encourage adoption of BYOD or the use of a single device by employees.  Therefore a realistic, and perhaps softer policy, should be put in place. Regardless of the policy that is put in place, the greater challenge is communication to the employees and the identification of what constitutes private or not.  For example, if an employee expects that browsing on their personal tablet is private, they would be mistaken if that tablet was attached to the corporate WLAN environment.  Map out the various scenarios and take a thoughtful approach.   5.    Personal information recovery upon exit ExitThis particular policy topic is actually only applicable in the case of corporate-owned devices.  As mentioned several times already, many organizations have enabled Corporate-Owned Personally-Enabled (COPE) policies, either formally or informally.  It’s very likely that your employees are using corporate equipment for personal activities such as taking photos and videos.  If the employee is asked to leave the organization, and the smartphone is confiscated, what do you do if they want their personal information back?  I typically ask organizations what they do today in case an employee needs to recover personal information from corporate computers.  Most don’t have a set policy but will make exceptions.  Chances are that this would be a far more pressing matter with mobility, as employees will use their corporate smartphones much more for personal activities.  Many organizations will instinctively indicate that a corporate-supplied device should not be used for personal matters but that is no longer realistic.  Some type of policy and exit procedures should be put in place to accommodate the out-going employee’s request. An Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution can actually help here.  Nearly all EMM solutions have a feature that will allow the corporate data to be wiped from a smartphone but leave the personal information intact.  The most common use of such a feature is in the case of an employee exiting with personally-owned equipment.  However, it would also be very helpful in this case of corporate-owned devices.  Even though the device is corporate-owned, this feature could be used to wipe only corporate data before giving the employee a certain amount of unsupervised time to recover their personal information.  The device can then be taken and the remaining content wiped.  It’s a more straight-forward and less cumbersome process than, for example, having someone from security watching them.   Final Comments The above represents only five of the many policy topics that organizations must explore or re-explore.  While there are some traditional policy topics that are no longer relevant, the net direction is towards increased complexity.  What makes policy even more challenging for an organization is that the preparation of a robust document is only part of the battle.  Every organization must also address the lifecycle management of the policy.  How is it being presented to end-users?  How is their acceptance being captured?  Is there a plan to keep the policy up to date?  We’ll save that discussion for another day. While the benefits of mobility are extraordinary and transformational, managing enterprise mobility has become difficult and that difficulty is accelerating, especially for those that choose to do it themselves.  If you think you could use help, give us a call.  
The Month in Mobility – November ‘14
The end of the year is rapidly approaching, and it’s been quite the month in the realm of mobility, whether it is the growth in mobile purchases during the Thanksgiving shopping season, Google surpassing Apple in education tablet penetration, new releases from BlackBerry, and Nokia making a return to consumer electronics. BlackBerry not only unveiled version 12 of their BES platform but what was most interesting was news of their strategic partnership with Samsung that will see the integration of Samsung’s Knox-powered Galaxy smartphones and tablets with the BES 12 server. It will be interesting to see how much more than the Knox APIs that have been provided to the other EMM vendors. The net-net however is Android continues down the path of Enterprise acceptance. Brett_ClausWith Thanksgiving in the US comes some intense shopping in the form of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Estimates show mobile devices being used for 30% of all online transactions. Personally