App47 Feature Series: App Configuration Management

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. For previous posts in the series, see: Customizing Your App StoreSelf-Service EnrollmentApp Store User Experience; Volume Purchase Program Integration; Build Management. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here.

In Windows, app configuration files first became known as a way to change an application’s configuration behavior without having to recompile or reinstall that app. App configuration files, however, have spread far past the desktop environment; today, they’re just as widely used by mobile app developers to modify the behavior of an app on the fly.

But for an app on thousands (or millions) of devices, how do you update or change those configuration files all at once? That’s a harder task, but it’s made easier by platforms like App47 that enable what our team likes to call app configuration management.

App configuration management allows you to update an app’s configuration files on a broad scale, allowing developers to take full advantage of the wide feature range that’s enabled by the update or change of an app’s configuration file. 

In thinking about what we call app configuration management, it makes sense to frame our features in terms of a few use case examples:

  • A/B Testing: When putting a new UI out on the market, you may wonder whether one interface is better than the other. But traditional methods of A/B testing (release A one week, wait another week to release B, and compare results) make it difficult to compare true analytical results of engagement.

    With App47’s app configuration management capabilities, however, you can set configuration parameters to be pushed out to the application which would give the same users version A one week, and version B the next. You don’t have to ship out another app, you don’t get muddled data, and you get true A/B testing—all with much more clarity than other traditional methods of mobile app A/B testing.

  • Branding changes: App configuration management also allows you to completely change branding. When a customer logs into the app, their account ID can be used to trigger a branding change—colors, fonts, tab sizes, etc.—so that you’re able to roll out multiple style sheets from parameters based on the individual customer. If you’re looking to test out different branding styles on your app, manipulating app configuration files is a great way to do so.
  • Content management: Finally, it may make sense to think of app configuration management as an offshoot of content management. App configuration management allows you to define your content and serve it up in many different forms.

    Instead of a full-fledged content management system, you can use strings, Boolean values, files, numbers, etc., and put them in the system, at which point we can load them into our system, match individual policies, and update individual apps nearly instantaneously. You can’t do everything through app configuration management that you can do with a content management system, but the capabilities are very similar, and our system allows you to make the most of what capabilities are available.

As you can see, then, configuration files are a very convenient way to change an app’s behavior without having to recompile or reinstall that app.

But in terms of managing those configuration files, making the most of this ability takes a management system like App47. App47 allows you to conveniently manage configuration files for use cases like these (and more), removing a majority of the legwork and complication from the equation for users and developers in the enterprise.

In terms of features we’ve worked into App47’s mobile application management platform, few are more useful for developers than app configuration management. 

If you have questions about what you can do with App47’s app configuration management process, or about any of App47’s features, let us know by reaching out to us via the comments or the contact page of our site.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility Management, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Testing, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

App47 Feature Series: Build Management

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. For previous posts in the series, see: Customizing Your App StoreSelf-Service EnrollmentApp Store User Experience; Volume Purchase Program Integration. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here.

As most software developers know, building and launching an app can take a lot of time and resources. That same process also has the potential to be complicated when it comes time to finally release your app into the wild—if you don’t have a platform to help you with management, that is.

Here at App47, we’ve simplified the build management process. Once you’ve built your app and want to get it out to users or to testers, there are no complicated steps or confusing processes: you just go to our builds page, add your build and upload the file.

Behind the scenes, we help manage all of the platforms for that application on one page—from Android to iOS to Blackberry, all of your platforms can be managed from the same place. But we don’t stop there.

When you upload a build, you can approve different users for different tasks. One user, for example, may be able to upload apps, while only another user can approve and launch that app, and yet another has the authority to select test mode or production mode. All of those tasks can be assigned to the same person if you’d like, but they can be parsed out to individual users in cases where you may want several eyes on the process—as you might in an enterprise use case.

As we mentioned in our user experience post a few weeks ago, App47 also allows you to separate test builds and production builds to individual users. At any stage in the build management process, you can separate apps so that some users only receive the test build, and others only receive the production build. Your app store users will only see apps that will run on the devices they have access to, and the same is true with test builds. In all instances, users are segmented out and placed into easy-to-manage, customizable groups.

