Behind the Scenes: BYOC Employee Survey

Do our users want BYOC?

So all of us on the team were excited about the possibilities of BYOC, but what we hadn’t checked yet was what percentage of Softchoice laptop users would actually be interested in a program like this? At the end of the day, no matter what great technologies and policies we put in place, if we didn’t have participants, then the program REALLY wouldn’t work!

Designing surveys can be tricky, so I looked online to see if there were any standard surveys for this type of program that we could base ours on. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything so I started putting our survey together from scratch. I knew the main things that I wanted to understand were: [Read more…]

Behind the Scenes of Softchoice’s BYOC Journey: First Meeting & Project Charter

This is the first in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

Like many other organizations, Softchoice is in the process of working our way through all the complexities of the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) revolution. We’re down the path now, and so we wanted to share our experiences with the hopes they might help you on your journey to BYOC.

Our First BYOC Team Meeting

I have to admit that staying on subject during our first BYOC team meeting was tough. BYOC is an exciting new strategy where so many elements of its success depends on factors outside just the technology itself.

We talked about what other companies have done in the past, with Citrix’s recent rollout providing a lot of great guidance. The video of Citrix’s CIO Paul Martine explaining how they implemented BYOC gave us a good starting point for all the things we should consider.

He recommends 5 phases to the project: [Read more…]

Behind the Scenes: Building a great BYOC Team

This is the second in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

Building the team: You start with inviting a great marketing person to the team.

OK, most BYOC teams don’t have someone like me blogging about the process, and providing my “2 cents” based on things that I’ve read from marketing materials. But, having a marketing person does have its benefits, since there’s a lot of employee communications that require good writing skills. Plus, I have access to marketing survey tools, which is handy for our employee survey.

So other than me, who else is on the Softchoice BYOC team?

[Read more…]

Behind the Scenes: Softchoice moves from BYOD towards BYOC

This is the third entry in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

As Madeleine’s blog series on Softchoice’s journey from Blackberry to BYOD is starting to wrap up, I’ve now started on a new journey considering whether Softchoice should expand BYOD to an employee Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) program too. Now it’s rare to ask a “marketer” like myself to join an IT project team, but I got asked because I had recently published some blogs and campaigns about these issues, so I had a good amount of researched knowledge on the topic.

However going from reading some white papers and watching some videos on the subject, to actually trying to figure out how to make it work in a real organization is quite a big jump.

I’m realizing that marketing tools such as the vendor study that I attached to my last email campaign, or the Client Computing Revolution infographic I just worked on are great at illustrating the trend and talking about considerations and challenges at a high-level, but they don’t really provide that much help once you actually start down the road of planning a BYOC strategy. Yes, we all understand the “why” to go to BYOC, but what’s lacking out there is a real account of the “how.”

So this blog series is going to detail step-by-step how we went from our CIO saying “we should look at BYOC at Softchoice”  to working  through a BYOC project using Six Sigma Practices. I’ll share the tools we found most useful, the surveys and policies we created and then outline how we built the business case and implemented the neccessary technology. [Read more…]

Surviving (and Thriving) in the BYOD Client Computing Revolution [Infographic]

Whether we like it or not, the revolution is here. The consumerization of IT – or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – is transforming client computing as we know it.

More and more companies are finding that employees want the freedom to choose the devices they work with. This is putting additional pressure on IT to find ways to safely and securely integrate a variety of  new devices into their infrastructures. And while BYOD does present challenges, the one thing everyone does agree on is that ultimately, it benefits users and organizations by creating better work-life balance, improved productivity and greater flexibility.

As our infographic points out, this revolution is happening quickly. By 2014 mobile will outpace desktop internet usage. So it’s best to start addressing the challenges now – to ensure that you have a plan and policies in place to survive and thrive as the workplace environment changes.

[Read more…]

Keeping Kids In School With Technology

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs a boon to students, schools and school districts across America.

Economic uncertainty. Rapid technological advances. Government pressure. Increased globalization. Teachers and schools and school districts face greater challenges in preparing students for the future than ever before.

With 1.2 million students dropping out in the US every year, those challenges are compounded by:

  • Estimated cost of $312 billion in lost revenues for a single year’s dropouts
  • The fact that students who drop out are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as those who graduate from high school and go on to complete a Bachelor’s degree
  • By the challenges posed to businesses looking for but often not finding entry-level employees with adequate creative, critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • By school districts, already strapped for cash, losing per-pupil funding and getting sanctioned for lowest achieving schools.

The challenge, therefore, for the K-12 education community is to identify strategies and programs that keep students in school and help them become competitive in the job market by the time they graduate. Here’s one viable solution.

[Read more…]