BYOD Explained - Bring Your Own Device

BYOD Explained - Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device

BOYD is another acronym that is likely to stand as a word in itself shortly. It stands for Bring Your Own Device and it means exactly that – bring your own piece of hardware when you come to our network or premises. There are two areas in which the term BOYD is used: in corporate environments and with a VoIP service.

In Corporate Environments

Many companies allow or even encourage their employees to bring their devices – laptops, netbooks, smartphones and other personal devices – at their place of work and use them for work-related tasks. There is a lot of benefits for this, both for the company and the work, but there are dangers too.

With a VoIP Service

When you sign up for a residential VoIP service (for home use or for your small business), there is a number of hardware devices that you need to use the service, like an ATA (phone adapter) which can be used with traditional phone sets, or IP phones, also called VoIP phones, which are sophisticated phones that have the ATA functionality embedded along with that of a phone. VoIP services that support BYOD, therefore, allow the customer to use their own ATA or IP phone with the service.

Note that most residential and business VoIP service providers (like Vonage) ship any new subscriber a phone adapter that they will use as main device to connect their phone(s) and use the VoIP service. You keep that device as long as you remain subscribed to their service and pay them. BYOD implies you have your own device, either by buying it or using an existing one. Not all VoIP companies allow that and in fact, only a few do. They have their reasons.

In shipping you a device that they have tailored and configured to their network – at times the device is tweaked to work exclusively with their service – they tie you to it, so that you will think one time more before trying to change service.

The next question you would ask is why someone would buy their own device when the VoIP service provider is offering it with the service? Many users (especially tech-savvy ones) want to keep their freedom and not remain tied to one particular VoIP service. Besides, this freedom and flexibility are among the benefits of using VoIP. This way, they can decide to choose a service provider whenever they want, probably based on best calling rates and features, not being tied to one provider.

This works best if your device (phone adapter or IP phone) supports the SIP protocol. With SIP, you can just buy a SIP address and some credit from a service provider and use your unlocked and Conwell-configured device to place cheap or free calls worldwide. You can use a softphone app in the place of a traditional phone set, so as to work with more advanced communication features like voicemail, call recording etc.

Some service providers do not charge an activation fee when the customer opts for BOYD, while for others it just does not make any difference. Make sure to check all the necessary information related to BOYD before registering with a VoIP provider if you have your own device to bring. Check first whether it does support BOYD, and if it does, what are the conditions attached.

BOYD with VoIP providers isn’t the best solution for most people; it fits techie users more. For the unskilled common user, using the service provider’s given device is the easiest and best option as it requires no skill and technical manipulation by the user and there is less chance of being left down by the device. In case this happens, it would be easier getting support from the service provider.