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Telecom Terminology: What You Need to Know

Posted by Henry Cheang | July 9, 2014 8:00 AM

Important Telecom Terms

Last week, I talked about the security issues and hidden costs of the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) model (where employees literally bring their personally-owned devices into the workplace for work purposes). Today, I’ll be covering a few alternatives to BYOD. I’m also going to take this opportunity to post another installment in a series of features that long-time readers of this blog will like: One more guide to telecom acronyms and terms!Guide_to_Telecom_Acronyms_and_Terms

Previous entries of this guide were very well-received, so we know that this type of information is valuable. In the spirit of community, here’s more such helpful information! Read this most current guide to important telecom terms and get clarifications on new important terms in telecom! 

Wireless Expense Management (WEM)

Before getting any further, it’d be pretty useful to start at a much higher level in terms of concepts: Wireless expense management (WEM).

WEM is a special category of Telecom Expense Management (TEM). While the goals are functionally the same as those in TEM (i.e., proactively reduce expenses, identify new operational efficiencies, increase cost and usage visibility, and provide better control for services), WEM focuses on wireless services and mobile devices. As such, WEM programs will (or at least, should) include employee portals for service/plan procurement and will emphasise optimizing employee usage of mobile voice/data plans.

Because the scope of WEM is broadening, there are additional concepts/product classes to note. These include Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and Managed Mobility Services (MMS).

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

The purpose underlying MDM software is to optimize both the functionality and the security of a mobile communications network – it has to be able to manage devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers, and enterprises. MDM software should be capable of over-the-air distribution of applications, data, and configuration settings. MDM software is not fully automated, however – it needs to be managed by people.

Here is a short list of the assets secured under MDM:

  • Mobile phones
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • Mobile POS devices 

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

As the name explicit outlines, MAM is focused on the management of application. MAM refers to software and services that provision and manage access to mobile apps, regardless of whether the apps are produced in-house or are commercially-available. MAM differs from MDM in that MAM confers a lower degree of control over mobile devices – it really is focused on app management.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Managed Mobility Services (MMS)

EMM and MMS are synonyms. In both cases, the term refers to IT and process management services that acquire, provision, and support mobile devices with integrated cellular and/or wireless connectivity. Frequently, EMM/MMS programs entail kitting where a supplier creates units of customized sets of peripheral items (e.g., headset, charger(s), and instructions) out of materials acquired in bulk. These sets are then shipped to individual employees. EMM/MMS is typically focused on corporate liable devices, although it can be extended to BYOD paradigms as well. And speaking of which…

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Alternatives to BYOD

As we’ve written before, Canadians love mobile technology. There are, as we’ve noted, some pretty serious problems with employees bringing their own devices to work. In light of this fact, here are some alternatives! It’d be worthwhile for you to consider these options when deciding on the best course of MDM for your business.

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)

Under CYOD, a range of devices is offered by the company, giving the employees a degree of freedom in choosing a mobile device that’s suited to her or his preferences. With CYOD, the company has the advantage of selecting and securing devices based on budgetary and security considerations. Overall, CYOD is a good compromise.

Corporate Liable Employee Owned (CLEO)

Under CLEO, the company has very little control over devices even as it assumes the greatest amount of responsibility. This model is the most challenging to manage for companies but is fantastic from the perspective of employees, since they use their own devices but assumes no liability at all.

Employee-owned, employee-liable (EOEL)

Here, the company transfers all responsibility for the device to the employee. The organization supports via stipend, salary increases, and/or reimbursement.

Shared responsibility

Ownership, fee payment, and support costs are equally shared between the employer and the employee.

Personal device under company’s carrier contract

Here, the company activates an employee-owned device under the company’s carrier contract, thereby enjoying the volume discounts the carriers furnish big customers.  

Choose a discounted device with shared responsibility

This is a hybrid of CYOD and personal-device-under-company-carrier-contract. This arrangement confers volume discounts on the purchase of devices. Ultimately, both company and employee share expenses and usage equally.

Corporate Owned Personally-Enabled (COPE)

Under COPE, the company provides the device but enables personal use (i.e., email, social networks, and calls). However, because the company owns the device, it can negotiate competitive rates with carriers and with application/service providers. Moreover, the organization has more legal leeway to secure the device. Finally, because the device is company property, the employee is compelled to be more responsible in her/his usage.

The Final Word for Now

Each of these models has its own advantages. Evaluate each one carefully to select the best mobile device policy for your organization. And if you have any other interesting alternatives to BYOD, we'd love to read about them! Feel free to share your ideas with the world in the comments section below! In the meantime, you can contact us at Cimpl if you have deeper questions regarding WEM and the alternative models we just described. We’re Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management, and we will help you best manage the mobile devices in your organization.


cimpl product evolution 2017

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Topics: BYOD, Wireless management, Resources, Acronyms, cyod, WEM, MDM

Written by Henry Cheang

Henry is a dedicated technical writer, focused on conducting market research, contributing to product design, and writing clear and concise documentation for the company. He is an enthusiastic team member and is passionate about science and technology, who plays a key role in Cimpl’s product messaging. His dedication to writing is reflected in his experience in authoring academic papers, documentation, user guides, and in contributing to Cimpl’s marketing efforts.

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