Establishing the Personal Mobile Phone as the primary communication device in the workplace
Almost everyone has a personal mobile phone, and there are obvious end user advantages in being able to use it in the workplace; There is huge personal attachment to your mobile phone, far more than the company provided one, you know how to use and get the best out of it, it’s always with you, gives you freedom and more importantly you can make and receive calls anywhere, anytime.
Using a personal mobile for work also known as BYOD (bring your own device) has had its share of critics, especially regarding security, but many of these issues have been addressed and any company not willing to embrace the concept will now certainly be at a disadvantage as time progresses.
It used to be that IT departments drove technology, but that has changed dramatically in recent years. The ´consumerisation of IT’, has shifted the IT culture so that the users are the ones getting the latest, cutting edge technologies first, and they want to bring those devices to work.
More significant however, is worker satisfaction. Users have the laptops and smartphones they have for a reason -– those are the devices they prefer, and they like them so much they invested their hard-earned money in them. Of course they’d rather use the devices they love rather than being stuck with laptops and mobile devices that are selected and issued by the IT department.
In line with worker satisfaction is the fact that workers are willing to continue to cover costs - 'Let me use my own phone and you won't have to pay for a second one'. In general BYOD programs have shifted costs to the user. With the worker paying for most, or all of the costs for the hardware, voice or data services, and other associated expenses, companies save a lot of money -- as much as £50 per month per user. As the Good Technology State of BYOD Report states, “50 percent of companies with BYOD models do not compensate employees -- and to date this has not been an issue.” As we move forward with BYOD it is probable that companies will adopt a more pragmatic approach and offer to share in those costs.
In addition a company that operates under a PAYE scheme may be eligible to offer workers brand new technology under a CYOD (Choose your own device) scheme. Through these schemes staff can save up to 60% on equivalent high street pricing and spread the cost with payments over a protracted period (18 / 24 months). In addition, the company will benefit from a VAT reclaim and savings in Class 1A NIC on the total amount sacrificed by employees.
There are two corollary advantages that come with BYOD as well. BYOD devices tend to be more cutting edge, so the organisation gets the benefit of the latest features and capabilities. Users also upgrade to the latest hardware more frequently than the painfully slow refresh cycles at most organisations.
It is estimated today around 30% of the UK adult population, an estimated 14.2m people, carry separate personal and work phones. Not only is this expensive for the organisation, but it’s inconvenient for the staff who have to carry, manage and charge two devices, and it’s environmentally irresponsible - According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, the energy consumption of the 14.2m ‘second phones’ in the UK would power nearly 30,000 homes for a year, and that is not withstanding the impact of manufacture and disposal.
In a nutshell, Bring Your Own Device is an employee-led trend that's impossible to stem. Now is the time to act and get the infrastructure and policies in place to enable BYOD in a secure way. IT will regain control over network security, HR will attract and retain the best talent by letting staff choose the tools they want, Finance will potentially save money on not having to provide tech, the company will be actively aiding the environment and Employees will be more productive.
- Up to 70% of employees with smartphones regularly check their emails outside of normal working hours (Click Software)
- Nearly half of IT managers strongly agree that BYOD has a positive impact on the output of workers (Intel)
- As many as 40% of employees log onto their business email accounts while on sick leave (Click Software)
- Employees who can use personal smartphones and tablets in the office are generally more satisfied (Cisco)
- It is estimated that 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018 (Gartner)
- 90% of workers in the United States are using their personal smartphones for work purposes (Cisco)
The BYOD Trade Off
So everyone is now on board with the BYOD concept and how it can directly benefit the Workforce and the Company. But there are some BIG issues, particularly when it comes to identity and charges.
The BYOD goal has huge merit, but the challenge becomes how to manage separate and distinct work and personal identities on the same device.
The first thing to recognize is that mobile phones are essentially “personal communications devices.” From a voice standpoint that means the operators are looking to provide the same range of services you’d get on your home phone; there is no concept of the user being part of a larger “organization.” That “personal communications” concept is why when mobile phones first appeared, many people would give you their fixed line number, but they’d give their mobile number only to people they really wanted to talk to. Even today most people are more guarded about who they give the mobile number to. The fact that U.S. customers pay for inbound calls probably contributes to that as well.
The management of two separate identities on one device is relatively easy to achieve with respect to data and applications. For example, both work and personal email accounts can be easily managed on the same device. But until now the only way to have separate mobile numbers for personal and work calls on one phone was by using Voice over IP (VoIP) - a technology which, due to its requirement for constant, high-quality internet coverage renders it not ft for purpose for the mobile professional.
VoIP is fine for consumer-grade communications, through services such as Skype. But if your star salesperson is taking an important call from a customer, will they really want to run the risk of the echoes, cut-outs, distorted audio and other hiccups still prevalent in the technology when used on a mobile phone?
That is why business calls are still predominantly handled over vastly more reliable mobile or fixed line connections. In a nutshell, then: if you want your staff to do business in the real world, they need to be able to have access to quality voice communications anywhere, anytime.
For that reason, organisations have, until now, reluctantly provided staff with a dedicated second mobile phone.
The other big issue centres on billing.
It is an inevitable fact that work is no longer something we only do in the office. Flexible working is seen as aiding corporate productivity and worker efficiency. In addition, it has the potential to improve customer service and enhance employee satisfaction and empowerment.
However, what is good for the business can be a headache for the finance department. Specifically, how do you separate business and personal mobile phone expenses when a worker uses one device for everything?
This issue is particularly tricky when it comes to phone calls since, unlike emails, voice usage is not easily identified as work or personal.
Splitting out work-related and personal calls is a pain for workers who need to file expenses claims, but even worse for the accounts department, who not only need to ensure accuracy for the normal ´bottom-line´, but remain within tax guidelines. Whoever the job falls to, the administrative burden is significant.
Ideally, you would want to have a way to easily run work and personal voice calls from a single device, yet keep the services separate.
Using the RIPDialer service allows a user to instantly separate business and personal calls on the one mobile phone and unlike other services being promoted it does not require the end user to have yet another dedicated phone number, although they can if they wish. The service is incredibly simple to operate - it works on any phone, there is no need to change phones, mobile number or operator - users carry on paying for personal calls and the company pays for all the business calls.
Quite simply, all the user does is add the companies business numbers to a list and on making a call selects which number to use. The recipient of the call sees the business number and not the user’s mobile number and is none the wiser that they are not being called from the office.
The service uses the Mobile GSM network to initially route the call, hence why every call can be counted as 'Corporate grade', with no loss in quality, connectivity and just as with any mobile call can be continued whilst on the move.
Users are treated exactly the same as any one else within the organisation and are allocated an extension number on the company switchboard, where any internal or external calls are simply routed to the mobile phone exactly the same as they would to a desk phone.
RIPDialer instantly gives companies the power to fully enable BYOD, allowing for huge savings in the cost of; supplying and maintaining company mobile phones, accounts departments verifying mobile expense claims, and the environment.
BUT RIPDialer goes further, it is far more than just a dialler and offers a host of features and functions normally only found on a desk phone, including;
- Compliant mobile call recording (enables individuals and organisations to achieve FCA compliance for their mobile call recording)
- Extension speed dial buttons with availability
- Phone Book and Group Management
- Call Transfers
- and Call Conferencing
Originally developed in 2011 for telco's to capture mobile voice traffic and redirect it over lower cost alternative routes, the idea to transform it into a business product was soon established and development work gathered pace.
Today’s RIPDialer offers clients of any size from SOHO to Government, the ability to successfully and easily integrate a BYOD scheme and help establish the mobile phone as the primary communication device within the workplace.
Tel: +44 (0) 203 773 1 377