At the start of the new Samsung ad embeded below you might catch the line mentioning the office worker’s Galaxy Note phones were provided by their company.
The hipster protagonist in the ad uses his to do work as he takes notes during the company earnings call. The snarky co-worker goofs off, using hers to draw pictures and watch puppy videos. In the end, work-focused wins out as he is rewarded with lunch with the boss.*
Aside from the ad doing a good job of demonstrating features in both B2B and B2C context and showing NFC (near field communications) for something other than sharing entertainment related content (he bumps phone with her sending the earnings call notes), it is first time I have seen COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) in the mainstream.
COPE is likely to be a key trend in 2013 as firms increasingly view smartphones and tablets as improving worker satisfaction and efficiency simultaneously. Give employees a cool device and the right work apps and good things will happen.
The ad does highlight a potential downside to COPE: the less serious employee uses the company device to play games and do non-work related endeavors. Management’s worst fears of workers giving in to temptation is real and companies should tackle it head on when doling out devices to their staff.
Some may choose punitive tactics like disabling consumer apps on the device or restricting access to Facebook and YouTube. MDM applications make this possible (BMC’s own MDM product has features like this). Maybe they will prove effective, but instead of taking the hard line I recommend a more “carrot centric” approach.
COPE creates a common framework of devices and apps. With workers armed with the same devices and apps, encourage users to submit team reports using the tools on the device. Notes on the staff meeting in Evernote or white boarding session winning ideas in Paper. Reward employees who find a great new app to move a project forward. Make the company approved app store vibrant and get groups to fund and create new apps benefiting the whole company. Embrace mobile’s pace instead of trying to slow it.
2013 is going to be a great year for COPE – as well as BYOD (it is far from dead) – and companies need to have the tools and policies in place allowing employees and teams who use mobile effectively to shine and share.
* It is interesting to note the manager in the commercial does not use NFC to get the earnings report from the staffer. Apparently bumping is something done in the lower ranks and not the exec suite