Why Windows Phone has hope: The BYOD reality check hurts

Why Windows Phone has hope: The BYOD reality check hurts

Summary: Bring your own device schemes are unbearable at large organizations. That's why Microsoft could make some Windows Phone noise in the enterprise.


Bring your own device has been talked about non-stop and on the whiteboard it looks lovely. However, there's a reason why CIOs appear to be hoping---perhaps even praying---that Windows Phone 8 gets traction: Their BYOD headaches may be cured.

Here's a conversation with a technology worker who works as a massive company and trying to be a good sport about BYOD.

Me: Our initial surveys with CIOs indicate that they will give Windows Phone every chance possible to be the enterprise platform.

IT guy: Right so if CIOs really like Win Phone, Android could be screwed, because BYOD is becoming more of a hassle. I'm in NYC now with a huge user base and many agencies. They are all buying people iPhones and iPads with taxpayer money to hook into their Exchange infrastructure. If Microsoft can do a better job with that and it damn well should be able to, since they own the back end then Windows Phone should do well. Trying to get my Nexus to interoperate with their secure Exchange infrastructure was damn near impossible.

 I had to use their Outlook web access. It's a pain in the ass. I have to check it periodically. I don’t get notifications nor am I able to accept meeting invites unless I forward all my mail to my personal account.

Which I'm not gonna do or I'll get fired.

Me: Ouch.

IT guy: This is the reality of BYOD; it's a total failure in large orgs. Undoable. We've tried it here. Most people refuse to opt in to locking down personal devices with 10 digit passwords and all sorts of restrictions.

So most people don’t use personal stuff here even when given the tools to do it. Connectivity to mail and calendaring for iOS and Android required a 10-digit lock code. People got sick of it.

They'd rather carry a company BlackBerry in addition to their own device than deal with that shit on their own phones. BYOD is a total fantasy in large orgs. SMBs, larger SMBs, maybe, but not in real enterprises.

If Tim Cook is smart he will figure out a way to provide better enterprise email on iPhone. maybe apple should just drop $5 billion and buy RIM for their infrastructure and call it a day. Own all the BES patents and IP. BlackBerry mail the app. Done. Apple won't though because it'll never go to war with Microsoft.

The bottom line: Windows Phone has a nice opportunity in the enterprise. As long as Microsoft can step up to the plate and provide a device and OS that employees will like.

Also: Know when to leverage BYOD and when to forget it | Shadow IT: You, me and BYOD



Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, CXO, iPhone, Smartphones, Windows

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  • What about?

    What about RIM and their new BlackBerry phones? They have the security built in and corps are already using them.
    They will have an equivalent UI to the current top phones.
    Susan Antony
    • Good Point

      It does seem about as plausible for Blackberry to make a comeback as for Windows Phone to catch on big. I'm not saying either of those things will or will not happen, mind you. I plan to just wait and see.
    • Makes too much sense

      Why would corporations continue to use a solution 90% of them already have in place? Just throw all thos licenses away and install another MDM - yeah that sounds better.

      You can bet every company that still uses Blackberry (and thats a lot of them) will be anxious to see how BB10 works, enterprise customers should be getting seed devices later this fall so we'll know soon enough.
      • BB10

        We use blackberry here but are looking to switch. It comes down to RIM's survivability outlook next year. If it looks like they are going to fold we're switching to a mix of WP8 and IOS6 devices.
  • Am I Missing Something?

    Is there something I missed? I can setup my Droid 2 Global to use my company's Exchange server. I can sync contacts, calendar, and get my email.
    • Same Here, Though My Phone Is Provided

      My Droid 3 is provided by my workplace, but it's not really any different than it would be if it were my own device. I haven't had any problems connecting to the Exchange server (though it of course does use the Exchange Webmail interface).
      • EAS setup is easy on most devices however,

        Users are are not very good at keeping watch over their devices. I have an Exchange 2010 server, 150 users, we support all 3 types of devices however If I don't implement a decent set of security policies to protect these people from themselves, i.e. I can't find my Iphone, I've lost my Android phone, my WP7 went missing over the weekend I'm not doing my job correctly. I have a user that has replaced his Iphone 5 times now, left one in the United Red Carpet Club, dropped and cracked the glass on another, etc., you get the picture.