I was able to do 90% of my family’s Christmas shopping – and of the online purchases I did about 50% desktop and 50% smartphone; speaking of which packages continue to be delivered throughout the week and my inner child is excited for the time of year. More predictions around BYOD growth, this time from ReportsnReports, who forecast the global bring your own device security market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 35.23 percent over the period 2014-2019. Microsoft announced the new iOS versions of their Office suite would be free, regardless of you having an Office 365 account or not. This new Microsoft Office for iOS suite includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. A partnership between Microsoft and Dropbox was also announced this month and this provided integration with the new Office suite and Dropbox. Allowing users to edit and save directly to their Dropbox storage. Android 5.0 Lollipop launched last month and doesn't even account for 0.1% of the market despite wider rollouts. This is a very promising OS so we shall have to keep an eye on its adoption. Google Glass Pierre TheodoreSticking with Google, details are emerging on the next generation of Google Glass. The big move is from TI silicon to Intel, with this transition will come a push by Intel as it "plans to promote Glass to companies such as hospital networks and manufacturers, while developing new workplace uses for the device." Problems with new mobile operating systems are not limited to Apple and Google, Microsoft recently acknowledged freezing issues in Windows Phone 8.1 specifically affecting the Lumia 925 and Lumia 1020 smartphones. Now onto iOS, Apple’s iPads haven't been doing too well lately. The company reported earlier this year that sales of its tablet had declined over the previous quarter, but the latest figures from industry analysts IDC show that iPad sales are down 12.7% year-on-year too. Mind you looking at that same report you are able to see that Android tablet sales increased 16% over the same period, and sales of Windows tablets were up by a massive 67.3%. Of course, many of those Android and Windows tablets are dirt-cheap devices but adoption is adoption. 1_lumia_ce_regulatory_mark_story Lastly, a bill signed into law in November will allow companies to rid their devices of some of those unpleasant regulatory marks that they must carry. These marks indicate certification and approval by the appropriate regulatory bodies – such as the FCC mark in the US, and the CE compliance mark in the EU. Though this is perhaps a day late and a dollar short for OnePlus since the EU sent a bunch of devices back after the company chose to omit the marks in favor of cleaner looks.
The Month in Mobility – October ‘14
Another month draws to a close, and it was a month of great news around mobility.  Microsoft made Windows 10 available to folks in the form of a public beta, Apple released iOS 8.1 (not only to resolve issues, but introduce new functionality), and Android Lollipop and Google demonstrated it too can produce great hardware that sells out in minutes. android-figurka-lollipopSo where to begin? The latest version of Android in the form of Lollipop is now appearing and promises a lot of new functionality.  Of interest are the Enterprise features that are now available.  It should be noted that, up until this release, enterprise features were provided by OEMS such as Samsung and Lenovo rather than Google, Lollipop changes this by providing a re-architected operating system that incorporates new functionality.  APIs have been made available to the EMMs that allow these features to be controlled by your EMM/MDM. The features I am most excited about are: black-apple Apple released iOS 8.1 to users this month, and one of the key features added is Apple Pay.  If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically adding a credit card (but not just any) to your Passbook, then using a compatible payment terminal at your favorite store to use your fingerprint to pay.  Now in reality, it’s finding the compatible vendor and payment hardware, competitive solutions and corporate politics are in play right now and while it was fun to see folks use Apple Pay to get a hot dog at the World Series, time will tell how successful this will be. Several great conferences this month, a couple of folks were at Salesforce’s Dreamforce event and Gartner’s Symposium.  