White Paper: Enabling the Mobile Workforce


Published on


Published in: Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

White Paper: Enabling the Mobile Workforce

  2. 2. DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 2TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction: Wi-Fi Only or Wireless? 3 Does Your Connectivity Match Your Solution? 4 Is Wi-Fi Compromising Your Security? 5 What’s the True Cost of Wi-Fi Connectivity? 7 Doing the Math on iPad & Wi-Fi 8 Conclusion 10 About Rogers 11
  3. 3. page 3 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 3 INTRODUCTION: WI-FI ONLY OR WIRELESS DATA? Consider the solution, security and total cost of ownership before making a purchase decision. For more than half of all companies,1 it’s no longer a question of whether to adopt tablet computers but how and where to deploy them to achieve the greatest effect. Another key question for many organizations is whether to choose a Wi-Fi only tablet or one with 3G, 4G or LTE connectivity and a data plan2. Make/manufacturer, processor and memory are also important considerations, but because of the monthly data charge, the question, “Wi- Fi only or wireless data?” is often the most pressing one. As more and more tablets find their place on retail shelves, the percentage of Wi-Fi only devices is on the rise.2 This is driven by consumers who plan to use their tablets primarily at home, on campus, at a mall or in a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi service. Business users, on the other hand, cannot always restrict their use of tablets to Wi-Fi zones. Beyond email, web browsing and media consumption, organizations are adopting tablets so that their people can perform important tasks in the field more efficiently and effectively than by other means (e.g., paper forms or laptops). With the rise of machine-to-machine (M2M) and mobile workforce solutions, employees can use tablets for sales presentations, work orders, inventory queries, payment processing, signature capture, field data capture, remote surveillance, video conferencing and much more. These tasks don’t necessarily take place in public or private Wi- Fi locations, but they often require an internet connection. Not performing tasks while mobile between connection points can cost a business in terms of lost productivity, lost sales and revenue and lost competitive advantage. Because tablets have so many potential business applications, as a decision maker you need to weigh the importance of several factors, including: the business solution being implemented the degree of security required the total cost of ownership 1 Tablet Demand and Disruption, Morgan Stanley Research, 2011. 2 US Wireless Market Update Q4 2011 Full-Year 2011, Chetan Sharma Consulting, 2012.
  4. 4. page 4 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 4 DOES YOUR CONNECTIVITY MATCH YOUR SOLUTION? Wi-Fi only tablets make sense when employees operate in fixed locations where secure Wi-Fi networks can be deployed, such as hotels, restaurants, health care facilities and campuses. There are many tablet applications that can enhance productivity, improve service and create additional revenue opportunities. Consider the following examples: Healthcare providers can quickly and securely access records and test results on the go, allowing them to see more patients and do less paperwork. Educators can provide students with a more interactive, media-rich learning experience. Restaurants can upload wine lists and menus, reducing the cost of daily printing and creating a more interactive dining experience for customers. SEASONAL BUSINESS Hotels can provide tablets in the lobby, allowing SCALES EASILY WITH guests to check themselves in and out through TABLETS secure custom apps. Deco Windshield Repair operates Even for these solutions for fixed locations, there is a pop-up service centres in over 170 locations across Canada every good business case for selecting tablets with a data plan. summer. Huge seasonal expansion For example, they can provide business continuity when and widely dispersed employees were the Wi-Fi network goes down. In a campus environment, causing a lot of growing pains. they can also provide better overall coverage than Wi- Deco worked with Rogers and Robots Fi and eliminate the need to log into multiple networks and Pencils to implement a tablet when moving between buildings or zones. Finally, a solution that allows employees to create work orders, take payments, wireless data connection can “future-proof” a solution email invoices, order and track to meet changing needs of employees and the business. inventory, automate payroll, and connect workers via a private social networking portal. On the other hand, there are many categories of workers who don’t operate in fixed Wi-Fi zones. For these mobile Deco is now a nearly paperless employees, there are tablet-based solutions that can operation, saving time and money significantly improve their productivity, effectiveness and through automation. Thanks to the tablet solution, the company is contribution to the bottom line: achieving scalable growth, with 50 new locations planned for this year.