        If you read the IT guys comment that they implemented a 10 digit lock code and the user just didn't feel like dealing with it or couldn't be bothered with it well that person cannot and should not be trusted with any type of corporate information especially confidential information.

        Just what I have to deal on a daily basis.
        • Lock Codes

          To me that is just part of the price one pays to get their corporate stuff on their own device. I could see how some people might not like that, but hey, you have to have security in place.

          Of course that whole remote wipe makes me a bit nervous. I would hate for some one to "accidentally" wipe my phone.
      • It's just a matter of..

        the security settings. I can't speak to the older Androids but Pre Ice Cream Sandwich it damn near impossible if you turn on encryption for Active Sync. Hopefully by now it's gotten better.
  • So Microsoft need to Pony up and Deliver

    But they seem so focused on Consumer space, and making the Windows Phones all Social Integration, with a pretty sh*t Office Apps Hub, that they don't seem to be too bothered to Support the Enterprise at the meoment.

    Hopefully they realise that the Windows 8 encryption, provides some hope and opportunity. But they will mess it up, because of typical Microsoft Inertia and weak Marketeting.
  • Why Windows Phone has hope: The BYOD reality check hurts

    Not a fan of the BYOD but at least with Microsoft Windows Phones you will be on the same page across your organization since you will have Windows servers and desktops. Everything will integrate smoothly.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Only in your world

      Let's look at Google's world...No Windoze!
      • They never said that

        first the said that all desktops would be Linux.

        Now it's "the user in the orginization has a choice - Windows, OS X, or Linux".

        That tells you their little experiment didn't work out too well.
        William Farrel
      • Yeah, it must be fun using ChromeOS instead

        Such a great replacement of Windows.

        * End of sarcasm *
      • Plenty of Windows at Google

        Just because you don't hear about it doesn't mean Google has no windows.

        Or are you stupid enough to think that Google can produce Windows software without windows?? And NO, Google is not developing Windows platform products with a cross compiler under Linux.
    • “same page across your organization”

      Like being able to use Active Directory with Windows RT and Windows Phone?

  • No disrespect... but you're looking at it the wrong way

    Or rather, the IT Guy is. The problems he's having are kind of self-inflicted. Rather than finding a way to make BYOD or even corporate systems easier to *use* instead of easier to *maintain*, they've built an unnervingly rigid and user unfriendly system.

    Now that people are trying to bring the devices they like and want to it - the devices that make them more productive, the IT mentality ignore this and jumps right to 'but we can't make them do what we want'.

    Here's a clue. BYOD is a *reaction* to that mindset.

    Rather than shoving a 10 digit pass-code down their throats in a clear attempt to discourage them, how about implementing some kind of PKI based certificate system? Create an app (or get someone to create an app) that's a bridge between Exchange and non-corporate devices.

    In the end, IT may be the last 'market' where the providers can dictate to the customers... and it won't last much longer.
    • You have it backwards

      Would you be fine if Brinks Security allowed their employees to use their personal vehicles to make large volume cash pickups?

      Why do people think that corporate level security practices don't apply just because they want to bring their personal device to work?
    • Won't work

      All I have to do is steal the phone to get access , thats the point of the 10 digit passcode.

      Most standards expect at least 8 digits and that can't move, its not ITs fault for implementing that standard
  • Fascist Mentality

    Nice article. It was another "gentle" reminder of the fascist mentality of IT. The fact is, if the organization wasn't productive and didn't exsit, there would be no IT. IT exists to SERVE the productive functions of the organization--not the other way around. It's IT's function to facilite productive behavior on the part of the people that actually make the revenue for the organization.

    I'm guessing "IT hell" is the iPhone. Regular hell is the Blackberry device.