Building and launching an app doesn’t have to be complicated, and with App47’s build management features, we help streamline the process so that you don’t have to spend valuable time sorting through mundane tasks. A well-managed backend makes for a much better chance of a successful app launch, and that help with management is exactly what you get with App47.

If you’d like to learn more about build management within App47’s mobile application management platform, reach out to us and let us know. You can reach us in the comments below or via the contact page of our site.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Testing, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

App47 Feature Series: Volume Purchase Program Integration

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. For previous posts in the series, see: Customizing Your App Store; Self-Service Enrollment; App Store User Experience. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here.

App stores everywhere present a unique problem for businesses: they’re prominent sources of high-volume, low-cost purchases that can be difficult to keep track of. Even if an app is only $3, when an employee purchases that app for work and expenses it through normal methods, that $3 app could end up costing your company $12 when all is said and done.

Luckily, Apple has come up with a great solution for that problem: the Volume Purchase Program (VPP). Instead of having your employees purchase apps individually—which is problematic for reasons we just mentioned—the VPP allows you to purchase apps in volume all at once.

When you purchase an app through Apple’s VPP, one of the more common methods of distribution is an excel spreadsheet. That spreadsheet will contain all of your redemption codes, and after purchase, it’s up to the enterprise to track, redeem, and distribute those codes—a task that can turn difficult very fast, as you might imagine.

Here at App47, however, we offer VPP integration, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your VPP redemption codes into our platform. With App47, once you purchase an app in volume, you can load it into our system and let us do the legwork.

You don’t have to sort through any spreadsheets. When a user wants an app and a code is available, we’ll automatically use one of your codes to give them the application, and from there, we’ll mark the code as used so that it’s easy for your business to track. We’ll also reconcile with Apple: if anything is out of sync, we’ll fix it so that you don’t have to.

And with this VPP integration comes another great B2B feature: the ability for your business to build a mobile app and easily sell it in volume to another business. Your app will be hosted in iTunes’ app store—not publicly listed—and the ISV who built the app will be able to distribute it using VPP redemption code technology. The integration here is as seamless as it is for any other app purchase made using Apple’s VPP.

Whether you’re purchasing a public app in volume and distributing it to your users, or developing an app and selling it to other businesses, App47’s VPP integration creates a seamless solution that helps you work around the otherwise clumsy process of purchasing apps for the enterprise. All of this is yet another way that App47 makes enterprise MAM easy.

Would you like to learn more about App47’s VPP integration and how it can help your business distribute its apps? Reach out to us in the comments or through the contact page of our site—we’d love to hear from you!

Posted in App47 Customer Success Stories, App47 Product Tips/Tricks, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile Application Management, Volume Purchase Program, VPP | Leave a comment

App47 Feature Series: App Store User Experience

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. For previous posts in the series, see: Customizing Your App Store; Self-Service Enrollment. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here. 

The need for a quality user experience doesn’t go away when you enter the enterprise world—your employees want an easy-to-use, good looking interface or product just as much as your customers do.

With many other enterprise mobile app management solutions, you don’t get the traditional app store look. Often, you just get a list of apps—something the market affectionately calls an “app catalog.” While these types of app stores work, they don’t always look the part, and sometimes even lose functionality like you’d get with a mainstream app store.

But things don’t have to be that way. At App47, we value user experience (and UI), and our app store shows it. By taking a hint from several UI techniques and other app stores, we provide our users with much more than just a list of apps. Here are some of the ways our app store presents a great user experience:

  • Featured apps: Much like you’d find in iTunes or Google Play, App47’s app store allows you to feature apps, whether they’re brand new or an update of a past version. When your app store launches, regardless of how many apps your user has access to, featured apps will be prominently displayed on the top—allowing you to truly customize your app store and highlight the things you want.
  • App ratings: Users in your app store will also have the ability to rate individual apps so that you can keep track of what your users like and what they don’t. Your ratings won’t be ported over from any public app store—they’ll come exclusively from your pool of users. While analytics will allow you to see exactly what’s happening with your apps, app ratings will help you track the perception of your apps within the organization.
  • App categorizing and grouping: Every account comes with 25+ different categories built in, allowing you to sort apps and make them easy for users to find (users can also search for apps by name). In addition to the stock categories, you can also add your own categories and icons if you want to sort things even more.
  • Public app porting: When you put a public app into your curated app store, our platform pulls information from the public app store so that your users will see the same photos and descriptions that they’d see in a public store—another part of our seamless user experience.
  • Test vs. production builds: Finally, on private apps where you may have a production build and a test build, users who are also testers will see two icons when they go to install an app: install and test build. That means no stumbling to figure out which is which, and users will only be able to install the test build if they’re supposed to have access, streamlining the testing experience.

