New Trends Yet To Fully Take-Off
Posted on 16/04/2012
The jury is still out about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) according to Paul Burn, Head of System Sales at Nimans who points out how security and integration issues remain ‘tangible obstacles’ to wider adoption.
“It’s a very interesting area but I don’t think IT Managers are generally the biggest fans due to lack of control,” he explained. “What’s coming into their network? What viruses are potentially wandering in? These are tough questions being posed that IP PBX resellers are likely to come across.
“What versions of software are being used? If everyone brings their tablet device into work, there will be different brands, different operating platforms and different versions of software security. It can be a minefield.”
In addition workers are being given access to wi-fi passwords for devices they can take elsewhere, if they move on, perhaps to a rival company.
“I think BYOD started with mobile phones and has evolved into smartphones,” Paul highlighted. “Understandably people don’t want two phones, one for work and one personal, so there’s been a degree of convergence. Standard mobile phones aren’t really an issue but when trends expand into smartphones, tablet computers and laptops it becomes a bit more problematic. When home devices are given access to business networks and security, that’s where integration becomes more complicated and resellers need to partner with a third party ‘expert’ that has multiple knowledge of multiple devices.
“Whilst BYOD is happening, I think there are some fundamental obstacles that need to be overcome before it can ever be considered mainstream, filtering from enterprise through mid-market to SMB. For me, it is a long way off and not on the radar of many resellers. They should be aware of the benefits, but it all comes back to timing and when to take the plunge and get on board.”
Paul continued: “The more interesting conversation for me is the integration of social media into business applications. This often leads to a device expanding out across different work and home platforms.
“I think there’s an element of BYOD going on which is under the radar. Businesses provide staff with everything they need but some decide they want something extra, based on personal choice and convenience. They may be more familiar with their own equipment and technology. Ultimately it’s down to that business to decide if they want to allow their staff to work in this way. It’s kind of happening, without it being stopped.
In some cases, the first time it becomes an issue for a business is when they are alerted to a security problem.
“Resellers often remain on the periphery but the questions come when end users are looking for PBX integration with Skype, Twitter and Facebook etc. They may also want to check social media usage through activity monitoring solutions.”
Turning to more general market trends, Paul concluded: “It’s often the relationship between end user and reseller which is crucial. At Nimans we specialise in helping them fill in any gaps in their armoury.
“I don’t think it comes down to a lack of knowledge, but a lack of opportunity that hampers growth. Local government and health authorities require membership of specific buying groups just to get a foot through the door. Often many of our customers have got bigger when their own customers have moved into more lucrative arenas based on natural progression. Nationwide maintenance and installation support from Nimans breaks down the barriers to allow resellers to clinch bigger nuggets of business previously perceived as out of their reach.”