A lot of takeaways from both events, and look out for a webinar coming up soon.  AirWatch’s CEO John Marshall posted his Top 3 Mobile Takeaways from Gartner Symposium on their blog page HERE.Staying with Apple we saw the new iPad Airs and Minis released this month, the new devices are thinner, have fingerprint sensors, no mute switch, more… one sec.  No mute switch? That’s right the Air 2 doesn’t have a physical mute switch, requiring you to use the configuration center to mute or adjust screen orientation lock.  Only in its absence do you realize how frequently you actually use the switch.  Also introduced with the new iPads is the Apple SIM.  Fundamentally its non-carrier SIM that allows the user to choose the carrier from those available, I think it’s a great concept and when you consider global travelers, it could prove very useful.  Time will tell how much of a game changer this is, but I don’t think it’s as doom and gloom for the carriers that some pundits have suggested. Alibaba, which recently made history with the largest IPO, is investing in mobile. The Chinese e-commerce company has contributed $50 million to remote control software made by Peel Technologies Inc. We touched on the wearables market last month, and we see new devices released this month.  Some devices appear to be tailored to certain crowds. TomTom, known for its GPS systems, has released a smartwatch for golfers that might render the caddy unnecessary and Microsoft released their wearable which while being a band format, provides cross platform functionality and compatibility (which I for one am grateful for). Other points to note, but have run out of space to write in detail:
eCOPE: The BYOD Alternative
Pressure to embrace Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) in organizations throughout North America is at an all-time high as personal smartphone and tablet ownership continues to grow.  Many organizations are beginning to recognize that the true benefit of BYOD is as a cost-effective boost in productivity, rather than a net reduction in mobility costs.  Primarily, this productivity gain is realized through a dramatic increase in mobile device penetration in the employee base. (See Figure 1)BYOD-Benefit-Zone Corporate implementation of a comprehensive BYOD program can be highly complex with activities such as: Establishing appropriate governance; Updating mobility policy; User profile and use-case design; Financial modeling; Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) server configuration; and Operational workflow design.  That being said, action must be taken to address the demand for BYOD along with any unauthorized BYOD activity that may already be taking place. Implementation of a company-wide BYOD program may be greatly concerning for some organizations due to a variety of factors such as security, privacy, tax implications, union contracts, and more.  In such cases, an alternative to BYOD does exist in a program referred to as extended Corporate-Owned Personally-Enabled or eCOPE. Click Here to download our latest whitepaper on eCOPE: eCOPE_WhitepaperThe Whitepaper includes: 5 Benefits of eCOPE BYOD vs. eCOPE Financial Modeling 9 Key Considerations for Implementing eCOPE
The Month in Mobility – September ‘14
Wow, what a month!  September not only saw announcements from Sony, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and others, but we had a couple important industry events that showcased some of the newest technology. Before we jump to some of the more obvious points, let’s pause for a moment and think about the wearables market.  Motorola and their Moto360 watch sold out in an hour, Apple demonstrated their Apple Watch, and Samsung announced a refresh of their smartwatches; the issue as I see it, at this point, is that those three devices represent three distinctly different ecosystems, and three distinctly different operating systems (Android Wear, iOS, and Tizan).  This limits choice, it limits applications, and I believe that it will contribute to stifling what could potentially be a very useful segment.  My daily driver, so to speak, is an iPhone 6, though a Note 3 travels with me also, but which smartwatch for me?  Quite frankly it's one I have not mentioned, Microsoft.  One thing they are bringing to the table is cross platform compatibility, of course this could be marketing hype, but it’s what I am holding out for.  