By mimicking the UI of popular public app stores, we’ve made the App47 app store simple and easy to use. There’s no confusion for your users because it looks and works just like a public app store, and your business gets the added functionality that comes along with the most popular public app stores.

User experience isn’t everything, but it is very important to widespread adoption of enterprise mobile apps—a large part of the reason that user experience is so important to us here at App47, and a large part of the reason why companies like Cars.com, USA Today, and Bristol-Myers Squibb selected App47 as their enterprise MAM solution.

If a quality user experience, a high degree of functionality, and above all, a great enterprise MAM solution are what you’re looking for, we think it’s hard to beat the tools and solutions we offer here at App47.

Want to see a live demo or learn more about App47? Let us know in the comments or through the contact page of our site. We’d love to help.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

App47 Feature Series: Self-Service Enrollment

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. For previous posts in the series, see: Customizing Your App Store. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here.

An enterprise mobile app—or an enterprise app store—means little without end users. So after you’ve set up your app store and determined who you want your users to be, the logical next step is determining how to get your users enrolled.

As we mentioned in our last post about customizing your app store, here at App47, we realize that enterprises need flexibility within their app stores—and that includes enrollment. That’s exactly why another great feature of our app store is several options for enrollment.

With App47’s unique app store, you can:

  • Manually add users: Through App47’s admin portal, you can manually add users by email address. Once you add a user and save, that user gets an email starting them along the onboarding process. You can set the one-time passphrase to make sure your app store only reaches the intended user, and you can also set whether or not the device that’s registered on is automatically approved. If you choose no for that last option, an administrator will need to approve that device.
  • Integrate with an AD or LDAP: We also integrate with AD or LDAP. We offer the option to pull all of the users associated with a directory and bring them into the App47 enterprise app store. Like the first option for enrollment, you determine the onboarding email that’s sent, and also have control over whether devices and apps are automatically approved or not.
  • Enable user self-registration: A third option for enrollment is user self-registration. When you enable this option, you’ll get a secure registration URL, and with that link, anyone can sign up and gain access to your group, no matter whether that link is sent via text message, internal email, or any of the many other options for distribution. This option allows users to onboard with a username and password they choose themselves. This self-enablement enrollment model lets users work on their own terms (relatively speaking), and once again lets you determine whether or not devices are automatically approved.
  • Integrate with our API: Finally, if you have a system already in place and are looking for seamless integration, you can contact us and direct enterprise app store activity through our API. Whether that means adding users, uploading apps, or anything else associated with MAM, we do offer clients the option to use our API, which still allows all of the same flexibility you see with the options above, if not more.

These four methods of onboarding users into App47’s enterprise app store provide all of the flexibility your business and users need for seamless integration. We want to make the entire MAM process as painless as possible, and our many options for enrollment are only one of the many ways that our platform accomplishes that goal.

Want to learn more about App47’s enterprise application management solutions and how they can help your business? Reach out to us in the comments or through the contact page of our site. We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

App47 Feature Series: Customizing Your App Store

This post is part of an ongoing series about features of App47’s mobile application management platform. Be sure to check back here on our blog over the coming weeks for more in-depth feature descriptions. And for a list of all of App47’s features, see our features page here. 

If app store customization is what you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place with App47. One of the most well received features of our app store is its customizability.

