CIO.com: Where is the opportunity for COPE?
Sidhu: Only about 30-40 percent of employees are issued COPE devices. What about the other 60-70 percent? They're running around with the most powerful piece of technology ever invented and using it to watch videos of cats. They're not connected to the organization, not doing email, not collaborating. You can build a BYOD program and connect their personal devices to the organization, and we've built those programs.
The alternative is extending the COPE program to those additional users.
For the service on a monthly basis, COPE is very straightforward. An employee would opt to pay, say, $50 per month for a corporate device with full personal enablement. If an employee leaves the organization, there's no argument about who owes anyone money. The employee is just propping up the service plan with their own personal payments, similar to propping up a healthcare plan. This extension of the COPE program, where a person can pay into it to get greater capabilities, is starting to happen.
Every organization should be interested in COPE, and the reason is very straightforward. You now have diminishing returns on giving an employee a COBO phone. This seems very counter-intuitive, because a smartphone is now more powerful than it was two or three years ago.
The reason is that the employee has a personal smartphone. If you give a corporate smartphone to an employee who has a personal smartphone, the employee will pay less attention to the corporate — even during business hours. With COPE, you give an employee a phone, and they'll abandon their personal device.
CIO.com: Why would an employee sign up for COPE?
Sidhu: This isn't going to work if the employee is running around with two devices. This means that whatever the organization offers in the COPE program must be less expensive to the employee than what they can purchase on the street.
There are a number of other considerations.
You have to ensure access to personal information upon exit. The good news with EMM technology today is that you can do a corporate wipe and then give them the device for an hour to recover the remainder of the information. The other factor is that they have to be able to take their phone number with them.
In BYOD, it's important to reimburse employees. When you're charging employees in a COPE plan, it's even more important to ensure it stops at the appropriate time.
CIO.com: What's more complicated, BYOD or COPE?
Sidhu: Clearly, BYOD will be more complex. COPE environments today don't really have financial flows and financial costs built in. Privacy and tax implications are more straightforward. But this doesn't mean BYOD isn't worth it. We did a business case of an organization that got five minutes of additional uptime per day from previously unconnected employees, which pays for the entire program.
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