COPE Will Outshine BYOD in 2013

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Scott Kraege, director at MOBI Wireless Management.

Bring your own device (BYOD) programs have gained significant traction within enterprise mobility programs. But several companies and IT departments are finding that security is a leading issue with managing BYOD programs. As the BYOD conversation begins to die down, the next wave in enterprise mobility trends – COPE (corporate owned, personally enabled) – could soon dominate the discussion.

COPE is best broken down into two phases. The “corporate owned” portion assists companies in keeping their networks and information secure, one of the biggest issues faced when using BYOD programs. “CO” means the company still owns the line of service, selects preferred devices and sets usage cost thresholds for employees to consider. By declaring this kind of ownership, the company reserves the right to wipe or disconnect devices on the corporate network when necessary (say, a security breach ensues), and ultimately offers the company pre-established security just like the pre-BYOD days.

Although a recent study showsthat  77 percent of BYOD employees dislike the use of mobile device management (MDM) on their device, the “personally enabled,” or “PE,” aspect of COPE allows employees to choose the company-approved device they favor while also enabling them to use it personally and professionally. This second phase of COPE aligns the program more closely with BYOD, as it keeps the two usages tied together because employees can choose the company-approved device from the predetermined list and use the device for personal and professional matters – again, a common BYOD perk.

An initial step in instituting COPE is to select preferred devices based on what a company’s wireless environment is suited to support, such as iOS vs. Android operating systems. With this approach, a company can select certain phones at no additional cost, and if an employee wants another, then the company only pays a predetermined amount (“cost threshold”), such as $50. Employees then pay the remaining amount as outlined in company’s COPE policy. Companies can also set a cost threshold no matter the device chosen by the employee.

Usage costs operate similarly to cost thresholds for devices. Companies choose a predetermined amount they will pay toward usage fees like voice minutes, texting, data, multimedia or international plans. By setting these limits, the company is able to control monthly bills and avoid unnecessary overages without limiting an employee to a single device or plan.

Transitioning to a new program can seem daunting, but outsourcing wireless mobility management (WMM) helps IT departments seamlessly roll out a COPE program. COPE doesn’t just offer the feel of a BYOD policy, it actually gives employees the opportunity to customize both their device selection and data plan while keeping IT within budget. The added perk for employees is the support system and help from their IT departments and MDM or WMM representatives (if a company contracts one). And, employers reap benefits all the same through cost control, preferences and sometimes productivity gain for employees.

First Voice

  1. Blair Cook:

    The biggest issue is where personal ends and professional begins. If the company has the right to wipe data at any time that means the employee could lose tons of non work related information at any moment. On the other side, an employee might want to use their phone for non work approved downloads–do they have that right?

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