SAP Australia seeing BYOD success

Summary:SAP Australia/New Zealand is seeing results after it offered its staff access to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, with the company's local head of mobility telling ZDNet Australia that new hires into the company were especially keen on the idea.

SAP Australia/New Zealand is seeing results after it offered its staff access to a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, with the company's local head of mobility telling ZDNet Australia that new hires into the company were especially keen on the idea.

Speaking at an event in Sydney to announce a new mobility partnership with Fujitsu, Andrew Fox, head of Mobility Solutions for SAP ANZ, said that the take up of the BYOD model is going well across the company's local business units, with the most interest coming from new Generation Y hires.

"I've just hired the mobile team for Australia/New Zealand. Out of 10 people that we hired, nine of them used the BYOD policy. They're all a different generation to people like me, and it's really interesting. I was surprised that it was so natural to them. They walked in with their phones and said 'I want to use this because it's got all my personal contacts on it, can I just attach it?'. The answer is yes," Fox said.

SAP ANZ gives staff a laptop and a BlackBerry device as part of a staff member's standard equipment offering; however, with the new BYOD model, the executive said that staff are bringing in everything from iPhones and iPads through to Android devices, with particular reticence towards the increasingly unpopular BlackBerry platform from RIM.

"Corporate standard email device is a BlackBerry, so we ask people 'do you want a BlackBerry?' and they look at me like we've got rocks in our head. They've already got their phone, why would they want me to give them one? 'Why would I want two,' they ask."

Fox added that the shift away from email-specific devices like the BlackBerry represent Generation Y's changing communication habits, citing a shift away from email in favour of newer social media tools.

"My kids ... look at me like an absolute Luddite if I use email," he said, adding that they even frowned upon his use of Facebook. "Us old farts have found Facebook now, they'll use anything but Facebook. It's extraordinary. They use social media [to communicate]. My daughter will only check her email when somebody phones her and say 'I sent you an email, why haven't you responded?' and her response is just 'I don't use email'," Fox recalled.

Sanjay Poonen, SAP's global president for Device Solutions, said at the event yesterday that BYOD models were an inevitable eventuality for SAP.

"BYOD is something we believe is not stoppable. Generation Y expects ... to bring their own devices to work, and as an employer, you have to have that capability," Poonen said.

Before the company released its BYOD model, it sought to have a one-size-fits-all policy for all staff in all territories. Poonen said that it became an impossible undertaking.

"We thought that we would go with a global policy, have one infrastructure and one business policy we could apply for all countries and regions and we realised that doesn't work. We have to do it country by country and organise a team of business people on the legal side, from a data privacy and data security side, from a mobile perspective, from an HR and on boarding process, from a finance perspective. It's a combination of business, legal, HR and IT infrastructure per country to make this happen.

"There are close to 1000 devices in place globally now and people love it," he said.

Fox said that so far, around 10 per cent of the company's 680 staff across Australia and New Zealand had taken up the BYOD model, with the acceptance rate growing with each new hire.

SAP subsidiary Sybase Australia yesterday announced that it had signed a partner agreement with Fujitsu Australia New Zealand for locally managed enterprise mobility offerings to better integrate BYODs into a company's corporate infrastructure.

Topics: Apple, Laptops, Mobility, SAP

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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