Why Windows Phone has hope: The BYOD reality check hurts

Bring your own device schemes are unbearable at large organizations. That's why Microsoft could make some Windows Phone noise in the enterprise.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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



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