How SIP trunking solves the BYOD payment crisis

Posted on September 16, 2014

The Bring Your Own Device movement grew out of the fact that anyone who isn’t Batman doesn’t want multiple mobile devices clipped to their belt (or bulking up pockets, or cluttering bags and cases). Your users want to use one mobile phone for personal and business functions, and they want that device to meet their personal preference. But as personal devices and carrier plans are brought into work, serious questions arise about who is responsible for paying for that connectivity. Enterprise SIP trunking provides an easy answer.


The rise and fall of RIM following the first few rounds of the smartphone wars, proved for all time that personal preferences trump business focus when it comes to which devices you carry around nearly every waking second. Users want their music, apps, features, contacts, and social accounts accessible every 8 seconds (the modern era’s average adult human attention span).

User concerns:

Users configure work email accounts on personal devices, and forward work telephone calls there too, paying out of pocket to remain connected to work when they are mobile. Others resist because as much as they don’t want to carry two devices, they don’t believe they should pay to be in touch for work purposes. On one hand, you have employees who resent paying to be in touch, and on the other, users who are less productive because they resist connecting work accounts on the only device they’ll use.

Enterprise concerns:

From a business perspective you want employees to be connected and available, but it’s hard to justify paying for personal usage outright. Especially considering the variability of plans and the degree to which each role requires accessibility. Investing in hardware and corporate phone plans that aren’t used is an extremely inefficient way to spend company resources. Offering a set stipend gets tricky because what covers one user’s work usage might not even dent another’s. Parsing through itemized phone bills separating work and personal usage for monthly expense reports sucks up time better spent on more productive tasks.

Complicated data:

Typically, when we think of mobile device usage for work, voice is the focus. But as I hinted earlier, email factors in here too. There are other data applications such as file downloads and client research. That means data, and there is no easy (or possible) way to separate personal data usage from work.

The SIP trunking solution:

Mobile softphone applications have come along way. They are reliable and clear, and they work over a data connection. Configuring your users’ personal devices with a softphone registered to your enterprise SIP trunking account provides a voice connection dedicated for work purposes. This way, they can use a mobile data or (often free) wifi connection to make and receive calls, and usage is automatically billed to your organization’s account. And, because SIP trunking is the key to connecting Unified Communications to the global telephone network, your users will make more and better use of your existing UC platform.

Mass Communications lists BYOD as one of the top trends of 2014. And they point out that one of the big hurdles to full adoption is how BYOD usage is reconciled. According to their projections (and I think they’re right), existing methods of reconciliation like stipend, expense reports, and one side pays for all, will be replaced by a more exact reporting that is automated by your enterprise phone system.

SIP trunking makes tracking and reporting easy. Connecting users’ personal devices to your enterprise SIP trunking service makes call usage easily accountable. So you automatically know exactly how much usage is work related, and can reimburse accordingly.

Of course the calculations for how much to reimburse is up to you. Cell phone plans are typically bundled, and SIP trunking routes over their data connection, so you need to decide how much a minute of usage is worth from a data usage perspective. It might sound intimidating, but your organization has likely already come up with a similar calculation when figuring out how much to pay employees per mile they drive in personal vehicles for work purposes.

Stop resisting:

BYOD usage isn’t going away. Fight it, and you will lose. Embrace BYOD with a data focused policy encompassing enterprise SIP trunking, and you will win employee loyalty, process efficiency, and increased productivity.

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