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Register Previous Next CONSUMERIZATION 2.0 [COVER STORY] Table of Contents Previous Next Previous Next Previous Download Subscribe informationweek.com Next sharing app like Screenhero? A tablet or smartphone? Avnet also was an early adopter of bring your own device five years ago, giving employees a stipend to buy their own phone and service contracts. The biggest benefit has been financial: a 30 percent drop in cellphone costs. The savings came from setting "hard but reasonable" limits on data plans, Phillips says, and ending the orphan phones that stay on the bill after employees leave the company or stop using them. The BYOD program also cut IT support and repair costs, since employees own the phones but also are responsible for them if they break. An intangible benefit of the program is that Avnet now has a more engaged and mobile workforce, while employees like having a choice of smartphones. Back in 2008, about 700 Avnet employees had company-issued smartphones, all of them BlackBerrys used mostly for email. Today, Avnet has about 7,000 companymanaged smartphones, of which only 1,000 are BlackBerrys, and those devices access not only email, but also Concur expense reports, Workday HR apps, and some custom-built apps for order management and shipping as well as price and availability lookup. Avnet also provides some custom smartphone apps for its sales teams. Avnet will ban consumer apps for two reasons: security (to keep confidential data from leaving the company) and bandwidth (which is why it blocks most streaming video from its network). But again, Avnet IT must keep an open mind to new application demands. The latest is Skype, for which Avnet opened up access because employees made a strong business case for it — certain clients want to talk via Skype. "This consumerization of IT and the grassroots feel of 'here's a useful application' — that's something to be encouraged, not repressed," Phillips says. Speed Means Sharing Control Celestica's employees in 18 locations worldwide, mostly in Asia, use the enterprise version of Google Apps for email and collaboration. How can a factory team in Malaysia share its success with new soldering techniques with a team in Spain, given the language barriers?

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