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

Management Briefing - Mobility Policy and Process

Author: ITS

Posted on Feb 13, 2014

Category: Management Briefings

New UNB mobility policy and procurement processes on the way Issue UNB spends over $400,000 per year supplying cell phones, smartphones, and other devices to staff and faculty. Most of this is spent on recurring and usage charges that can vary wildly from month to month. Some (about $33,000) is paid to reimburse individuals for use of their personal devices. UNB’s current mobility provisioning model was satisfactory several years ago, but in today’s environment it is too expensive, inflexible, and does not meet university needs. Response ITS and Financial Services have drafted a mobility policy that specifies procurement processes and describes reimbursement for personal devices and home Internet. Also, ITS recently issued an RFP for mobility services; a new vendor will be selected soon. In both the policy and the RFP, basic but important assumptions about provisioning mobility services are quite different from today’s model—the main ones are described below. Major changes proposed 1. New devices will be purchased outright, rather than amortized over the life of a contract. While more costly for individual departments up front, this approach will reflect actual costs and save money in the long run by eliminating ongoing payments after contracts expire. 2. A well‐defined procurement process will include interaction with the new ITS Mobility Centre, either in‐person or by phone, for all new device procurements. This is to ensure users get the best device to meet their needs. 3. The procurement of devices will follow a similar model to procurement of computing equipment; each device will be received centrally and configured specifically for UNB, and an asset ID will also be added. 4. No contracts. Devices will come ‘unlocked’, and will be equipped with a standard package including unlimited nationwide calling and ample pooled data, making mobility costs lower and much more stable and predictable. This will necessarily be phased in over time as there are currently several hundred individual UNB contracts with varying expiry dates. 5. An online portal will be provided so individual subscribers can access monthly bills, review plan options, and identify roaming and other special plans that can be ordered through the ITS Mobility Centre. 6. All users will be expected to acknowledge understanding of their responsibility to ensure that devices are kept secure, that no university data is put at risk, and that loss of data or the device or both will be reported as soon as reasonably possible. 7. Reimbursement for personal devices will cover business‐related charges that are in excess of the individual’s personal plan, and are documented with a vendor’s invoice. The new mobility policy is currently undergoing review, and is expected to be finalized in a few months. The ITS Mobility Centre will be operational in April. In the meantime, questions about new or replacement devices can be directed to the ITS Telecom group, at phones@unb.ca.

February 13, 2014, Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS