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A technology buzzword coming to light these days is BYOD, or bring your own device. I can see some advantages to such a policy: having the freedom to communicate on your own phone, the opportunity to have that device not only at work but out of the office as well, etc. However, this certainly does not mean business phone communication is being left in the dust.

CloudTweaks stated that VoIP providers are doing more than ever before to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to smartphone technology, including cloud management and application and BYOD integration. But in the world of professional communication, office phone systems are still king.

Objectors may say, "But Katerina, with a BYOD policy, I can communicate with clients anywhere, anytime, even when I'm at home." While this is true, I can't say I know many business professionals who don't cringe when their work phone rings at 9 p.m. on a weeknight. Plus, a business phone integrated with a customer relationship management application can tell you much, much more about a caller before even picking up the phone. According to CloudTweaks, this type of system can tell the receiver of a call what product or service the client uses and any unresolved issues they may have previously reported, in addition to the name, company and location of the caller. The larger screen on a business phone system also makes these features easier to navigate compared to that of a small mobile device. 

Furthermore, business phone solutions today can be based and managed through the cloud, making it easier than ever to change or maintain the system. Cloud-based systems even offer support and training for managers, employees and customers. Conversely, if you have a problem with your smartphone, more often than not, you're left to your own devices to adjust or fix it.

For those still not convinced, it is possible to have a happy marriage between your business phone service and a BYOD policy. Before elaborating, though, I must point out that it is vital to have a base technology, or office phone system, in place to support any BYOD program. Many business phone companies can see the shift in professional communication toward mobility, and have therefore designed business phone applications for smartphones. This means telephony information is still recorded from mobile calls, and this data is stored along with that of the deskphone in one, protected place.

deskandmobileHowever, before jumping on the BYOD bandwagon, companies should take careful measures to ensure the safety and success of these programs. IT Business Edge recently published a list of the ABCs of BYOD, or tips for program success. Highlights included:

  • Seeking out and blocking unapproved devices to ensure their sensitive information and infrastructure is protected
  • Making sure the business has the ability to detect threats and lock down employee devices
  • Having a policy on software updates to make sure applications are up to date and bug free
  • Limiting the amount of platforms on which a system is available

With these policies in place, a BYOD program can flourish alongside your business phone solutions.