tidBiTS
Informs and engages the UNB community on IT developments and news

Management Briefing - UNB s New Mobility Policy

Author: ITS

Posted on May 6, 2015

Category: Management Briefings

Background

Effective today, a new university-wide policy governs mobility eligibility, approval, procurement, and use. The policy reduces UNB exposure to a number of risks, including lack of transparency around device usage and total actual costs, management of individual contracts, and the security of devices and the information stored on them or accessible through them. ITS and Financial Services co-drafted the new policy, which received final approval from the President’s Executive Team recently.

What’s covered

The new policy applies to cellphones, smartphones, devices equipped with a SIM card (some iPads, etc.), turbo-sticks, and so on—anything requiring a voice or data plan—paid for by the university, along with home Internet and personal devices (BYOD) reimbursed fully or partially by UNB.

Policy highlights

Several new requirements are being introduced to the university community via the policy:

  • A very important principle is the elimination of individual contracts for devices; UNB’s contract with Telus determines the services individual users are entitled to. Standard plans for everyone make it much easier for individuals to use their device effectively. For example, the standard plan includes nationwide calling and texting/SMS, and pooled data, meaning users don’t have to worry about long distance charges within Canada or going over their data limit—the shared data pool gives individuals great flexibility and peace of mind.
  • Another crucial element is the requirement to purchase devices outright, rather than amortize them over the life of a contract. This ensures full transparency of total costs of mobility devices, and gives UNB flexibility in how devices are managed and deployed. Devices are also ‘unlocked’, meaning they can be easily transferred to another vendor if need be. A very attractive feature of the current contract is the vendor offering $50 to $100 discounts on most popular device models.
  • In addition, device procurement is managed much as computers, laptops, printers and so on are now; only approved vendors may be used (in this case Telus, the winning bidder for UNB’s mobility business). Mobile devices are configured for the user before delivery, including the installation of management software to provide information to users plus security and location services in the event a device is lost or stolen.
  • Reimbursement of charges for personal mobile devices is being clarified: only charges associated with UNB business, and in excess of personal plans, will be reimbursed when fully documented with a vendor invoice.
  • Finally, reimbursement for home Internet use has been clarified. Staff and faculty eligibility, depending on job function, full or part-time status, collective agreements, and CRA requirements has been carefully researched and findings incorporated as appropriate. All currently affected employees have been notified their eligibility has changed.

Procedures

The UNB Mobility Policy is accompanied by specific procedures for home Internet reimbursement (Appendix A) and acquiring mobility devices (Appendix B). These procedures clarify the steps necessary to obtain reimbursement, and specify the mobility procurement process. ITS has established the Mobility Resource Centre on the Fredericton campus, and the new policy incorporates this service. Distribution of devices on the Saint John campus has also been defined. The policy is available on the UNB Policy Repository, http://es.unb.ca/apps/policy-repository/.

May 1, 2015, Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS