Verizon bucks BYOD Trend, with managed service for biz phones

  • Verizon Business bucks the BYOD trend
  • Citing security and other concerns, Verizon is pushing out a managed service for business smartphones
  • The question is: Will customers bite?

Verizon Business is bucking the bring your own device (BYOD) trend with a new managed service for business smartphones.

“We are the only U.S. carrier that’s offering a solution today,” Iris Meijer, chief product and marketing officer at Verizon Business, told Fierce.

For a monthly fee, Meijer explained that the system will help customers manage the “big” capital investment in smartphones while relieving the pressure on IT teams managing “fragmented mobile fleets” that are served by multiple operators.

The service covers everything from shipping the device and setting it up to replacement and recycling. The operator provides an unlimited data plan with the phone and 24/7 support for the device, according to Meijer. 

“We’re targeting the mid-market customer,” Meijer said. “So I would say from 50 to 500 [employees] and then global enterprises with complex organizations.”

Increased security is one of the major aims of the program. Research shows that 83% of employees have one core business application on their devices. “So it is a security risk if the employer doesn’t really provide those devices and manage them,” she said.

Meijer said that the system has pilot customers now, like an unnamed construction company and a healthcare operation. Meijer noted that the construction company had a lot of broken phones. “We provide same day service for broken devices and that’s very important for a lot of companies,” she added. 

She also highlighted the sustainability elements, as Verizon will handle the recycling of the old enterprise devices. The service will be commercially available very soon, the CMO said.

Will customers bite?

“This might be attractive to some enterprise customers that have company deployed phones (not BYOD or phones that users buy directly and companies pay for),” Jack Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, said via email. “It helps with not having to deal with getting rid of old devices, and it’s also a way to ‘normalize’ costs as it’s a fixed and known entity from acquisition through disposal,” he added.

“The basic question is, how many companies really want to go this route?” Gold asked. “Many phones are seen as personal devices that I want to pick for myself. This is more of a standardized environment. Still, there are many companies that simply pick 2-3 phones that you’ll get as an employee, so for them this might be an attractive offering.”

So are you ready for a company-assigned phone?

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