Using our MAM platform, there are a couple of ways you can customize your app store:

  • Including the apps you want: With App47, you have the ability to include the apps that you want—not apps that are selected by somebody else. Whether you want to use public apps from Google Play and iTunes, privately developed apps that you own or are building, web apps, or even B2B apps, our platform allows you to decide what apps stay, and what apps go.
  • Personalized branding: Using our platform, you’re also able to define the name of the app, as well as the icon in the splash screen when the app is installed on your user’s device. Here, you can curate the icon and name, and the customer will get an app with that icon. With the right customization, your end users will never know you’re using a third-party platform to manage your app store.

The customization doesn’t stop there. We also realize that emails—and the branding associated with them—are very important. We offer customization and branding with the emails we use to invite users, notify customers, set passwords, and more. You can use our email server or you can use yours, you can customize your email template (we offer a standard set, but those are customizable as well), and all-in-all, every email your users receive has the ability to look exactly like you want it to look.

As we mentioned in our discussion above of personal branding, with the right execution, your end users will never know that you’re using a third-party MAM platform. They won’t see App47 or its logos anywhere—they’ll see your logos, images, trademarks, copy, and yes, apps, so that app store integration is seamless all throughout the enterprise. It will look like we were never even there.

Customization is essential to a quality user experience, from the developer level all the way down to the end user. And with App47, you get all of the app store customization you need, and none of the restrictions you don’t.

Interested in learning more about App47’s enterprise application management solutions? Let us know by reaching out in the comments or through the contact page of our site. We’d love to hear from you.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, Enterprise App Store, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

Want to Measure the ROI of Your Enterprise Mobile App? Take a Good, Hard Look at Analytics

Despite the increasing interest in mobile apps at the enterprise level, we’ve realized something interesting in our time within the industry: many companies have no idea what it costs to create and support an app (for the record, from development, to testing, to support, an app could cost in the ballpark of $50-100 thousand over its lifetime).

And yet, we know that every business decision is based on ROI (or if it isn’t, it should be). Companies are for-profit, and their decisions should always be informed by that need. We also know from a lot of time with IT budgets that they’re not a loss leader. IT departments exist, as any other department should, to either increase efficiency or decrease costs.

So when you start to roll out mobile apps, how are you measuring ROI?

By the time you’ve decided to release an app, you already know how much you’ve invested to get there—but it’s up to analytics like those that you can get through App47 to measure your return on investment. Here are a few things that proper analytics can tell you, all of which can help you determine the ROI of your new enterprise-wide app:

  • How often your app is being used. First and foremost, analytics can tell you how often your app is being used. The user base of any app (internally or externally) is often a good indicator of how useful it is; if no one within your company is using your app, doesn’t that say something about its utility? By tracking how often your app is being used, and who’s using it, you can get a much better idea of what type of impact it’s having within your organization.
  • How often your app crashes. Tracking how often your app crashes is a sort of negative ROI calculation. Any time your app crashes, it’s wasting valuable employee time and reducing organizational efficiency—a sign that things need to change. Knowing how reliable your app is is key to understanding what type of value it brings to the table.
  • What types of transactions are being performed with your app. By monitoring activity within the app itself, you can get a much better idea of how the app is impacting ROI. Placing sales orders, looking up stock quantities, and solving a customer’s issue all have very different returns on investment, and the better you can pin down how your app is being used (and potentially, how its actual use compares to what you designed it for), the better you can measure its overall ROI.
  • Whether or not your app is performant. Finally, analytics can tell you whether or not your app is even capable of adding value. If your app is taking too long to download or crashes frequently, an employee could instead opt to return back to their laptop—thus completely erasing any value that the app could’ve potentially had.

Analytics allow you to measure the performance of your app by tracking ROI and helping you support the app once it’s been released, and our platform here at App47 lets you do all of that remotely, without ever having to be physically connected to the device.

If they haven’t already, companies at the enterprise level are very soon going to start looking at the release of an app as a revenue-generating event. It’s simply not possible to measure the ROI of an app without proper management tools—enterprise mobile apps need to be managed just like anything else within your business—and just as companies want to build and deploy their apps, so too are they going to want to monitor and manage them over time.

That’s why we built App47 three years ago. And if you haven’t already started thinking about how to manage your apps (and measure their ROI), now is certainly the time to start.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Mobility, MAM, MDM | Leave a comment

Apple Acquires TestFlight. What’s Next?

