Wavelink Blog

Category: Mobile Device Management

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Has BYOD Been Naughty or Nice?

As IT organizations everywhere are restructuring their budgets for 2013, figuring out where their company should be spending and how much, it’s no secret that one of the areas that will require some careful consideration is BYOD. While there is certainly not a “one size fits all” approach, with clear-cut benefits to guide your organization’s decision on whether or not to support personal devices, there are certainly many aspects and even myths to mull over.

In the spirit of the holiday season (and finalizing IT spending for next year), I’ve made a naughty and nice list, which takes a quick look at a few pain points and things to look forward to, as you work toward implementing or fine-tuning a BYOD policy within your organization.


Hidden Costs: On the surface, BYOD comes across as a cost cutter, with the $70-ish per month required to operate the device falling to the end user. What organizations need to remember is that increased personal devices translates to increased mobile device management, which means you’ll need to invest in a reliable toolset to power and manage your BYOD environment – whether that means hiring additional manpower, or deploying an MDM solution that will help you safely and efficiently roll out your BYOD program.

Security Scares: As personal devices will consistently come and go, in and out of the corporate network, BYOD reasonably presents some concerning potential scenarios, such as external exposure of confidential emails, contact lists or sensitive company financial information. While IT can certainly take steps to safeguard information once the device is known to be lost, many employees don’t set up a password to secure their device (in a recent survey, only 29 percent of users reported they set passwords to keep their devices locked), and several minutes or hours can pass before he or she knows the device is lost. Employees holding out hope that their device will be found may even wait days before reporting the device missing to IT.

Too Many Toys to Track: Shiny new devices are popping up all the time, especially around the holidays. This can be especially problematic as it seems employees are walking in with new tablets right after IT has made a buying decision on which operating systems they’ll support with their MDM solution. IT has a tough decision to make: “should I focus on keeping up with the latest and greatest to satisfy all of my end users personal preferences, or only support a select number of systems and hope my end users don’t attempt to connect unsecured devices to corporate resources?”



Hidden Savings: After carefully considering the total cost of ownership of mobile assets, some companies have actually managed to capitalize on their decision to allow BYOD, such as Cisco, which recently told InformationWeek they’ve been able to reduce costs per user by 30 percent, despite a 98-percent increase in device count.

Controlled Productivity: While there are certainly risks associated with granting employees access to company info while on the

go, mobile device management has also come a long way in enabling IT to govern when, where and who can access the files needed to get the work done. Most MDM solutions now come with policy-setting features that allow IT to grant or disable access to specific applications or files. With devices that enter the enterprise without IT knowledge or consent, there are also default policies that can be applied to give the unknown device basic access to company Wi-Fi but maybe not email or enterprise apps.

You Can Satisfy the Majority: While some organizations may deem it more productive to support each employee’s individual device preference, most companies run a successful BYOD program by managing the most popular operating systems – such as iOS, Android and Windows. A quick survey of your employees’ device OS “wish lists” should help you identify the majority rule for your company.


As you can see, there are opportunities and concerns associated with several, if not all aspects of BYOD. The key to rolling out your BYOD plan for 2013 is in evaluating how your company could potentially benefit versus how much you’d need to invest to maintain the benefits and safeguard against the potential pain points. Are the benefits really “nice,” or could they end up turning “naughty?”



What Are the Costs of Unsecured Data?

I came across an interesting read from Forbes that was posted over the summer about the growing threat of mobile device security. It has some fascinating figures on mobile device usage and the inherent risks associated with our growing demand on mobile technologies. It’s becoming such an issue, that the White House and other leaders are entering the discussion. 

Some of the more interesting (and/or frightening) highlights include that “six out of every 10 cyber-security breaches occur as a result of a mobile device.” Why is that an issue? Well, consider the following that the author, Kevin Johnson points out:

We’ve reached an inflection point where the lightning-fast adoption of powerful, smart devices is outpacing our ability to secure our mobile lives. In a world of 7 billion people, there are now 5.9 billion mobile-phone subscribers. Here in the U.S., we have more mobile-phone subscriptions than people. The mobile Internet that we’ve come to rely on ― for everything from financial transactions to business operations to emergency-response procedures ― is increasingly vulnerable.