  5. 5. DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 5 Drivers can complete and submit logs using touchscreens while they’re on the road. Mobile sales teams can use tablets to connect to CRM, order entry and inventory systems, anywhere, anytime. Service technicians can download their work orders without visiting the office and update them as the work is completed. This means more billable hours and less paperwork. Sales representatives at trade show booths and pop-up retail kiosks can process secure payment transactions. Operations managers and security personnel can use remote monitoring solutions to keep an eye on their premises, wherever they are. All of these scenarios rely on a wireless connection to harness the full power of the solution. Work doesn’t just happen at the office, in hotels, airports and coffee shops; it happens when and where it needs to. If your workforce doesn’t have the right connectivity and the proper tools, the business may suffer, and your technology investment won’t be optimized.IS WI-FI COMPROMISING YOUR SECURITY? The second factor that you need to consider when making the wireless network vs. Wi-Fi only decision is security. Many mobile device manufacturers offer great WHAT IS FIRESHEEP? security features with their operating systems, including Firesheep is a plug-­in for the Firefox ‐ data encryption on the device. Robust security on browser that automates session Apple®, BlackBerry® and, increasingly, Android™ devices hijacking attacks. Called a “packet help ensure that things like customer information sniffer”, it lets a hacker monitor and and intellectual property are safe and sound. Mobile analyze traffic between a Wi-­Fi‐ router and users connecting to it. device management solutions can take mobile security to the next level, extending additional security and Firesheep intercepts the session management features across a wide range of devices cookies that authenticate a user on types. It’s important to understand, however, that when a website, allowing the hacker to employees use public Wi-Fi hotspots, they can introduce do anything the real user would do, including making transactions and points of vulnerability into the organization’s overall sending messages. security solution. They can also easily compromise the security of their personal data. Wi-Fi hotspots encrypted with WEP, WPA or WPA2 security are quite secure, but many public Wi-Fi networks are not encrypted.3 Furthermore, it may not be realistic to expect your company’s mobile workers to verify this before connecting to Wi-Fi at an airport, a hotel or a restaurant. Unsecured hotspots leave users vulnerable3 Eric Geir, How to Securely Manage Wi-Fi on Smart Phones and Tablets, eSecurityPlanet.com, March 30, 2011.
  6. 6. DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 6to eavesdroppers, who can use software like Firesheep to capture login credentials fromunsecured sites. More sophisticated software may even be able to reassemble pagesvisited. Vulnerable sites can include popular social media brands, email platforms and othercommercial, password-protected sites. Once an eavesdropper has this information, a potentialpoint of vulnerability has been created.Beyond the threat posed by a legitimate but unsecured Wi-Fi network is the “rogue” hotspotthat hackers often set up in the range of a legitimate Wi-Fi area with the goal of confusingand entrapping the unwary. If an employee unwittingly connects their tablet to one of thesepeer-to-peer connections, all of their traffic will flow through the hacker’s computer and canbe read and stolen. The tablet can be attacked and infected by malware. These rogue sitesare apparently quite common at major international airports that are heavily used by businesstravellers.4There are certainly ways to mitigate the risks of public Wi-Fi hotspots. Creating a policy thatrequires employees to visit only HTTPS (vs. HTTP) and SSL encrypted sites is one tactic—buthow easy is that to enforce? You can also require the use of virtual private networks (VPNs)on tablets and other mobile devices. Some operating systems include native VPN, and you canset up your own VPN server or look into a hosted solution. A VPN is probably the best way toprotect against eavesdropping and should be considered as part of a company’s overall mobilesecurity strategy.If your mobile workers use a wireless network, most of these concerns go away. Becausewireless service providers (including Rogers) encrypt the traffic flowing to and from devices,eavesdropping is not an issue as it is with Wi-Fi. With proper security features (such asencryption, anti-malware) enabled on your devices and network and proper policies governingthe information your users can access, company and personal data should be protected fromcybercriminals.Organizations seeking additional security and control over their employees’ wireless internetuse can implement a custom APN (access point name) solution that dictates what a group ofdevices can access on the internet—allowing email and corporate LAN but not web browsingor commercial apps, for example. Sometimes business travellers use Wi-Fi when not on theirprovider’s network to avoid high roaming charges. If you equip your international travellerswith travel data plans, that concern disappears and they can stay connected and keep theirdata protected from prying eyes. 4 Preston Gralla, Don’t fall victim to the ‘Free Wi-fi’ scam, Computerworld.com, Jan. 19, 2007.
