Lesson learned from AT&T's BYOD program

SAN FRANCISCO -- While AT&T is often on the provider side of bring-your-own-device, the U.S. carrier has also undertaken a massive BYOD program within its own ranks. Through that process, the company learned a number of valuable lessons for enterprises implementing their own BYOD, Sundhar Annamalai, executive director of AT&T Advanced Mobility, told an audience here at the CITE Conference.

"Content is king. In a BYOD context, you need to give folks access to the content they need in a secure manner," Annamalai says.

First, AT&T learned that the enterprise's need to control access to the network and protect corporate data must be balanced with the need for employee privacy. "While the employees are hungry for content, they still feel the need to keep their Facebook use and text messages private. The business needs to have visibility over their corporate data ... but the employee needs privacy," Annamalai says.

Second, the company learned that the enterprise has to think about data consumption. "There is a move from desktops and phone-based collaboration to video-based collaboration on tablets and other mobile devices. In the BYOD context, you need a way to track the usage and provide a stipend to the end user," Annamalai explains.

The third lesson involved security. To protect data, AT&T deployed its Toggle solution, which it provides to customers, for its own employees. "Toggle is a container-based solution that we deploy for BYOD environments. It is about how do we bring the AT&T network together with our mobile solution in order to provide split billing but also addresses one of the biggest BYOD painpoints--security," Annamalai says.

"When you think about extended corporate data beyond the four walls of the enterprise, it is really about how you take all of these end points that are part of your corporate environment and ensure data is secure," he says.  

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