BYOD Continues to Puzzle the Experts. It’s Simple: it’s About Mobility.

In a recent comment, Ian Hunter of UK journal Comms Business posed the following question: “Why should staff be using mobiles/smartphones when they have a desk phone and desktop PC?

It’s a fair question and was raised in relation to the emerging topic of “Bring your own device”. If the issue is whether staff should have multiple devices – mobile, fixed and so on, then it’s legitimate to enquire about costs.

But it somewhat ignores the advantages to be found in using mobile devices for communication in terms of cost, convenience and productivity benefits if deployed in conjunction with a Mobile PBX or Centrex solution.

First, with the right Mobile PBX solution, calls from mobile devices to colleagues (“on-net” calls, as we would normally say) can be extremely cost effective. Secondly, the actual cost of a mobile device is generally reasonable in comparison to a specialist desk phone. Thirdly, the convenience far outweighs any disadvantage. You can’t pick up the desk phone and take it on the train, but you can do exactly that with a mobile device.

If employees can stay connected irrespective of location, it means they can respond to enquiries faster, ensuring jobs are completed quicker and productivity can be enhanced.

What’s needed is a clear mobile PBX package to ensure that mobile devices are linked to the communication platform, enabling clear and efficient communication at all times and access to the same features that have been traditionally associated only with desk phones (call transfer, hunting, etc).

Perhaps a better question is, if mobile PBX services are available, why would you want a desk phone at all? Why not shift all communication across to mobile devices, softphone clients and so on? Then employees can bring any device they want to work and the company will save money by not having to purchase more fixed hardware. The answer seems to be that Mobile PBX solutions are not well understood. Pundits seem to think that fixed is superior in terms of functionality and that mobile is really an adjunct to a fixed-orientated solution. This simply isn’t true.

Across Scandinavia, enterprises have embraced mobility. Surprisingly, other developed economies have clung on to a legacy model in which the office-based PBX still dominates. This model is redundant – and emerging economies are recognising this, as mobile infrastructure provides cost and connectivity advantages, enabling enterprises to bypass legacy models completely and move directly to an all-mobile model. The problem seems to be that few IP Centrex solutions adequately address the needs of the mobile, an issue we have covered before.

Mobile PBX ensures that a mobile device is fully integrated into the communications service and not treated as simply an end point for call termination. With such solutions, there are no compromises. Users obtain exactly the same features on their mobile devices as users with fixed terminals, effectively making fixed terminals less attractive.

There’s nothing wrong with desk phones and there will always be a need for some to leverage them. But in an increasingly mobile world, it’s time to recognise that the mobile can deliver the same features and benefits as traditional fixed solutions – with the clear advantages of, well, we can’t avoid saying it – mobility - and device choice, ubiquity and so on.

 

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