  7. 7. page 4 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 7 WHATS THE TRUE COST OF WI-FI CONNECTIVITY? There is no denying the importance of cost in almost any IT procurement decision. As a decision maker, you TABLET have a clear responsibility to ensure a proper cost/benefit analysis is done. CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS At first glance, Wi-Fi only tablets may seem to represent the more economical solution. The cost of the device is typically less than the 4G version. Also, there is no data plan attached to the device, so no monthly invoice from your service provider. Assuming that the user relies on + company, personal and free public Wi-Fi networks, the initial cost of the device is roughly equal to the total cost TABLET PLUS WI-FI ROUTER of ownership. But will free Wi-Fi access always be available to your mobile employees? While it’s becoming more common in hotels, airports and coffee shops, it’s far from ubiquitous, and some of the most common travel hubs and hotel + chains still charge for the service.5 It’s easy to see how your sales people, executives and field service reps could TABLET PLUS MOBILE HOTSPOT be obliged to pay for internet at least occasionally. Carrying a mobile hotspot is another option, especially for a mobile team travelling together and looking for secure connectivity on the go; however, this solution involves additional hardware. Tethering to a smartphone + is also a possibility, eliminating the need to purchase a mobile hotspot device. Tethering will cause data use on TABLET PLUS TETHERED the phone plan to spike, however, and can drive overage SMARTPHONE fees if users don’t have the right plan. It also means that the user always has to have a smartphone at hand and perform the extra step of connecting the tablet to the device. Finally, it can quickly drain the phone’s battery—a major issue for mobile workers. As the additional costs and inconveniences multiply, they can erode the value proposition of Wi-Fi only tablets. TABLET WITH WIRELESS DATA 5 HotelChatter Annual Wi-Fi Report, http://www.hotelchatter.com/Hotel-Wifi-Report/2011.
  8. 8. page 4 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 8 DOING THE MATH ON TABLETS WI-FI To illustrate the cost question, consider an industry leading tablet with Wi-Fi + 4G. A 16 GB Wi-Fi only model sells for $519 in Canada, and the 4G version costs $130 more. A wireless plan adds cost to the 4G version, but there are options that allow businesses to control and right size their data costs. Rogers offers several flex rate plans that automatically begin users at the lowest tier. If they exceed their allotment for that tier in any given month, they don’t pay overage charges but instead move to the next tier. Very light users who spend most of their time working in a Wi-Fi zone could get a 10 MB plan for $5 per month, which flexes to $17 for 250 MB. For approximately $22 per month6, users can get 500 MB —enough to allow them to stay connected whether they are processing transactions or capturing data in the field. Both plans flex up to approximately $37 per month for 5 GB – perfect for the power user. These flex rate data plans can make a pretty compelling case for tablets with wireless data. As the tables below illustrate, a mobile worker with a Wi-Fi only tablet who pays for Wi-Fi service at least 1.3 times per month over a one-year period would equal the cost of the Wi-Fi + 4G tablet with the $5 per month flex plan. The user who pays for Wi-Fi at least 2.8 times per month over a year would reach the cost of the 4G tablet with the $22 per month flex plan. Paying for Wi-Fi an average of 4 times per month for a year would roughly equal the cost of a $37 per month plan. 6 Prices are rounded up to the nearest dollar and include the The Government Regulatory Recovery Fee which varies by province and ranges from $1.81-$2.75/line/month ($1.81 AB/BC/MB/ON/QC/NB/NS/PEI/SK $2.75 NL). It is applied to help fund fees, costs and other amounts related to federal, provincial and/or municipal mandates, programs and requirements. It is not a tax or charge the government requires Rogers to collect and is subject to change. See www.rogers.com/regulatoryfee for details.