Think about that. In the US, we have more mobile-phone subscriptions than people. Take into account that many, if not most, are accessing some combination of personal and corporately-liable informations, and you can see why the issue is being trust onto center stage. Take a look at the article and let us know what strikes you the most about it. It’s a good read.

Mobile Mayhem – How to Manage All of Your Mobile Assets

The following comes from Mike Temple, Product Manager for LANDesk and Wavelink. You can check out some of his other posts at the LANDesk Blog, located here.

“As you may have noticed if you’ve been to the grocery store lately – or anywhere with music playing on the overhead speakers – the holiday season is here. While it officially kicks off with Black Friday later this week, if retail music choices are anything to go by, it’s already here. 

With Nordstrom’s, JC Penney and Apple leading the charge, consumers will be seeing a lot more sales staff using mobile devices to ring up their holiday purchases this year. Consumers aren’t the only ones who are seeing more of mobile devices. IT departments, who have managed mobile devices in the warehouse for many years, are now being asked to support devices in both their corporate offices and on the retail floor.

For those asked to manage the rapidly expanding number of devices, finding the right solution can be daunting. There are a lot of places to look for information, including the NRF’s Mobile Initiative and the Enterprise Mobility Forum. We also invite folks to check out our mobile ecosystem LinkedIn Group.

Before you leap into the mobile device management fray, it’s good to start with a framework of issues to consider:

– What does your mobile ecosystem look like? Wavelink’s interactive Facebook app can help define your mobile ecosystem and some of the management concerns associated with the different types of mobility. Don’t forget to take into account your wireless infrastructure as you’re defining your ecosystem.

– How are those mobile devices being used and what systems do they need access to? Mobile devices in the warehouse will need different programs and levels of access than those used on the retail floor or those used in corporate offices. Make sure the solution you decide on can accommodate these different levels of policy needs.

– What types of devices are being used? While it’s obvious that the ruggedized devices used in the warehouse will be different from the devices used in the corporate office, there will still be a few different types of devices and operating systems being used in each part of the mobile ecosystem. The solution you decide on should be able to support these different systems.

– Are there plans for expansion? If your company is planning to expand retail operations (more devices on the floor and in any additional warehouses) or add additional corporate offices, how will the solution you choose adjust to your expanding number of devices?

– And of course, cost. What is your budget for a management solution? Remember that you can often save a bit of money by purchasing solutions that cover a suite of IT issues and doing away with some of the point tools being used. This can also lead to a more efficient and effective IT department.

Remember, mobility isn’t necessarily good or bad, but it can cause your organization serious problems if it isn’t managed, such as lost productivity, increased costs or security breaches. These devices are here to stay, whether IT is prepared or not. Proactive consideration of a management solution can save you a lot of headaches later on.”

The Future of Wavelink Products Plus Hands On Training?

Many of you have heard the news about Interchange 2013, but I wanted to take a moment and give you a bit more information on it, and why we feel it’s important. For years, our sister company LANDesk has hosted the event as an opportunity for end users to receive hands on training and education of the products they were using. For partners, it’s a chance to reach out to existing – and perhaps more importantly – potential customers. For both, it’s an opportunity to learn new and emerging industry trends and techniques, and product road maps.

Well, starting in January, we’ll be providing the same for Wavelink customers and partners. I can’t stress how exciting of an opportunity this is. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for all things Wavelink and our industry, with the added benefit of learning new topics from LANDesk. When you put that together, you have one of the most comprehensive events for complete “enterprise mobility.”

You can learn more by checking out the website and they’ll be a lot for information coming in the weeks and months ahead. Or, if you would like, feel free to email me and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

“Big News at Gartner Symposium – A Sneak Peek” – Guest Blog

Good afternoon everyone! Nearly all of you are familiar with Gartner, and next week they will be holding the Gartner Symposium ITXP in Orlando. Our sister company, LANDesk, has some big news that will be announced at the show. Below is a guest blog post from Steve Workman, LANDesk’s VP of Product Management.

