Best Practice? our company and mobile phones

wavewerx

Limp Gawd
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Oct 8, 2008
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284
Forgive me if this is the wrong section....

We're a company of about 30 users, 3 are remote. We pay for the remote 3's cell phone plan and, if they choose to get a Blackberry, their BES charge from their wireless provider of choice as well as the BES charge per user. I have a BB Bold 9000 and have my BES charge (Wireless provider and BES provider) paid for by the company. We have another user who's on BES and we just pay the monthly charge for his access to it, not his Wireless provider's charge for BES service.

What's "best practice" for mobile phones? Should we be telling them what phone to get? Should they have a separate phone for work? Right now the phone service we pay for is their personal one as well.

Also, when everyone else comes in with their new smartphones and ask that we setup email on their phones, should we? or are we held responsible for the phone service and their email uptime? I'm not saying don't let them, but if they know how to do it then theres no problem. Is the act of me setting up their phone someone setting myself up to service their phone in the future? (Just like working on computers for friends and family... you become the one-stop-shop after getting malware off their computers)

Thanks for the help guiding us in the right direction!
 

gimp

[H]F Junkie
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this is what we do...
you can use your personal phone, and get a partial reimbursement; the amount is dependant on whether you have a dumb-phone or smart-phone (only the supervisors and other "higher-ups" can get the smart-phone reimbursement). iirc, it's currently around $30/mo for dumbphone, and $50 or so for smart-phone.

Or... if it's a work-issued, it is not for personal use. Although, if between business and personal use you don't go over the alloted time, you won't get charged extra. If you do go over time allotment, and was used for personal and business use, you have to pay for the extra charges.
 

Berg0

[H]ard|Gawd
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We don't allow personal devices on our BES. Company buys the phone, contract is under the company name. When the employee starts they are handed a phone that's already configured.
 

MavsX

[H]ard|Gawd
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Your mileage will vary..but..at my office. The people that travel for their jobs, or i guess are more important get BlackBerrys. I manage the BES, i manage the verizon contract, etc. The people that work in accounting, or the admin's don't get blackberrys. Just the IT dudes, and our project managers, VP's etc.

We have a bulk plan with shared minutes, i think we have something like 25,000 minutes per month or so. I think we only have 40 devices on our BES. Blackberry curves and blackberry Tours.

As far as billing, my company pays for everything. Voice, data, text plan, If you need a bluetooth, or a car charger, or a case for your phone..they take care of it.

I've got a blackberry tour for work, and a personal iPhone that i pay for myself. Some people don't have personal phones, and they use the work phone as personal..no one really cares.. As long as you don't go too crazy with the international roaming or the app downloads and shit.

Also, our bill is about $3,000 a month for verizon..i approve it every month...so it's usually me pointing out charges, etc to the accounting guys.

If someone breaks or loses their blackberry, it's up to me to order them a new one, set them up. if it isn't working, its me who has to troubleshoot. Which is easy as shit.

good luck man...the key is set up a policy and just go with the policy. (not IT policy, although make one of those too), i mean a IT policy for work. Makes it easier to enforce shit when shit goes down.
 
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Destonomos

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we are given phones and told to use them here at my work and we don't pay for anything as users. But my position is different because our tech team, which i'm part of, rotate on call status and have to be able to reached at all times while on call.
 

QwertyJuan

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My friend works for a business that supplies everyone with BB's.... they pay nothing. Their SMS is shut down, but they have no limit on data, phone usage or BBM. The phones are semi-locked down through BES as well.
 

doh

user
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May 17, 2001
Messages
8,639
No reimbursement for cell phone usage where I work. We're also not on call and not issued a company phone. We do let personal devices into our network, however.
 

MavsX

[H]ard|Gawd
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it's interesting to read some of the different policies in place at different offices.
 

StarTrek4U

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We're looking at changing our cell service/policy in the next month or so.

What it will most likely end up being is that there will be 3-tiers of employees (we have 500 or so where I work), One tier will be smartphones, one will be just a regular cell phone, the other will be push to talk only.

If as an employee you get a device that makes calls, you can take a monthly payroll deduction (if you want) to allow you to use your company phone for personal use, right now it's looking like $20/mo. If an employee does not elect to do that they will still get a phone but usage is then monitored for discrepancies, etc. We have a lot of people who work in the field and currently carry 2 phones (one personal, one business) so we're looking to help them eliminate some personal costs as well as carry one device. Seems to be a win/win for everyone.

 

MavsX

[H]ard|Gawd
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We're looking at changing our cell service/policy in the next month or so.

What it will most likely end up being is that there will be 3-tiers of employees (we have 500 or so where I work), One tier will be smartphones, one will be just a regular cell phone, the other will be push to talk only.