  9. 9. page 4 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 9 SCENARIO 1 — OCCASIONAL USER: WI-FI VS. 4G WITH MONTHLY USAGE AT $5 TIER Cost of 16 GB tablet - 4G $649 Cost of 16 GB tablet - Wi-Fi $519 Incremental cost of 4G tablet $130 $5/month Rogers Flex Rate plan x 12 months $60 Total incremental cost of 4G + data plan $190 Average cost of paid Wi-Fi hotspot $127 16 uses of paid Wi-Fi hotspots (1.3 times/month over 1 year) $192 SCENARIO 2 — REGULAR USER: WI-FI VS. 4G WITH MONTHLY USAGE AT $21.81± TIER Cost of 16 GB tablet - 4G $649 Cost of 16 GB tablet - Wi-Fi $519 Incremental cost of 4G tablet $130 $21.81±/month Rogers Flex Rate plan x 12 months $261.72 Total incremental cost of 4G + data plan $391.72 Average cost of paid Wi-Fi hotspot $12 33 uses of paid Wi-Fi hotspots (approx 2.8 times/month over 1 year) $396 SCENARIO 3 — HEAVY USER: WI-FI VS. 4G WITH MONTHLY USAGE AT $36.81± TIER8 Cost of 16 GB tablet - 4G $649 Cost of 16 GB tablet - Wi-Fi $519 Incremental cost of 4G tablet $130 $36.81±/month Rogers Flex Rate plan x 12 months $441.72 Total incremental cost of 4G + data plan $571.72 Average cost of paid Wi-Fi hotspot $12 48 uses of paid Wi-Fi hotspots (4 times/month over 1 year) $576 From these rough calculations you can see that is that a Wi-Fi tablet might not save your business any money if your mobile workers pay for Wi-Fi even a few times each month. Not factored into this cost of ownership calculation is the “lost opportunity” cost of not being able to send a proposal, work order or transaction while mobile and between hotspots; in the real-time world we work and live in, delays can have a real impact on the business. 7 Based on an informal survey of Wi-Fi rates at major hotel chains in North America. 8 With a Rogers flex rate plan, users pay $36.81± only on the months that their usage exceeds the limits for lower tiers, so a heavy user’s cost could be lower than the amount shown over a one-year period. ± Includes the Government Regulatory Recovery Fee which varies by province and ranges from $1.81-$2.75/line/month ($1.81 AB/ BC/MB/ON/QC/NB/NS/PEI/SK $2.75 NL). It is applied to help fund fees, costs and other amounts related to federal, provincial and/or municipal mandates, programs and requirements. It is not a tax or charge the government requires Rogers to collect and is subject to change. See HYPERLINK http://www.rogers.com/regulatoryfee www.rogers.com/regulatoryfee for details. A one time Activation Fee of up to $35 (varies by province) also applies. Where applicable, additional airtime, data, long distance, roaming, options and taxes are extra and billed monthly.
  10. 10. page 3 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 10 CONCLUSION Tablets are proving their value in business every day in situations where neither smartphones nor laptops can match them for convenience or impact. Connectivity is definitely part of the value equation, though. When making the purchase decision for your company, look beyond the purchase price and consider the business solution for which the devices will be used, the security of your organization’s data, and the total cost of ownership. WANT TO LEARN MORE? Your Rogers representative would be happy to help you assess your mobility needs and help you make the right decision for your business. You can also visit rogers.com/business for more information about tablets and wireless data plans. ®BlackBerry, RIM, Research In Motion, SureType and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world, used under license from Research In Motion Limited. Apple and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the U.S. and other countries. ™Android is a trademark of Google Inc. ™Rogers and Mobius Design are trademarks of or used under license from Rogers Communications Inc. or an affiliate. All other brand names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners. © 2012 Rogers Communications.
  11. 11. page 4 DO TABLETS WITH WIRELESS DATA MAKE SENSE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? 11 ABOUT ROGERS Rogers Communications connects 1.5 million subscribers in small, medium and large businesses and the public sector to their customers, suppliers, partners and employees with reliable wireless voice and data services. As well, more than 130,000 subscribers rely on Rogers for affordable and reliable small business Internet, telephone, and TV services that help improve their customer service and bottom line. Rogers Communications wireless voice and data services are built on Rogers proven LTE and HSPA+ networks. Rogers phones and devices are world ready, allowing employees to stay connected wherever their business takes them. Rogers world-leading internet services enable businesses to get easy internet access where and when they need it and to remain productive and responsive. Rogers also provides custom wireless solutions for mobile workers, fleet and asset management, critical network access and machine-to-machine communication. All Rogers business services are backed by 24/7 technical support. For more information, please visit www.rogers.com/business.