Network World recently reported on a survey finding which stated the average enterprise user will have 3.47 devices by 2015 and 6.58 devices by 2020. For me, it’s already difficult enough to juggle a smartphone, laptop and tablet, so imagining carrying at least 6 devices within a decade is a bit daunting. And that’s just from the end-user perspective. Just imagine how IT feels! 

Not only does IT have to consider the management, compliance and security of all of these devices but then there is the issue of cost. With the standard device-based pricing model applied to 6 devices per user in an enterprise a few thousand, the numbers don’t look good…

Clearly, the consumerization of the enterprise and BYOD model have changed IT forever. Isn’t it time the pricing model changed too?

We think so and will be making an announcement next week at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO in Orlando. We are thrilled about the changes we have in the works and believe they mark the way forward for the IT industry as a whole. If you’re in Orlando, please stop by and visit us at Booth #MP9 or stay tuned for our announcements via our Press Releases page.  Also, don’t miss our own Jesse Frye and Ian Aitchison discussing how to “Increase Organizational Productivity Through ‘User-Oriented Management” on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 3:15 in the Dolphin – Southern II Room.”



Defining the Mobile Ecosystem – Our New Facebook App

Good afternoon! We’re excited to share our new Facebook App that helps customers and partners understand the mobile ecosystem, and how Wavelink solutions fit into each piece.

We invite you to check it out today!

Translating Wavelink’s Reporting Features For BI / Analytics

As everyone is aware by now, Big Data and BI / Analytics continues to be a significant part of Gartner’s top 10 priorities for CIOs for 2012 (see, for example: http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1826214).  This makes it one of the top 10 priorities for supply chain managers as well.   What many supply chain organizations and their supporting partners may not be aware of, is that they have some unique data that can be added to the BI / Analytics toolkit via their already deployed Wavelink device management and device client applications.   All that is needed is a little effort to map the Wavelink reported statistics onto the enterprise’s other BI / Analytic framework.

Wavelink Avalanche provides a wealth of device management reporting to supply chain management operations.  Not only does it supply pre-configured, off-the-shelf reports, but the system is flexible enough to support creation of custom reports by the end-user or by a certified Wavelink partner.   Data provided in these reports would fall under the category of “Dashboarding”, “Advanced Analytics with Drill-down”, and/or, “Scorecarding and KPIs”, using the current vernacular of BI / Analytics (see, “Driving SMB Efficiency With Business Intelligence,” for example).   However, unlike those more general reports, Wavelink provided data adds an additional dimension to the reporting by focusing specifically on the mobile device assets used in real-time supply chain operations.   For customers using Wavelink’s Emulation Clients, (Telnet, or WIB), there are even more real-time statistics available for reporting, and would make an excellent input to “Exception Handling and Alerting”, functions of BI / Analytics applications.

So, how do supply chain managers take advantage of these features to support their CIO’s BI / Analytics functions?


Who Owns Mobile?

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently penned the question “Who owns mobile in your company? Does it reside with your e-commerce team? Does it fall within marketing? Perhaps IT? Or is it a team made up of representatives from across the organization?” As Vicki Cantrell states it is a “mobile conundrum” and its impacting your brand.

At LANDesk and Wavelink, we spend a lot of time discussing this mobile conundrum and where the responsibility for it falls. The reality is today it isn’t just a one department answer. Today’s instant gratification, super cool technology is evolving quicker than a business knows what to do with it. They just know they have to keep up, and it’s no clearer than where the average consumer spends the majority of their time – the retail space. Retail defines cool, and it’s where slick marketing and graphics can create such buzz that every high school kid wants to dress like an Abercrombie model. On the flip side, it’s also where negative buzz and press can create a backlash so that those same kids then decide they don’t want to wear Abercrombie because the Situation said so. You have to stay on-trend, or run the risk of hurting your brand.


“Medical Mobility: Benefit or Burden?” – A Guest Post


Today’s post comes from our friends at LANDesk. I wanted to point you to their blog and some of the topics they cover on a regular basis, which are well-worth the read. The post I’m sharing today discusses the benefits and/or burdens of mobility in the healthcare mobile ecosystem. You can read the full post in the link above, and check out the cool infographic below!