Unified Communications Featured Article

Fixing the BYOD App Mess

March 11, 2014

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) delivers flexibility and employees usually love it, but it also can be a mess for IT.

That’s because not only is there the challenge of supporting a wide range of devices and making sure everything runs the apps needed for the business, there’s also the sticky issue of how the apps are tied to the phone.

Often apps are tied to an employee’s personal account, even if the company pays for it. This can be a problem for provisioning, but also when employees leave a company.

“What we saw was actually a challenge inside to deliver the mobile and tablet clients to SMBs and enterprises because today the iTunes store and the Google Play store are very much geared toward end-users buying a product, an application, a game, a song, whatever it is,” Todd Carothers, executive vice president of marketing for Counterpath, told unified communications recently in a video interview.

“It is a very messy situation from a channel perspective,” he added.

Counterpath, which delivers VoIP and unified communications solutions for companies of all sizes, has developed a solution that keeps the apps tied to corporate accounts and means that individual employees don’t have to be going on and purchasing software from the commercial apps stores.

“What we’ve done is create a way to really crack the code here on breaking up that problem, and creating a way for IT directors to come to our site and being able to purchase the products they want, whether it be mobile, tablet or desktop for their employees, and simply give out user credentials, which in many cases is the same credentials they will use for their Windows login,” he said.

This also has the added benefit of making provisioning easier, as Carothers explained; the provisioning is tied to the Counterpath cloud, so once an IT director rolls out a solution it goes to all devices authorized to use the services.

“So it breaks that whole problem of trying to have the employees buy it from the store and deliver it through the store,” he noted.

In making it work for every device, Counterpath even supports Blackberry—something that is becoming rare as more businesses and consumers move to Android or Apple’s iOS. Carothers said that the company supports Blackberry and will continue to support those devices since customers are asking for it.

“We are going to continue to support the Blackberry,” he said. “In fact, you’ll see additional functionality over time.”

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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