Any well done smartwatch will do well, and it’s an exciting nascent space right now, and as we move to the IoT (Internet of Things) wearables are here to stay.iPhone 6 So what else happened this month? Apple launched their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (10 million sold on the first weekend in stores), teased us with the iWatch Apple Watch, and made iOS 8 available to the masses.  What I feel was most interesting about this device launch was that, more so now than any prior iPhone, we had so many leaks that really meant the Apple event was confirming what many had already known. Samsung Galaxy Edge Not to be outdone the Samsung event (IFA 2014) saw the public launch of the Note 4, Note Edge, and Tab S.  The Edge was the avant-garde design with a curved 160 pixel extension on the right hand side of the screen, and is something folks have been clamoring for, but then we hear it’s a “limited edition concept” which means to get one you will either have to know someone at Samsung or be prepared to spend some extra $$$ on eBay. Microsoft-branded ‘Surface Phone’ leaked this month and it demonstrates the integration of the Nokia brand.  The question remains:  Is this the rumored 1820 device many folks have been waiting for?  They also announced the next version of Windows.  One item that is special, in my opinion, is the unified-direction that Microsoft appears to be taking.  One version.  One App Store.  One experience – across all form factors, smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop.  When you consider this and the moves Apple is making with their OSX, it becomes apparent that it is less and less about the form the devices are taking and more about the how users are using the devices and how applications are supporting their use. Sony Xperia Also at IFA, Sony announced their new Xperia tablets, and the Xperia Tablet Z3 (8”) is of particular interest if you have a PlayStation since you can leverage the Tablet to play games via the DS4 controller.  I saw a few folks using one of the flagship Xperia Z tablets (10.1”) at a conference earlier in the month and I have to say it was some nice looking hardware.   And in the last few bullets of the blog (as I am running out of my allotted characters). -          PayPal to become their own stand along company (again) Read more>> -          Amazon will lose Thomas Szkutak, their SVP and CFO when he retires June 2015  Read More>> -          Apple made a big mistake with iOS 8.0.1, but recovered quickly  Read More>> -          Samsung acquired PrinterOn a mobile cloud printing solution  Read More>> -          Pioneer selling the first aftermarket Apple CarPlay system  Read More>> -          Google Drive for education announced, unlimited storage for students  Read More>>   September was a busy month for those of us in the mobility-space.  I will be reviewing all of the latest developments on a monthly-basis.  Until then…   BrettWilsonBrett Wilson is the Director of Solution Architecture at Vox Mobile and is considered a thought leader within the organization. Brett has implemented mobile policies, developed mobile strategies, and recommended and implemented MDM solutions.  From his 20 years in IT operations and experience as the professional services and mobility platform services manager Brett has developed a strategic and in-depth knowledge of how to navigate the mobile landscape.  Brett will be providing his expert insight on a monthly basis through The Month in Mobility blog feature.      
Apple in the Enterprise
It has been a busy week of gadget announcements. Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, HTC, and others continue to expand the range and functionality of an increasingly mobile computing world. We can battle endlessly about who's technologies and innovations are more groundbreaking, whose processors are faster, whose security is more solid but there is no question about who generated the most attention. Only one brand had lines forming a week early. Only one product announcement was streamed so widely that it crashed data centers. Only one company had multiple headlines on the front pages of major newspapers on three continents the next morning. Apple_EnterpriseCTA2 While corporate IT might not be nearly as engaged with Apple as a brand, they are accepting of it as technology.  Apple smart devices have become the de facto standard for US corporations, with estimates of 80% to 90% of companies supplying iOS devices to employees or allowing their use as part of a BYOD or COPE program.


