VOSS Extends its End User Portal for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Christopher May, VOSS Solutions
Being mobile and always available is the new norm. Today’s dynamic workplace must cater to both employee and business needs for ubiquitous connectivity and collaboration; anywhere and on any device. While IT organizations prefer to focus on standardization and security, end users are looking for a truly online experience (i.e. real-time service activation) and personalized choices. VOSS Solutions now offers the possibility of delivering on both these objectives:
- A highly standardized core configuration for end users’ personal devices, ensuring that IT teams control the BYOD integration to the corporate UC systems, totally, from end-to-end; ensuring a high degree of consistency, much lower security risks, while lowering operating and maintenance costs
- An intuitive, online portal that allows end users to add their own personal device(s) themselves, without having to wait days for the IT team to process the application; while also providing a range of personalization options to suit each user (i.e. one size doesn’t have to fit all).
VOSS is able to achieve both these objectives as they relate to BYOD, because of its revolutionary UC service fulfilment platform, called VOSS-4-UC, which now provides comprehensive BYOD capabilities.
The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Market
Since the launch of the iPhone back in 2007, there has been a proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and a huge spike in the number of personal devices that employees wanted to bring into the workplace. What really distinguished this revolution was the fact the CEO was one of the key drivers behind the BYOD movement – IT departments could hardly say no to BYOD when the CEO was the one calling for this capability. Major productivity advantages occur from BYOD as employees are connected to email and messaging on virtually a 24/7 basis, so organizations recognize the benefit of this initiative.
As a result of so many BYO devices being connected to the corporate network and IT systems, IT teams were forced to implement strict processes and acquire Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools in order to maintain control, while ensuring security across the corporate communications network. The problem with this strategy was that to achieve IT’s objectives, choice was removed from the end user, and the process of managing BYOD became complex and requires a number of manual steps. As a result, in many cases, the BYOD device is not connected to the organization’s Unified Communication platform (i.e. no single voicemail box, no single number reach set-up, no fixed mobile integration, etc.), which means much of the productivity gains that are potentially on offer from BYOD are foregone.
We see a number of issues result directly from the lack of UC platform connection. You can often see Sales execs refusing to use their smart phone’s soft client to make business calls, in favour of the mobile network. This means that prospects and customers connect with the sales exec’s personal mobile number in their contact’s list. When the sales exec moves to a competitor, all his contacts will continue to call the private number.
Is there a better way?
The VOSS Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Solution
With VOSS, organizations that adopt BYOD can get automated UC connection to the UC platform with a highly standardized configuration, while also providing users with the ability to customize their own devices.
VOSS gives administrators full control at an individual user or user group level, over:
- Whether a user is allowed access to the “BYOD” feature
- Which types of devices a user can add (many or few)
- Default settings applied for each device type and user type (using fully configurable device and user profile templates)
- How many devices a user can have
- The automatic message that is sent to the end user notifying them of the steps that they need to take
- Where to go to download their soft client
- The number to dial to retrieve their voicemail
- How to connect to their email account
End users have full control of all of their personal settings:
- Select the type and number of devices they want to add
- Select whether this will be a corporate (BYOD) device, or just a personal device
- Modify Single Number each (SNR) settings
- Modify messaging settings for the BYOD device
- Modify the presence awareness feature for the BYOD device
- Modify speed dials and phone features on their BYOD soft client
How It Works
VOSS addresses the needs and requirements of the modern organization, with the introduction of end user “self-service”, as opposed to the traditional self-care. As part of this delivery of self-service, VOSS has recently added a revolutionary capability for end users to be able to add their own devices to the corporate collaboration platform through their self-service web portal.
VOSS UC Self-Service now includes a simple, easy to use interface that allows end users to set up their own personal devices through the self-service portal. Typically this will be a personal smart device on the corporate UC network, and users are essentially setting up their own personal smart phones, as another ‘company phone’:
What are the benefits?
Firstly, administrative control over the standard configurations applied to groups of users, who are allowed to bring their own personal devices, means that service adoption will be much higher. Single number reach can be set up automatically, without the user having to “opt-in”. For example, the ring schedules can be configured by the administrator, rather than allowing the user to decide whether to set this up.
Similarly, administrators can easily set up the users’ BYOD device as an alternate voicemail extension, as well as configure it for receiving voicemail notifications, so that they are much more likely to respond to a critical message.
From the user’s perspective, they are back in control. Once they have approval to access the self-service BYOD capability, they don’t have to wait days for the IT department to activate their services. Once the phone is set up, there is an option to allow the users to personalize their phone’s usual settings (i.e. call forward, do not disturb, SNR ring schedules, etc.) and in the future, features such as Fixed Mobile Integration (FMC)*. This can all be managed by the end user via the VOSS Self-Service portal, like any other of the user’s associated corporate devices.
VOSS UC Self-Service gives the flexibility back to the end-use, without removing over-arching control from the IT team. This enables the organization to better support personal end user devices, and the management of those devices and their security. This promotes employee satisfaction, improves cross company collaboration, and provides a robust infrastructure for the company.
Importantly, VOSS performs the critical tasks to integrate BYOD into the corporate UC function. This is something that MDM cannot do today. However, VOSS also integrates with MDM, for those organizations that have already made an investment, further improving the end-to-end IT integration and operational processes.
* More about Fixed Mobile Integration (FMC)
VOSS fully manages the dial plan and advanced mobility features from a single pane of glass, enabling organizations to offer a rich fixed / mobile convergence (FMC) solution to their users. This results in simplified and integrated management, allowing organizations to deploy and manage this increasingly important feature, complete with workflows, and simple enough for low-level administrators and end users to support. Administrators are able to not only set the single number reach (SNR) number as their office number and direct any calls for this number to the user’s cell phone, but also display the office SNR number when making a call from the cell phone, rather than the cell number. This is achieved through advanced CLI number manipulation that is fundamental to the VOSS UC&C and dial plan provisioning approach. By mapping the overall network architecture and ensuring that the configuration changes required in the architecture are applied across all the linked elements in the call flow, VOSS achieves many additional features and benefits to service providers and enterprise customers.