Just last Friday, word got out that Burstly, who makes the popular mobile app testing platform TestFlight, was acquired by Apple.

This news came just after an announcement that Testflight would be ending its Android support on March 21st, that it was discontinuing its SDK, and finally, that it was shutting down FlightPath, Burstly’s mobile analytics solution.

I think that this acquisition means big things for the world of enterprise mobility management for a couple of reasons:

  • It validates the enterprise mobility world and the need for mobile app testing/development management solutions. In a way, Apple’s newest acquisition is a sign that yes, mobile app testing/development management solutions are essential (why acquire a company that has no utility?). There’s a real need to manage the test-dev lifestyle as you build an application, and this purchase is a big flashing sign that MAM is something that companies ought to be thinking about.
  • Any enterprise clients shut out by this acquisition need to start looking for a better solution. As I just mentioned a moment ago, this acquisition had with it an announcement that Testflight would be ending Android support, its SDK, and Flightpath. A true enterprise includes Android and Apple devices, an SDK, and a mobile analytics solution, all of which are soon to become unavailable. And that means only one thing: if you’re an enterprise customer and you’re using Testflight, it’s time to find a new solution. App47 provides answers to all of these needs, and makes for a great service for customers who will be looking for a new tool following this acquisition.

Although the official word from Apple (again, via TechCrunch) is that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” there’s no doubt in my mind that this acquisition is a big step forward for enterprise mobility management as an industry, and for businesses seeking an enterprise app management solution.

As I’ve said before, mobility is the future, especially for enterprises. And Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight is another big reminder that now’s the time to get on board and find a workable enterprise mobile app management solution before it’s too late.

MAM is the means to true enterprise mobility, and especially with another management solution out of the game, App47 is the means to MAM.

Posted in App47 SDK, Crash Logs, EMM, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile App Development, Mobile App Performance, Mobile App Security, Mobile App Testing, Mobile Application Analysis, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Application Security | Leave a comment

5 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Cloud Computing

Less than two years ago, 51% of consumers believed that inclement weather would interfere with cloud computing. Although there hasn’t been a follow-up survey to determine that number today, we hope that the general public has made progress in their knowledge of the cloud.

Bad weather aside, there’s still a lot out there that even the best-informed of readers still don’t know about cloud computing. To help with that, we thought we’d take a moment to gather up a few informative facts that you probably didn’t know about the cloud. Have a look below: 

  1. Over the next five years, public cloud workloads are expected to rise 44%, vs. 8.9% for on-premise. In a survey of 141 chief information officers, asset management firm Piper Jaffray found that “only 9.7% of all computing workloads are running in so-called public clouds.” That’s expected to grow 44% annually in five years’ time, compared to 8.9% growth for on-premise computing. If there were ever a clear sign that cloud computing was the way of the future, this might be it.
  2. Cloud computing helps designers work better. Cloud computing isn’t all about IT geeks and managing mobile apps (as much as we love those two things!)—it’s also about making the world a better place. As an example, the city of Vancouver built “a simulated version of the entire city by combining terrain files, building footprints, satellite photos and GIS data for parcels and streets into a 3D modeling program,” enabled largely by the performance and accessibility of the cloud. From mobile apps to city simulations, cloud computing is changing the world.
  3. The cloud is going green. In case you were worried about the environmental impact of large data centers popping up all over the world with the rise of the cloud, don’t worry—computer scientists at Trinity College Dublin and IBM just recently developed a new cloud computing system “that will allow companies to reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.” This could result in as much as a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 61% savings in electricity costs. Looks like green—not blue—may be the color of the future for the cloud.
  4. There’s over 1 exabyte of data currently stored in the cloud. The research firm Nasumi estimated last February that there’s currently over an exabyte of data stored all across the cloud. An exabyte is 1,073,741,824 GB. That’s the equivalent of over 67 million 16 GB iPhones of data, or in other words, a whole heck of a lot of data currently stored in the cloud.
  5. A new cloud server is added for every 120 tablets or 600 smartphones that hit the market. Intel estimates that that a new server is needed for every 120 tablets or 600 smartphones. Considering the fact that by 2015, there are set to be as many as 15 billion devices and 3.1 billion individuals connected to the internet, that adds up to a lot of servers—some 25,000,000 servers if we assumed only smartphones were used. Talk about a lot of storage space.