Apple products play a prominent role in so many lives, redefining the ways that people approach day-to-day tasks like hailing a cab or turning off the lights.  It isn't surprising that those people also want to use these devices at work.  This phenomenon isn't exclusive to iOS devices, but it is more prevalent.  Apple smart devices carry more apps than their Android counterparts, are used more often, and consequently consume much more bandwidth.  The Mobile Thought Leaders' recent survey found that even the organizations that don't allow iPhones or iPads admitted that they probably have some people using them for work purposes without permission.


None of this has significantly changed the cultural identification of Apple as a consumer brand, which continues to be a consistent topic of nearly every conversation we have with organizations. With iOS present in 100% of the organizations polled, there is always a discussion about how Apple doesn't support enterprise control of their ubiquitous devices.
Apple has a different take on the topic - and they are probably right.
The notion of central control, of hardware dolled out by IT and only available for work, is not part of Apple’s vision for the future of computing.  Apple’s world blurs the line: You have some stuff that you can do work on; and Your Employer has some stuff that you can do work on.  It doesn't matter who owns the stuff, you always have access to work stuff and personal stuff, as needed, because it is easy.
Easy for who?
The fact is, as EMM software, cloud platforms, and virtualization mature we are finding increasing desire from employees to be able to use the hardware of their choosing and, ultimately, IT has a pretty clear path towards making it relatively easy. Both Citrix and VMWare saw this coming and purchased Zenprise and AirWatch, respectively, to build out their solution stack to meet the demand.
Join us for our upcoming online event Apple in the Enterprise for a deeper dive into what this solution stack looks like, who can use it today, and what it means for the future of IT.
The Device Flood Continues. Are You Drowning?
This month has seen another wave of smart device hardware and platform announcements including a number of new wearables, new flagship smartphones, a steady stream of IoT devices and a continued shrinking of the space between smart devices and traditional form factors. For gadget-loving consumers it is an exciting time. For organizations looking to take advantage of mobile opportunities for productivity or transformation - or just to keep out of security trouble - the excitement can feel more like terror. It doesn't have to be this way Avoid-This-Sandy-Disaster
Unlike the bygone years of the "gold standard" device and software image that were the cornerstones of driving IT efficiency, we live in a time of extraordinary and brisk innovation. The companies that are realizing the dividends from mobility are the ones that embrace the innovation in mobility - with all appropriate caveats and cautions - but with the certainty that the condition is unlikely to change.  What has changed is the broad set of new capabilities for putting just the right information in front of just the right audience at the right moment and on the right interface. These digital moments can both position and collect data that is valuable to all parties.
If it isn't yet clear to you that the flood of devices and technologies is a rapid that you can ride downstream to new success, that's OK. We are here to help.
Here is our 3-step guide that you can use to get to your multi-device happy place:
    1. Enterprise Mobility is not about choosing which device to have your email on. You need to let go of the “one device to rule them all” mentality and begin to see that screens and interfaces are proliferating and your real choices are to embrace them and find value in them or put your head back in the sand and let them become security holes and the places where your competition eats your lunch
    1. People are buying technology faster than the enterprise. Consumers are lining up at Apple Stores, bringing home big boxes from Best Buy and Costco and having daily shipments from Amazon chock full of technology that blows away what we were giving our workers only a few years ago (or maybe even today).  You aren't likely to have the budget to keep up with the technologies that your employees are investing in and getting comfortable with - but you can think about security, access, and privacy in scalable ways so that you can take advantage of both the hardware and your employees' competencies with them. The tools and expertise exist to make this pool of resources an addressable asset.  Spend time getting good at that (or hire us) rather than spend time playing mobile device whack-a-mole
    1. The cost of the devices and systems are cheap compared to the benefits that are returned. Most company's have been budgeting devices in one department but reaping the benefits in another with no linkage between the two.  As operational parts of the business have begun deploying their own solutions that include devices, software, systems and support they find, appropriately, that the device cost is a tiny part of the overall picture and that ROI is brisk.  If you want to get things moving, find an operational part of you business that wants to improve a process and suggest they consider a mobile app.  We ALMOST NEVER see this process get hung up on device costs or proliferation of operating systems.  The operational benefits are what is important and everything else is an issue that can be addressed in support of the business goal.
The long-term future for computing and devices will likely continue to evolve with occasional tectonic shifts, but you have plenty of options in front of you that are mature enough to stitch together to solve business problems.  If you focus on incremental gains to your biggest problems you will quickly become a fan of our current fire hose of innovation and start drinking instead of drowning.
Transformation Postponed
“Business transformation through mobility”.  “The art of the possible”.  Gartner’s “Nexus of Forces”.  Whatever you call it, the use of advanced mobile technology, for the transformation of business operations, safety, clinical care, customer engagement, environment impact, and ultimately the bottom line, has been promised for a decade.  However, it has not come to pass except in relatively few cases.  Why?  There are plenty of contributing factors but most center around the fall of the once dominant BlackBerry. IT groups in large enterprises and government agencies throughout North America, who are tasked with enabling and transforming the business, are instead struggling to function.  They are struggling to maintain mobility operations and costs that were once rock-solid under the comforting and business-friendly umbrella of the BlackBerry. BlackBerry_Logo A return to a uniform BlackBerry environment is clearly not going to happen.  What seems to be less clear, to most IT organizations, is that a return to the days of relative simplicity is also not going to happen