If as an employee you get a device that makes calls, you can take a monthly payroll deduction (if you want) to allow you to use your company phone for personal use, right now it's looking like $20/mo. If an employee does not elect to do that they will still get a phone but usage is then monitored for discrepancies, etc. We have a lot of people who work in the field and currently carry 2 phones (one personal, one business) so we're looking to help them eliminate some personal costs as well as carry one device. Seems to be a win/win for everyone.


what happens when those people who use the phone for personal use..what happens when they leave the company? can they take the numbers with them? Whats the plan for that? I'd imagine most people will just keep 1 personal and 1 work phone
 
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XOR != OR

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Here's what I always recommend to companies that ask me;

1) Company owns the phones, services, all of it. That way there is a clear delineation of ownership; any abuse of company device is obvious.
2) Company determines cell phone model. This is done for the support angle alone; one model is easier to support than several.
3) No private phones receiving corporate email. If someone has a valid need to receive company email on their device, they get one provided to them by the corporation.
4) BES or nothing. As much as I hate RIM/BES, they are the best game in town for controlling the data on your mobile network. Think about the damage to the company if the president gets his phone stolen by a journalist/competitor. Keyboard lock and remote wipe mitigates this threat.

I'm a big fan of separating the risks. When you blend personal + company phones, you wind up with grey areas that are difficult to manage.
 

QHalo

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Our policy is all over the place. IT pretty much whatever they want to use. We moved all of our iPhone users to Good (/vomit) and are now looking at a completely different product. No admins or staff other than approved get a Blackberry and we only have Droids with Good for certain attorneys. Attorneys can purchase their own device, as long as its a Blackberry or iPhone, and we have to support it. It's pretty much a wild west gun show around here.
 

wavewerx

Limp Gawd
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Thanks for the excellent replies guys. Seeing how other folks do it is helping us out in this.

XOR != OR - I'm with you 100% about separating the risks. That, and if the company didn't buy your phone, I'm not your tech support. Would you or anyone recommend this strategy to a smaller company of about 30 people?

Also, with everyone getting a smartphone now, how do you handle the folks who'd like their email on their personal smartphones that the company doesn't pay for or manage?
 

XOR != OR

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Thanks for the excellent replies guys. Seeing how other folks do it is helping us out in this.

XOR != OR - I'm with you 100% about separating the risks. That, and if the company didn't buy your phone, I'm not your tech support. Would you or anyone recommend this strategy to a smaller company of about 30 people?
Absolutely. It costs more, but it's the cost of doing business.
Also, with everyone getting a smartphone now, how do you handle the folks who'd like their email on their personal smartphones that the company doesn't pay for or manage?
I'd say no as it's a data risk. Further, people shouldn't be doing work off the clock.

If there is a legitimate need for them to have email on their phone, there is a legitimate need for them to have a company provided device. yes, I hate carrying around two phones too. Given the nature of the tools available, that's just something one deals with.
 

nitrobass24

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - December 2009
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Ours is as follows

Staff/employees - Use personal phone can expense up to $30. Whether they use BES/ActiveSync is up to them, but no additional reimbursment.

IT/Managers/Directors/Partners - Can get a company issued Blackberry with unlimited everything. Or they can hook their personal device up and can expense up to $65, plus device cost.
 

StarTrek4U

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what happens when those people who use the phone for personal use..what happens when they leave the company? can they take the numbers with them? Whats the plan for that? I'd imagine most people will just keep 1 personal and 1 work phone

They can take their number with them if they want, it just gets taken off of our corporate plan and put on to a personal plan that they pay for. If they don't the number either gets re-used or suspended depending on the situation.

I would have thought that most would want to keep it separate but at least in our org a number of folks have said they would rather combine to a single device



 

Cax6ton

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Messages
170
Here's what I always recommend to companies that ask me;

1) Company owns the phones, services, all of it. That way there is a clear delineation of ownership; any abuse of company device is obvious.
2) Company determines cell phone model. This is done for the support angle alone; one model is easier to support than several.
3) No private phones receiving corporate email. If someone has a valid need to receive company email on their device, they get one provided to them by the corporation.
4) BES or nothing. As much as I hate RIM/BES, they are the best game in town for controlling the data on your mobile network. Think about the damage to the company if the president gets his phone stolen by a journalist/competitor. Keyboard lock and remote wipe mitigates this threat.

I'm a big fan of separating the risks. When you blend personal + company phones, you wind up with grey areas that are difficult to manage.

This x1 billion, plus:

5. The phone number belongs to the company, because it goes out on a million emails, business cards, contacts, etc....if you leave the company, all of your business contacts will get redirected to someone else in the company, and you won't get a chance to get them to follow you. It's very rare that we will let a phone number go when someone leaves the company. We hate to be difficult, and it really sucks having to take care of two phones, but there really isn't a better way to manage and preserve the relationships that the company has paid a lot of money to make and keep. It all depends on the industry and situation, but it's something to consider, especially if you support any kind of sales department.
 

wavewerx

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Messages
284
Thanks everyone I've sent my recommendation to the partners up top and hope to hear back from them soon. One's currently out of the office on vacation time. I've copied alot of what XOR != OR has said and use it as a starting point, hope you don't mind. That helped a ton. I'll let you guys know what we've moved to!

Thanks!
 
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