The issue of who owns the phone number is potentially the single biggest hurdle to widespread BYOD adoption
By Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO at Movirtu
How many of us today rely on two mobile phones, one for our personal life and one for business use? In an age where we are used to accessing multiple email addresses from one device, the fact that we have a single phone number tied to each handset seems incongruous.
The consumerisation of corporate IT is in full swing and employees are increasingly using personal devices for business matters with potentially severe consequences for corporations.
But things are changing. Mobile operators are staring to introduce services which make it possible to dynamically attach and detach additional numbers to standard SIM cards, allowing subscribers to easily switch between their different identities – businessman, parent or friend – with a simple swipe or button press.
BYOD for presidentThe use cases are many and varied, but one area which is crying out for a solution is bring your own device (BYOD). Much has been written on the security and device management issues around BYOD, but what about the critical issue of who owns the phone number on that device? When a salesman leaves a BYOD-enabled company to move to a competitor, in many cases a valuable business asset – the salesman's phone number – leaves with him.
Identified by CIO Magazine as potentially the single biggest hurdle to widespread BYOD adoption, the issue of who owns the phone number needs to be addressed urgently. The reflex solution is to rely on VoIP for corporate voice and messaging on BYOD devices, but VoIP continues to be plagued with quality, coverage and roaming cost issues.
The simplest and most effective way to address the issue is an operator-centric, virtual SIM-based service that doesn't rely on VoIP, but offers the same quality of service as regular voice services.
For the mobile operator, a virtual SIM service targeted at BYOD enterprises allows them to offer a valuable solution to a key problem in this lucrative, high growth segment with an easy to manage service that improves customer stickiness and results in higher ARPU.
For enterprises, a virtual SIM service allows HeatherMcLeanistrators to easily attach and detach corporate numbers to employees' phones via a web management console. Enterprises benefit from being able to safeguard business phone numbers as a corporate asset, as well as from significantly reduced HeatherMcLeanistrative overheads due to personal and business charges being separated automatically. While for business users, this solution makes it easy for them to switch between personal and business profiles on their smartphone and removes the need to file phone expenses at the end of the month.
Snuffing out the problemsBy deploying a virtual SIM platform that decouples identities from the SIM card, mobile operators can provide a solution for BYOD businesses to snuff out the problem of who owns that all-important phone number. And they can also start to think about additional use cases for this technology, such as secondary and temporary numbers (e.g. for car sales or dating).
It's time to decouple the identity from the SIM card and unlock the potential!
Movirtu develops and markets innovative identity solutions for mobile operators in developed and developing markets.