Mobile

VMware scraps company-issued phones, lets employees bring their own

BYOM, or bring your own mobile, is the new mantra at virtualization software-maker VMware. The 10,000-person strong organization, founded in 1998, has chucked its company-issued phone policy in favor of something more hip to the modern mobile times.

VMware told all employees to BYOM a few weeks ago, Javier Soltero, CTO of SaaS and application services, said at the CloudBeat conference in Redwood Shores, Calif. (We’re livestreaming the event. You can watch it here.)

The radical change is actually a logical one for VMware, even if it does present new challenges in bill management, Soltero said.

“The rapid adoption of tablets and smartphones clearly means that employees have a different type of computer,” Soltero said. “The point of the post-PC era is that we’re working a little differently; we’re not tethered to a desk … and there’s got to be room for digital devices to lead that transformation.”

But aren’t there inherent security risks in letting employees BYOM? “We’re at a point today that you do have the ability to revoke access to email, exchange and calendaring environments for a device that isn’t in your control,” Soltero said. “Solving this problem has created tremendous opportunity [for VMware].”

He’s right. The company released a new product called Horizon Mobile Manager designed to help corporate IT departments effectively manage employee-owned smartphones. The product, in essence, virtualizes the employee’s mobile device by letting the organization run a separate, corporate-managed environment on the phone, and secure access to centrally managed data, apps and services.

Clearly the BYOM policy is less about winning favor with employees — but that’s a nice bonus, we’re sure — and more about showing potential clients the advantages of VMware’s Horizon Mobile Manager.


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