The big news in business communications is that IBM is supporting its employees use of their own mobile devices (smartphones, tablets), while focusing on secure access to internal information. By the end of the this year, 100,000 IBM employees will be able to securely access IBM internal networks with their own devices and network services that will also be used for personal applications and entertainment (dual persona). In 2012, another 100,000 employees will also be BYOD enabled.
Employees will be paying for their own devices and will require loading IBM management software for security purposes. In addition, IBM will require passwords and use VPNs for access to information applications. Initially, IBM will provide contact and calendar access through its Lotus Traveler.
In addition to allowing employees to use public mobile apps, IBM will also provide approved third-party and internal apps from its Whirlwind app store, launched in late 2010.
IBM’s move to BYOD will expand the role of UC for its mobile users, enabling both person-to-person contact flexibility and CEBP notifications from time-sensitive applications. IBM’s BYOD policy is setting an example for large organizations to migrate their legacy telephony business communications to a more cost efficient and productive virtual and mobile UC environment.