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The Business Case for Connecting Employees' Personal Smartphones

The Business Case for Connecting Employees' Personal Smartphones

It now makes sense with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

As more and more employees purchase personal BlackBerry® smartphones savvy businesses see an opportunity for a low-cost productivity boost. Connecting such personal smartphones has never been easier, safer, or so affordable since the recent introduction of the free BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express. This is a win-win productivity story your company should seriously consider.

Employees are buying their own smartphones...

How big is the trend? IDC reports that 80 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses already have employee-owned devices. And by 2013 IDC expects worldwide shipments of employee-owned devices to grow by 17.9 percent to reach 56.7 million units representing 56 percent of business smartphone shipments.

...And they want to use them for work

“We believe that by 2011 more than 50 percent of employees at most organizations will be carrying a smartphone and want to connect it to the corporate infrastructure,” says Brian Reed of BoxTone, a maker of mobile user management software and services.

There are three main reasons why this is happening:

  1. Generation X, Y, and millennial employees have come to expect to use their personal smartphones for work. They see their smartphones as a natural tool for collaborating with colleagues, friends, and family. Further, they are comfortable using consumer-oriented applications like Facebook® LinkedIn®, Twitter®, and BlackBerry® Messenger for work.
  2. There is an overall trend in society toward a blending of personal and work life. People see no reason to use separate work and personal devices. Indeed, workers think it odd that they would be blocked from web browsing or their work email, calendar, and contact lists.
  3. Smartphones are relatively inexpensive and packed with capabilities.
Think of it, employees want to connect and collaborate with colleagues so much that they are willing to pay out of pocket for their smartphones and data plans.            

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express offers a low-cost way to connect

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is a free software download that:

  • Lets your business connect employees' personal smartphones to the company network
  • Works on any lower-cost Internet-enabled BlackBerry data plan that most people get through their carriers
  • Gives your IT department the security and manageability features they need to protect the network

For more, see “Now You Can Connect Everyone Without Compromise,” from our February issue.

A big opportunity for your business

This is all about a low-cost way to improve productivity. When connected, here are a few of the things employees can do:

  • Connect to work email with such advanced features as organizing and filing mail folders, setting follow-up flags, and search
  • See work calendars and check the free/busy status of colleagues on the go, make appointments, and set reminders
  • Look up work contacts, check addresses on the road, send emails, and place calls
  • Use productivity tools, such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, SAP, expense trackers, product lists, order taking, and BlackBerry® Maps
  • Access the Internet, instant messenger services such as BlackBerry Messenger or AIM, and social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter
  • View and edit documents, including .doc, .xls, .ppt, .pdf. and .jpg files

Handling your IT department's objections

Your IT department may be reluctant to connect employees' personal smartphones. They may believe that the security risks and support issues are just not worth it, despite the boon to productivity. But with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express such objections no longer hold true. To overcome such objections, give them these talking points:

  • Security: BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express includes more than 35 core security policies found in its bigger BlackBerry® Enterprise Server cousin. Policies include password requirements, remote data wiping, data encryption, and application restrictions.
  • Budget: It is a free download that can be installed on existing Microsoft® Exchange or Windows® Small Business Server servers for up to 75 users. Or it can be installed on separate servers for up to 2,000 users per server.
  • Manageability: It includes a web-based management console for delegating tasks and remotely managing employees' smartphones.
  • Flexibility: Works with both Internet-enabled BlackBerry data plans and BlackBerry Enterprise data plans.
“Everyone gets what they want,” says Mark Amszej, Director of Product Management for Research In Motion. “The employee gets access to work email and apps. The company gets a more productive employee. And the IT team gets security and manageability.”

Watch a demonstration of BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

Click here for more on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

Support Forums

The BlackBerry® Support Community Forums are a great place for your BlackBerry device users to get help—and a place for you to connect with other IT administrators. Do you have questions about BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions? Are you looking for support on devices or accessories? Visit the BlackBerry Support Community Forums.