It took a little bit longer but finally, Microsoft is rolling-out Windows Mobile phones to its employees, as Ron Markezich, CIO of Microsoft, said in an interview with the International Heral Tribune.
He is responsible for answering to the computing demands of what may be the world's geekiest work force: the users of the 340,000 machines on the software company's own corporate network. More and more these days, he says, their demands are for mobility.
As of July 1, Microsoft began issuing company-owned cellphones and mobile devices to employees who request them, a change from its previous policy of supporting workers' personal devices on an ad hoc basis.
Part of the reason, Markezich said in an interview during a trip to Paris, is that employees are going to get them anyway, and company ownership gives Microsoft greater control over access to its internal network. Because phones are increasingly like tiny personal computers, complete with e-mail software and business programs, his tech support staff can manage the devices "much more like you would manage a computer," he said.
By using the cellular network wherever Microsoft employees are around the world, Markezich can send software or security upgrades to the phones without the mobile user's intervention.
"We can do it by geography, we can do it by division," Markezich said. "Whenever we do a mass upgrade, we always do it in a phased approach."
As phones get more complicated - and perhaps even more productive - "I think most companies are going to look at policies like this one," he said about the switch to company-owned mobile devices.
"CIOs want to make sure they have a secure environment, and they want to make sure they reduce costs. If I can standardize the way in which clients get e-mail, in the end that's going to lower my costs because I won't have to support all these different other means."
While the Microsoft work force may be particularly demanding of technology compared with other companies, Markezich has a singular advantage: The only phone operating system he supports is Windows Mobile. Unlike many other companies, Microsoft doesn't have to make a Symbian- or Palm- or Linux-based system "interoperate" with Windows software.
Read the full article online at the International Herald Tribune.
Cheers ~ Arne