With CrackBerry addiction now a thing of the past, mobility managers need to react quickly to avoid iOS-Android bill shock

BlackBerry’s precipitous fall from the emblem of corporate mobility has been much in the news these past 18 months. Left behind by Apple and Android, the company’s precarious state has degenerated so quickly that Gartner issued a warning in September calling on “all BlackBerry organizations (to) decide on a new course of action”.

Trendy large screen, touch interface devices with rich and sophisticated web, application and data capabilities have taken over. Consumers have been embracing these new devices with their sophisticated interfaces since the first iPhone appeared in 2007, and as smartphone security improves, corporates are increasingly embracing them too.
The winners in this switch are mainly iOS and Android devices. Chock-a-block with productivity and collaboration tools, they’re also full of popular applications for streaming video, as well as image-heavy social media and game apps. Their arrival on the corporate scene can increase employee engagement but can bring on a sudden attack of bill shock – and cellular data bills 5 or 6 times what they were when BlackBerry ruled the day.
Migrating off BlackBerry does provide the opportunity to prepare for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and/or employee choice of corporate owned devices.

What should mobility managers do?

According to Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group, when organizations “yank out BlackBerrys, employees are often allowed to pick their own phone or device and use that instead. But if the tracking mechanisms aren’t in place, immediately the agency may be in noncompliance [with policies or law]. So thinking through that aspect of it becomes critical.”
Our customers have decided to implement MDO to help get a grip on cellular data costs across the organization by raising granular visibility of the apps, data types and usage patterns favoured by the employee user base. MDO also uses compression techniques to minimize the impact of video and images, whilst allowing companies to reign in specific apps or websites, or even set caps on certain kinds of data.
Data compression is particularly important for organizations on a fast track away from BlackBerry. Wandera’s experience has been that compressing cellular data by some 35% will make iOS and Android usage comparable to what would have occurred on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). Using an MDO solution to deny data hungry apps, or block sites deemed to be time wasters can also help minimize bill shock.
For roaming employees, the switch away from BlackBerry can lead to some spectacular jumps in data cost. Whilst BlackBerry has a well-deserved reputation for email and message handling, iOS and Android handsets are perfect for taking restaurant recommendations from location-based services, browsing web sites, watching videos between meetings, using Google maps to navigate –the kind of commonplace smartphone usage that drives mobile data bills through the roof.