Before, the BlackBerry had enabled businesses to control all aspects of the device in terms of features and security.  Now, organizations are forced to write down policy, perform end-user training, and…brace yourself…trust their employees.

Before, the BlackBerry had limited appeal, or use, as a consumer or personal device.  Now, organizations have to deal with dozens of apps being installed on each corporate-owned device along with personal data such as photos and videos.

Before, low-cost BlackBerry smartphones were available and all of them were built from the ground up to limit data consumption.  Now, expensive hardware, new service plans, and data overages have exploded mobility costs.

Before, with an end-to-end BlackBerry solution, the device could be activated and operational for end-users with relative ease.  Now, nearly every single employee needs help when activating or switching their smartphone.

This loss in business-friendly attributes is compounded even further by one-time projects and other long-term changes in the mobility and IT landscape.  Projects, such as a mass migration off BlackBerry, building a BYOD program, or standing up an EMM solution, are draining valuable resources and seem to be occurring one after another.  Other changes are more systemic, such as the increased diversity of platforms and form-factors, the entry of personal hardware and applications, the dramatic rise of mobile use-cases in the organizations, a decentralization of IT costs, and an increasing segmentation of mobile workers with varying needs and differing security exposures. Most analysts and industry experts will tell you that this is all very positive and will transform the way we do business.  They’re right, but there’s a problem.  Without the familiar BlackBerry, IT organizations are struggling to even maintain the level of service and cost control they were once providing. Frustrated Businessman at Desk Some organizations have attempted to leverage existing resources or parties that manage workstations and laptops.  This is ineffective as smartphones and workstations vary too significantly in terms of management and support.  A few organizations have ramped up IT spending dramatically with a surge in hiring and training.  This is not cost effective as organizations have to constantly hire and train due to the ever-changing mobility landscape. So what’s the answer?  An increasing number of organizations have outsourced tactical and time-consuming activities to an External Service Provider (ESP) and re-focused internal personnel on mobile strategy and transformation.  While some personnel costs could be reduced, in many organizations, highly capable staff could be utilized to help shift IT from a functional organization to an enabling or even transformational group. There is a reason that the worldwide number of mobile devices to be placed under management by ESPs will grow by more than 75% in 2014 (Gartner Magic Quadrant for MMS).  More and more organizations are realizing that it is not their responsibility to be experts in mobility operations, especially as the mobility landscape continues to shift at an accelerating pace. Let’s be clear, the opportunity for transformation is extraordinary.  Workers are more knowledgeable, software development is becoming more accessible, hardware is becoming more powerful in terms of processing power, screen resolution, and bandwidth, sensors such as gyroscopes and magnetometers are becoming more available and precise, and cloud capabilities are increasing.  Oh and let’s not forget the amazing accessories that are becoming available such as Heads-Up Displays, Smartwatches, NFC Rings, and even muscle sensing armbands. Transformation is taking place, typically with small innovative organizations and “rogue” teams within large organizations.  But why hasn’t it taken hold?  Why hasn’t IT transformed your business?  Well, they’re busy.  And they sure do miss BlackBerry.
Five Critical Actions to Prepare for Mobile Collaboration
Enterprise IT managers who aren't already closely managing mobile collaboration activities will be playing a game of catch-up because, ready or not, mobile collaboration is already happening in virtually every company. A recent survey found that 95% of employees are now using non-approved applications to manage business collaboration – for example, using apps like Dropbox on their smartphones to share and access files. Even companies that have mobile collaboration governance policies in place need a robust toolset to manage collaboration activities and apps today – and to ensure that they can meet the challenges that will arise in the future from evolving collaboration technologies. Here are five critical actions to take to successfully manage mobile collaboration:cloud-appsinside

1. Understand the scope of the organization’s mobile collaboration needs: The first step toward a strong mobile collaboration management strategy is to understand what people are doing with mobile collaboration tools and what kind of data is being shared. A key part of understanding the scope is to assess the risks involved, both from a monetary perspective and liability exposure point of view. Once these questions are answered, it’s possible to develop a solid business case that aligns IT initiatives with target business outcomes.

