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

Management Briefing Mobility Update 2017

Author: ITS

Posted on Jun 5, 2017

Category: News , Management Briefings

Background

In 2014, ITS signed a contract with Telus to provide mobile phone services to UNB. The model for delivering mobility services changed considerably with the new contract; the Mobility Centre in Head Hall, staffed by Telus and UNB employees, was opened to provide personalized device support throughout the selection, acquisition, use, and de‐provisioning cycle. In addition, a new Mobility Policy was created to ensure the UNB community has appropriate guidance for mobility deployment decisions. Finally, the contract reduced UNB’s costs for mobility services by about $143,000 per year, and sharply reigned in costs associated with international roaming.

New 3‐year contract

On May 1, a new mobility contract with Telus came into effect. Telus worked hard to refine some of the features of the previous version, and to enhance value to UNB. Here’s a list of highlights:

  1. A $5 reduction in the monthly cost of a standard plan, applied to all existing and new phones going forward.
  2. More data options. Most data plans are pooled, meaning individual users can be confident that, provided they don’t overdo it, overages won’t result in extra costs. The pool now includes 1, 2, 3, and 5 GB options (used to include only 1 and 3 GB), so the plan can be more finely tuned to individual user needs. There is also a 10 GB option (outside the pool) for heavier data users.
  3. 100% increase in new device discount ‐ $200 for phones with voice and data (was $100), and $100 for voice only (was $50). A caveat: if users opt to trade in phones early, a pro‐rated portion of the discount will be clawed back—i.e. it will be charged to the user’s account. This is useful in preventing unnecessary upgrades to the latest phone model that comes along.
  4. The number of smartphone models on offer to UNB has been reduced—Blackberry and Windows models have been eliminated, while Android models have been narrowed—but the choice among Apple iPhones has been broadened to include models to fit just about any budget.
  5. The Employee Purchase Plan, offering about 30% off street prices for UNB employees and family members, is continued.

Securing mobility devices

With more than 450 enterprise owned mobile devices and growing, plus innumerable tablets and laptops, UNB needs to ensure institutional data is appropriately protected. UNB’s mobility strategy (approved a year ago by PET) specifies that to protect UNB‐owned devices and data, a mobile device management (MDM) / enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform is required to assist with managing device security settings, erasing lost or stolen devices and enabling enterprise mobile app distribution and management. As part of ongoing IT security initiatives, ITS has identified and purchased an MDM solution to be rolled out over the next several months. This means all new devices acquired for employees will have MDM installed and which cannot be removed or disabled.

Broadening usefulness of mobile devices

Finally, ITS is ensuring users of mobile devices experience exceptional interaction with standard enterprise software applications like Microsoft Office, which can be downloaded and used for free on up to five devices per employee. We are also integrating mobile‐friendly cloud services like personal SharePoint, for managing non‐business documents and files, plus OneDrive, which provides unlimited file storage space, all accessible and usable on all your mobile devices, anytime, anywhere (more info coming soon!).

Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS, May 31, 2017