- New managed mobility services announcements were made this week and last by U.S. and European service providers, T-Mobile USA and BT
- T-Mobile USA is adding a second MDM platform – SOTI Mobile Control – (in addition to its recent launch of MobileIron) for mobile deployments
While T-Mobile’s new service shows a progression from its former stance of simply reselling third-party vendor solutions without much “skin in the game”, the carrier is now offering a fully managed service, more in line with what AT&T and Verizon have been offering for TEM/logistics, MDM, MAM and increasingly, mobile security, for some time. BT, on the other hand, is viewing the in-office wireless LAN as an area just as rife with complications from employees bringing in their own tablets and smartphones as it is for companies with cellular-based mobile workers. Most mobile operators aren’t addressing the WLAN side of the equation as they make their money on the cellular side from devices and service plans; on the other hand, BT does not own its own mobile assets but is more of a pure-play provider of managed mobility services and consulting.
On a related note, recent conversations with Sprint and Vodafone bring home the fact that while BYOD is still a major trend, user concerns have changed. While a few organizations are on either extreme, i.e., they either forbid BYOD altogether or they totally embrace it, most companies are somewhere in the middle. They are developing straightforward ways to either literally pay back employees for voice and data sent from their personal devices through expensing mechanisms, or are providing stipends. Many are also allowing only a subset of devices to be purchased and used for business purposes. But due to the fact that few customers are doing exactly the same thing when it comes to BYOD, efforts to create a standard set of BYOD services, including device and service bundles coupled with consulting deliverables to help in policy development, in conjunction with MDM, containerization and in some case dual persona options, have not really paid off for the operators. If the customers are not standardized, it is hard to address all their use cases in a single set or tiered suite of BYOD services.
It is clear that we are still finding our way in addressing BYOD, but it no longer seems to be as difficult a problem as it once was. Most companies have accepted some form of employee choice and device ownership and are principally turning to MDM and containerization to keep these users and their devices from causing unwarranted security breaches.