I don't add a lot of value [just] being 'the phone guy.' Mark Egan, VMware
While Egan's rip-off-the-bandage approach to BYOD might be somewhat controversial, he said it would have been far more difficult to manage a phased approach and the decision fit with what he says is VMware's "all-in" culture, which eschews phase-ins in general in favor of sweeping moves and quick decisions.
In the months since the program's been in place, the company has already achieved significant cost savings -- about a third of what it was spending on cell phone fees in the United States, which Egan says is easily in the seven figures. Savings came primarily from more stringently monitoring which employees needed a corporate phone at all and from directing managers to keep a closer eye on their employees' monthly usage reports.
Now that he no longer does phones, Egan is happily shifting his focus to more strategic endeavors. "I didn't know how to add a lot of value [just] being 'the phone guy,'" Egan says. "Now we can roll out programs and services that increase revenue and help VMware build better products."
Checklist: How to phase out the corporate phone
With BYOD adoption in full swing, are you ready to get out of the business of supporting the corporate-issued phone? Just because the timing may be right, it doesn't mean the process is simple or without significant change-management challenges, IT managers warn.
Consider the following checklist of basic steps to ensure the transition goes smoothly:
Identify eligible users. While everyone has a phone for personal reasons, not everyone needs a phone to get his or her job done. Evaluate your user base, with input from managers, and determine who is eligible for any reimbursement or stipend program your firm might offer.
Formalize a reimbursement program. Working with management from lines of business and, potentially, with HR, determine a reasonable stipend plan and reimbursement amount for users based on their job function and their phone and data plan usage. As part of this exercise, determine whether the employee or the company help desk will be responsible for supporting the device as well as who pays what for service plans and hardware.
Establish payment processes. Consider the tradeoffs between processing the stipends as part of the regular pay period or requiring users to fill out weekly or monthly expense reports.