2. Implement controls: When the scope of the company’s mobile collaboration requirements is clear, the next step is to implement controls to protect data and other company assets. As the enterprise survey indicated, people are already using collaboration tools such as Dropbox, so the IT team will need to develop a solution to manage document access and protect enterprise data. An enterprise-level version of Dropbox or collaboration solution such as SharePoint can enable greater security and control.

3. Deploy collaboration apps: In the absence of a comprehensive mobile collaboration management strategy, it’s likely that employees are using a range of unauthorized apps on their local devices, and it’s impossible for IT to control what happens to documents that are accessed via the app. To get app use under control, companies can deploy collaboration apps via an app store, making sure they designate apps that meet all of the end users’ needs while enabling centralized control and integration with applicable enterprise systems to eliminate data silos and ensure access to current information.

4. Assess the mobile app environment: On an ongoing basis, IT professionals should evaluate the mobile app environment, determine what kind of apps are being used and identify business purposes. One company that evaluated its mobile app environment determined that about 20% of its employees were using document scanning apps, some of which stored data in the cloud. The company didn’t know which apps were being used, which meant they couldn’t be certain that their data was secure. A comprehensive mobile collaboration and app management solution dramatically reduced risks and restored control.

5. Collaborate with users: Enabling collaboration has to be a collaborative process in its own right, both at the outset of mobile collaboration management policy development and in the ongoing process of adjusting the policy to meet emerging needs. It’s important for the IT team to understand business requirements and develop a process by which employees can request approval to add new collaboration apps. It’s also critical for the IT team to have the toolset it needs to analyze apps and identify where data is stored.

Mobile collaboration management is a process rather than a destination, and IT teams that want to address enterprise risk and enhance productivity must be prepared to engage for the long haul. The risks are real: Mobile_Collaboration Approximately 80% of app developers generate revenue by scraping data for third-party use. Sometimes the uses are completely benign, but there are unscrupulous players in the mix, and with an app that is used for business, it’s vitally important to know that sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands. By creating a mobile collaboration strategy that addresses the scale of company activities, uses sensible control solutions, empowers employees with authorized apps, continuously evaluates app usage and seeks user consensus, IT leaders can effectively manage mobile collaboration. Ongoing collaboration with all stakeholders in policy development and implementation is the key to enabling users to work efficiently with colleagues, clients and partners in the mobile age.      
Vox Mobile and AirWatch collaborate with TELUS to launch Mobile Device Management Made Easy
MDM Made Easy | A Turn-key MDM solution that leverages industry-leading technology and services from Telus, Vox Mobile, & AirWatch
7 Pitfalls To Avoid When Deploying Global Mobility
The mobility trend is here to stay, with employers increasingly embracing the benefits of having employees work anytime, from anywhere. That's a good thing, right? And it's easy; even 10-year olds manage their own mobile devices.  But not so fast. What happens when you try to securely manage thousands of devices, many of them overseas? How do we keep end-users productive and happy without breaking the bank? It's not easy, but with forethought, planning, and insight, it's very do-able. We know there are 7 main areas of risk that must be mitigated to have a successful mobility program. Any one of these risk areas can spell doom (or at least nightmare) for mobility managers. Let's take a look at just one risk area for now. Procurement/PurchasingPitfall22 First of all, purchasing devices is not as simple as running down to the nearest electronics big box store. Think about your user base. Will they want to standardize on all iOS, Samsung, or Android devices for both phone and tablets? Will there be a mix of iOS, Samsung, and Android? What types of applications are you going to deploy to the user base, and are there compatibility issues? You should expect that you will be working with regional centers from vendors like Apple or Samsung. These centers will want payments and purchase orders in local currency and will request the final "ship to" destinations at the time of purchase. Attention to detail is critical when ordering. Will you need extra devices for new hires? Will you be setting up the device in a different country than where the device is deployed? If you order an iOS device that's set up in Malaysia but is headed to Japan for deployment, the original "ship to" address can lead to fouled up power adapters for the final destination. Finally, you need to factor into your purchase process the need to clear customs when you cross borders. This can be a varied process depending on where the device originates and where it will be finally deployed. Examples of increasing complexity abound. The major zones tend to be U.S & Canada, Mexico, South America, EU, and APAC. Failure to accurately calculate the time for devices to clear customs can result in multiple break points in your deployment project timeline. Get the full story and the inside tips on how to stave off crises when going global with your mobility. Download the full Business Perspective: The 7 Risky Pitfalls To Avoid When Deploying Global Mobility.
Reviewing Gartner's Magic Quadrant on Managed Mobility Services
In July of 2006 Vox Mobile was "born".  The genesis is centered on productivity enablement via mobility.  This means helping organizations and individuals do more through embracing mobility.  In our 8 years of focusing on enterprise mobility, we have evangelized 2 concepts;  Complete Enterprise Mobility and Connected Lives.   Today, many trends represent aspects of these concepts such as BYOD and enterprise social applications.  When we began our journey we were uncertain of the size and scope of the market opportunity.  This is not uncommon in emerging markets and there have been more than a few days that we have looked for validation that “We Are not Crazy” in our passionate pursuit.  We have learned that the challenges that Managed Mobility Services (MMS) resolve are real and that, while it has taken almost 10 years for the market to start to achieve definition and assimilate critical mass, we do believe that we are now entering a very exciting time for the MMS market.

