Resolving the Fight between Work vs. Personal Smartphone Use: AT&T Unveils New BYOD Rate Plans

by Matt Klassen on September 18, 2015

We often talk about the Bring Your Own Device movement in the enterprise sector as something that’s already come and gone, but the fact of the matter is that the business world is still very much in the midst of wrestling with how to incorporate the management of one mobile device for both employees’ work and personal lives.

In fact, it’s been a headache, to say the least, for many businesses to attempt to embrace this trend, as personal mobile devices bring with them IT management challenges, personal security concerns, productivity issues, not to mention network vulnerabilities and data breaches. Of course the reason the enterprise world continues to work at BYOD is for the financial perks it promises, as companies will be able to reduce mobile expenditures by eliminating the need to provide employees with a work-only device, saying nothing about the paradoxical promise of increased productivity wrought from device familiarity.

In an effort to ease the continued transition towards BYOD, AT&T has revised its corporate billing options, offering its Work Platform customers a way to add an additional rate plan to an employee’s personal device. While this won’t solve many of the extant issues facing BYOD, it will solve one significant problem, how to separate personal activities from work activities and to manage paying for it all.

“Businesses have unique needs when deploying mobile solutions to employees. The addition of data rate plans on the AT&T Work Platform extends our traditional rate plans to help meet the rising demand for BYOD,” said Abhi Ingle, senior vice president, AT&T Big Data and Advanced Solutions. “We’re proud to be the first carrier to offer this type of innovative solution for our business customers.”

As AT&T’s press release explains, the company’s Work Platform launched earlier this year, and the revamped rate plans unveiled last week will now allow enterprise customers to better manage mobile expenses. “[The new rate plan] allows businesses to add voice, data and messaging plans to employees’ personal devices — so that billing is automatic and predictable. This means that employees no longer have to submit complicated expense reports.  And businesses no longer have to offer “best-guess” stipends. Plus, employees get to use their chosen device and keep their personal rate plan.”

Simply put, by offering companies the ability to add a rate plan to an existing employee mobile device, any issues surrounding work vs. personal use are resolved. The employee continues to use the phone on their own rate plan for personal use, while the company is billed automatically for anything work related.

While this may not seem like much, with analysis firm Gartner predicting that half of all businesses will exclusively deploy BYOD mobile solutions by 2017, companies will continue to face numerous challenges related to this tech trend, and AT&T is making sure that it is first to market with tailored solutions for enterprise mobile spending.

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