Robin Gareiss
Robin Gareiss is president and founder of Nemertes Research, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises...
Read Full Bio >>

Robin Gareiss | October 15, 2012 |


Time to Go All Mobile?

Time to Go All Mobile? IT staffs must weigh productivity and employee preference with cost savings to determine what type of device makes sense for which employees and under what type of ownership model.

IT staffs must weigh productivity and employee preference with cost savings to determine what type of device makes sense for which employees and under what type of ownership model.

As companies embrace anytime, anywhere communications--driven by the ubiquity of mobile devices--has the time finally come (yet again) to toss aside IP hardphones or even softphones?

It's a loaded question that many IT professionals are exploring. Numerous IT decision-makers have asked us in recent months: Can we just ditch the handset? After all, handsets are the most expensive piece of the capital for an IP telephony/UC rollout or upgrade.

There are a few viable answers, depending on factors in any given organization. Here are some to consider:

Company culture: Is the culture innovative? Do employees respond positively to change and to new technologies? For many companies, even if the answer to the first question is yes, the answer to the second question is no. Employees generally do not respond well to change because they are afraid of loss. So, before pulling the plug, it's imperative to educate the employees on what they'll lose, yes, but also what they'll gain by moving to an all-mobile model.

Campus/building cellular performance: For many organizations, the cellular quality is poor inside a high-rise building or in certain areas of the campus. That doesn't preclude a move to an all-mobile environment. It simply means you must work with wireless providers to install small-cell technology (femto or pico cells), which improve the cellular signal and overall sound quality.

BYOD Policy: If a company allows employees to bring their own mobile device to work, the chance of them shifting entirely to mobile devices is greater. Nemertes has found that 69% of organizations support BYOD today, a data point that indicates employees are increasingly more comfortable with using a mobile device for work purposes.

The problem, though, is the risk involved when a company allows personally-owned mobile devices to be the communications means for the entire organization. What if the device breaks or the employee doesn't pay his or her monthly service bill? The phone may unexpectedly be non-existent, and then how does that individual stay productive? Organizations that take the risk of employee-owned devices as primary-mode-of-communication must develop clear policies on how to support the devices and apps, and must develop contingency plans (such as a stable of "loaner" phones) should an employee's phone break.

Extension of UC capabilities: Moving to a mobile-only world requires UC integration. Already, 51% of companies integrate UC with their mobile devices, and another 22.2% are evaluating the capabilities. One of the key reasons is phone number ownership. If the only number your customers have is their sales reps' private cellphone number, you'll discover some problems when the sales reps leave the company. It's imperative to mandate that all calls go through the IP PBX or server, using mobile extension to reach the mobile device. Additionally, if a mobile device is the only communications endpoint employees use, they need similar features to a desktop handset (or even softphone), such as directory integration, presence status, IM capabilities, and conferencing.

Job Function: For salespeople, service people, traveling executives, and mobile workers (construction, clinicians, retail managers), an all-mobile solution is ideal. But IT must make sure the devices are highly functional, with full UC integration. For other positions--those at a desk in front of a computer, in a contact center, etc.--a hardphone or softphone are likely the most functional solution. Rather than working off a small smartphone at a desk, most people would prefer a nice computer or even hardphone screen.

Battery life: For all that smartphones offer, they still lack on battery life. A mobile sales rep who has been out all day, active on the phone, could come back to her home or branch office only to find the battery is at 5% and the charger is missing. Again, good planning (spare batteries, chargers attached to the desks, etc.) can alleviate such problems, but they'll pop up, and the company must be prepared, or else productivity, and even revenue, could suffer.

Every few years, IT staffs evaluate the question of going all mobile. It's become more relevant now because of the broad acceptance of mobile devices. Ultimately, I believe the best approach for most companies is a hybrid solution. IT staffs must weigh productivity and employee preference with cost savings to determine what type of device makes sense for which employees and under what type of ownership model. Regardless of the plan, UC integration is a must to ensure maximum productivity.


April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.