-- Watch our most recent Executive Roundtable: The 2014 MQ on MMS: An Executive Perspective - Watch Here --

Download the Magic Quadrant The 2014 Gartner MQ on MMS portrays a very different industry and market than the 2013 edition. Gartner estimates that the worldwide number of corporate-liable and individual-liable devices to be placed under management by ESPs will grow by more than 75% in 2014. Driving this rapid adoption is the fast commoditization of EMM software service prices, and the recognition that enterprises require third-party IT services to better manage their mobile estate.  The criteria grew aggressively in 2014.  According to Gartner, two of the seven inclusion and exclusion criteria include: Providers must have at least 400,000 smart mobile devices under management and providers must support at least 15% of their installed base outside their home geographies.  Because of this, I am even more proud of our inclusion and placement with organizations like AT&T, IBM, Deutsche Telecom, DMI, Enterprise Mobile, Fujitsu, HP, Motorola Solutions, Orange, Tangoe, Telefonica, Vodafone, and Wipro.  We believe that this extraordinary growth means that we will most likely see an even more diverse representation of providers in the 2015 version of the Gartner MQ. Gartner Magic Quadrant The challenge for Vox Mobile this year goes beyond simply being included and having a niche position in the 2014 Gartner MMS Magic Quadrant Report.  We need to continue to be inventive and understand that we can leverage our legacy capabilities to meet the market's explosive growth, invest in talent and technology to extend our service catalog capabilities, and build-out partnerships that complement the requests for non-core mobility services.  Only when we exceed expectations and deliver on our promise of Complete Enterprise Mobility, for our clients that are living 'Connected Lives',  will we have distinguished ourselves in an industry positioned for unparalleled growth.  It will happen fast in the coming months and we will have even more exciting news related to the Gartner MMS MQ and beyond.  Stay tuned!  

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Vox Mobile. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services, Eric Goodness, Gianluca Tramacere, Katja Ruud, 24 July 2014

Vox Mobile Included in Inc. 5000 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies
Vox Mobile was ranked #2580 in the elite group due to the company's 3-year 146% growth rate. Vox Mobile is ranked #19 in the Cleveland Metro area.
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Houston Mobile Thought Leaders Lunch
The Mobile Thought Leaders (MTL) Houston Chapter invites all individuals working in enterprise mobility to join
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Dallas Mobile Thought Leaders Lunch
The Mobile Thought Leaders (MTL) Dallas Chapter invites all individuals working in enterprise mobility to join u
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