Although we’re still trying to wrap our heads around stormy weather’s affects on the cloud, we continue to be amazed by the scope and growth of cloud computing today. If you’d have told us 10 years ago that there would be over a billion gigabytes of data stored on a globally-accessible network, we probably would’ve told you that you were crazy—and yet, here we are.

We can’t wait to see what the next few years hold for cloud computing, but for now, the best thing we can do is stay informed and keep up on the amazing possibilities opened up by the cloud. And I suppose we’ll stay on the lookout for thunderstorms, too.

Posted in Cloud | 1 Comment

An International BYOD Policy: Is It Right for Your Growing Business?

A BYOD (bring your own device) policy that enables employees to work outside the office on their own devices works well for many companies, big and small. If you’re looking to expand into foreign markets, a BYOD policy provides several advantages, including increased flexibility for you and your staff and access to the business network from any approved device. It’s not without its disadvantages, however. Read on to see if a BYOD plan could work for you on a global scale.

Improve International Communication

Currently, businesses that include an international BYOD plan receive phone and data services at pretty good rates. Individual users traveling abroad pay around $1 per minute to talk and $10 per 10 MB of data used, according to InfoWorld. The bigger the company, the bigger the discount. Some plans even offer fixed rates.

International roaming service is improving quickly, too. AT&T recently expanded its international Wi-Fi coverage through a cooperative plan with Spanish wireless provider Fon. CIO reported that Fon hotspots in Portugal and Poland will have access to those who buy specific services through AT&T’s Global Data Add-On plan. It will add to the number of hotspots in those countries, which currently have a combined 800,000 hotspots.

Even better news for your IT department: Wi-Fi doesn’t connect to cellular frequencies, which are expensive, but rather through an unlicensed radio spectrum. These are cheaper and less restrictive to travelers.

Avoid High Phone Bills

To avoid racking up a high overseas phone bill, try these tips:

  • Unlock your phone before you travel. A handset that’s constantly on drives up the data roaming costs. Talk with your operator to unlock the phone when you purchase it (this will cost a small fee).
  • Purchase a second, cheaper phone overseas. Use this phone for personal use, and use your work phone to access local data. This way you’ll only be charged for a local data rate, rather than a roaming rate.

Weigh the Costs

An international BYOD plan may not be the best choice for some businesses. A $100 stipend for one employee on an international trip might not even make your accountant bat an eye, but add that up over several employees on several trips, and you could start seeing dents in your bottom line. Calculate the number of employees traveling internationally and how much each trip may cost and compare it with the cost of not having an international BYOD plan.

Policy Advice

Things can get a little sticky if an employer is evaluating an employee’s use of his or her mobile device. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission states that employees do not have any privacy rights under a BYOD system. For many countries in Europe and in Canada, it’s the opposite. According to ECommerce Times, employees have privacy rights to emails they send and receive. There is still much to be settled on when it comes to intellectual property with BYOD policies, especially if a business doesn’t have a well-written policy or one that covers employees across the globe.

Safe and Secure

One of the biggest advantages of BYOD with regard to international traveling is that all data for the business is saved and secured through a cloud system. If a device gets lost, stolen or damaged, the information isn’t likely to be lost with it. If you’re still scared about data being lost or stolen, invest in a device that offers remote wipe features like Blackberry. Blackberry offers that particular useful feature, as well as many others on their new devices, making them even more business-friendly than before.

There are, however, many unique security challenges with international BYOD. You and your IT team should set up security systems for both software and hardware that can lock down mobile devices when needed. Other suggestions to improve security include:

  • Educate employees and create a code of conduct
  • Require management rules
  • Install security programs and backup systems

Prepare for Bill Shock

With so many different polices and costs varying from county to country, have your IT department set up a telecom expense management (TEM) system. This allows IT to manage, track and allocate actual expenses in real time and provides alerts and expense reports to users. This should prevent any eye-bulging reactions when the bill comes.

BYOD may be challenging when it comes to global use, but with the right polices, software, hardware and securities in place, it can also be quite beneficial to your company.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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