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3Pointer:  Small Business, Mobile Devices
and Coming Up With All The New Rules

June, 2014


In A Good Day to Die Hard, John McClane (Bruce Willis) used a Samsung B7330 Omnia Pro satellite phone to help outmaneuver the Russians. These days, more and more small businesses are joining the likes of international heroes and CIA operatives for one reason: the urgent need for data protection on mobile devices. 

Earlier this year, the Lera Blog reported that about eight out of ten employees use personal equipment in the workplace, yet barely half of their organizations actually condone or prepare for it. The concept is called Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. A recent Forbes headline reads like an action-packed thriller: BYOD: The Most Dangerous Acronym for a Small Business. Yikes! 

One solution is Mobile Device Management, or MDM. Simply put, companies define a policy for employees accessing company networks, documents, email and files from personal smartphones and tablets. When an employee leaves, a phone gets lost, or sensitive data suddenly becomes vulnerable, MDM outlines the processes to locate, lock or wipe a device, among other directives.           

3Points is drafting an MDM policy right now for our company. (Yes, we are learning with you!) We began by polling our team members. One statistic knocked our Google Glasses off.

The consensus was split down the middle on: How likely are you to allow the installation of monitoring software on your personal mobile device? Just less than half, or 46%, said it was “likely and okay to monitor even if they own it” while 52% said “no, not going to do it.”


Those numbers changed when we asked: If the company cell phone monthly reimbursement was contingent on installing monitoring software, how likely are you to allow the installation of the monitoring app on your device? Here, the numbers shifted with 62% saying they would be “fine if given a reimbursement” and 37% saying “no, even if you gave me money for it.”

The surprising stat was that 70% want an informational session to better understand MDM. Why is this compelling? It shows that we all know BYOD has endurance and most people—staff and company leadership included—want to continue the discussion. In other words, let’s all work together to figure it out. And that’s a good place to start for just about anything.

3Points’ attention on BYOD supports a recent study on the top ten emerging technology trends by Gartner, Inc. According to their findings, they believe that by 2018, 70% of employees will conduct their work on their own smart devices.

BYOD isn’t a bad thing. Using personal devices is convenient, enables greater productivity and connects mobile workers with others in the company as well as work information on demand. It makes sense. The tricky part now is coming up with the best rules to manage this technology evolution.

At 3Points, we offer employees a reimbursement for cell phone charges. As we assess our options for greater security and consider the best route for both our company and our employees, 3Points is considering a two-phase approach, one for those who opt in for the reimbursement and a mobile phone for those who decline. In addition, we’ll be rolling out an MDM solution that works with our existing monitoring system.

As we debate this within our company, we’d like to know: how are you managing BYOD? Drop us an email. Or, you can take the two-question poll now. Look for results this summer so, together, we can all make better technology decisions.

 

 



Product Focus: Need to Reach Out to Somebody RIGHT NOW? Try Lync

June, 2014

By Mike Magnesen - 3Points Tech Team

If you have Microsoft Office 365, then you probably already have Lync Online. The technology is a cloud-based “instant” communications service. Ever stick your head out your office door and shout up the hallway to share an epiphany with a colleague? That’s Lync without getting any eye rolls and, by the way, that “hallway” could extend around the world to anyone you need to “suddenly” communicate with.

Lync allows you to chat, IM, text, talk, share data and video, and have face-to-face meetings using a webcam. Imagine online meetings, virtual white boards, electronic file sharing and online polling—all with a click, click, click. None of these tools are new. But, Lync differs in one significant way: it allows you to communicate with people seamlessly across Microsoft 365 applications like Outlook, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, PowerPoint and OneNote. A really cool feature is called the presence icon, which tells you if the person you want to communicate with is online and available.

A few examples of how 3Points and our clients are using Lync:

-  The 3Points Tech Team uses Lync to collaborate in between monthly meetings. I started a group Lync conversation, shared screens of new technology, created a Poll within Lync, and we voted on our first Tech Team purchase of 2014 in about 5 minutes. It was pretty neat to gather everybody in a very impromptu way.

-  We conduct some client Project Follow-up Meetings via Lync. Our Project Manager, Kyle, will schedule a Lync meeting with a client who recently upgraded to Office 365. The client clicks the link at the meeting time (similar to GoToMeeting) and connects via video chat.

-  Lync is helping us provide solutions faster, too. When a client calls in, a Customer Service Team member sends out a group conversation Lync message to the Remote Network Operations Center Team to see who can handle the issue quickly.


I also like that Lync syncs up with Outlook so if you're scheduled for a meeting, you don't need to change your status in Lync. It automatically adjusts to busy/free based on your calendar, which is great!

Interestingly, big boys like Cargill use Lync to “boost collaboration, cut costs and increase the company’s competitive edge.” But guess what? Smaller organizations are reaping the same benefits. And you can too, if you aren’t already.

Have questions? Check out the video below or contact me at 708-546-4945 or mmagnesen@3points.com


 

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