According to UK chief information officers nearly half of UK office workers are now "free to roam and work from home".
Over 500 CIOs were questioned for recent research about their attitudes to remote and flexibile working, which found that 48 per cent of office workers can now work from home and on the go.
The research revealed that 70 per cent of organisations believed offering more technology choices for staff "created happier, more motivated employees and reduced absenteeism".
CIO'S back remote access
The large majority of CIOs questioned in the survey said that giving staff devices that could answer email, send files and communicate with others via IM (instant messaging) on the go would "boost employee engagement".
But the survey of CIOs, carried out by Virgin Media Business, also found that half of organisations were reluctant to introduce more working choices because of security concerns.
3CX is a leading communications technology company that wants to help organisations tap into the benefits of remote and flexible working and also address their concerns about security.
A growing number of companies are allowing their staff to use Android-powered smartphones and tablets in the workplace as part of their bring your own device (BYOD) strategies, and 3CX is there to help them do it.
The company has released its new 3CX Mobile Device Manager version 6.3 system (http://www.mobiledevicemanager.com) for securely managing Android mobile devices in the workplace, while also allowing staff to access their email, work documents and business applications on the move.
This mobile device management (MDM) system incorporates the most popular commercial Android email client in the form of Aqua Mail, allowing administrators to remotely configure corporate email and retain control of stored attachments and mail.
By "remote configuration", 3CX explains, it can set up email accounts on multiple Android-powered devices without the individual users having to come into the office to have it done. The team responsible for IT can do it all remotely with a few clicks of a mouse without bothering staff in the field and affecting their productivity.
Nick Galea, 3CX CEO, says: "With 3CX Mobile Device Manager 6.3 and Aqua Mail businesses can have peace of mind as they can securely and efficiently deploy corporate email as well as delete emails and attachments from Android devices at any point.”
CIOs in the Virgin Media Business research were concerned about security. Aqua Mail provides administrators with full control over corporate email, without affecting the user’s personal emails.
Companies using 3CX can remotely delete all corporate emails, as well as the attachments that are stored on the device, when an employee leaves the company - without them having to come into the office with their device.
And with 3CX Mobile Device Manager and Aqua Mail, companies can ensure all devices adhere to company security policies.
Enforcing corporate password policies and pushing out such policies to all devices on the network is simple. For example, admin managers can set the minimum password length, time lapse before the device auto-locks, and the maximum number of failed password attempts before the smartphone or tablet wipes its own data.
3CX Mobile Device Manager and Aqua Mail also allows companies to remote lock devices and, when necessary, to remotely wipe their data and restore devices back to their factory settings. And even if the gadget is not connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, the MDM can send an SMS to the phone, ensuring it locks or wipes itself clean.
On top of all this, companies can change the password on any device and lock it from an online dashboard, so they can protect all data until the device is retrieved, if necessary. A data-wiping mechanism can also clear any data stored on any SD or SIM cards contained in the Android device.
How about productivity
So that's security of data taken care of. But how about staff productivity for good measure?
3CX Mobile Device Manager and Aqua Mail has that covered too. The MDM has a powerful location tracking feature that allows you to keep track of all your mobile devices and store complete location history for each device - helping you improve customer service and response times
Locations are shown with their full address using Google Maps and location history can be exported for further analysis, with administrators able to collect location data via WiFi or mobile networks.
Improving customer service
The tracking technology can be used to improve customer service and response times. When customers call to ask when a member of staff will arrive to deliver a service or product, the technology can be used to avoid giving them vague answers, because organisations will know exactly where their employees are and their estimated arrival time.
When customers need something urgently, 3CX users can respond quickly and send the nearest available staff member. And it's made easier for employees to find their next destination, by the system pinpointing the exact location of where they should go by sending them a message that shows the location on Google Maps.
Organisations are given complete control over which groups of devices have their location history stored, allowing them to exclude departments for which location history tracking is not appropriate.
Furthermore, organisations can specify which times they want to store location updates, and avoid collecting location updates outside work hours.
Exchanging files with PCs
Also, with the integrated 3CX DroidDesktop Android app as part of the 3CX offering, users have remote file management access, allowing them to download and upload files from their mobile device to their laptop or desktop computer and vice versa.
Stored files on the device can be previewed and the user can use the Delete, Create, Copy and Paste actions for files and folders.
And when administrators need to manage the user’s storage space on their devices they can easily use 3CX technology to move or delete unnecessary files quickly without interrupting the user.
In addition, remote shell access allows administrators and developers to use commands to access the Android gadget's inner workings, especially useful for fixing or improving devices with updates or new apps - all done remotely!
Administrators can also view the device system logs, keeping a close eye on what actions the device and applications are running, which is also useful for debugging or tracing the source of any problems.
Let's Try it!
Users can try out 3CX Mobile Device Manager for free with a five device account here. Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes.