May 19, 2020

Three Tips from Vodafone on Creating a BYOx Workplace

Gary Adey
3 min
Three Tips from Vodafone on Creating a BYOx Workplace

If the 80s was the era of the faceless corporate enterprise, then today’s workplace is defined by the identity of its workers. By next year Generation Y, which is to say those born between1981 – 2000, will outnumber Baby Boomers (1944-1960), Generation X (1961-1980) and the first of Generation Z (2001 – present) entering the workforce.

The modern and digitally native worker values freedom and choice above all else. For her, the ability to work flexibly on the mobile devices she chooses and with her preferred mobile operating systems could determine whether she stays with a company or not. If her expectations aren’t met she is more likely to leave within two years.

Businesses can meet the needs of the modern worker by creating a Bring Your Own Everything (BYOx)-friendly workplace, where x can stand for anything from devices, to apps, to data, to operating systems.

Employees have the freedom to bring their identities into work, as well as the tools to operate effectively from any location, enabling them to work more flexibly and productively in the process.

For employees, having this flexibility can mean more of a chance to balance work and personal commitments, as well as more control over their working lives. And this can mean higher morale, improved satisfaction and better staff retention as a result.

A recent European-wide flexible working study found that 64 percent of UK businesses have already had a flexible working policy in place for more than a year, followed closely by companies in Germany at 57 percent.  The same study found that 80 percent of HR-based respondents in Belgium reported improvements in productivity when employees worked outside of the office.

To support device flexibility and more flexible working practices, however, businesses need to first put the right mobility strategies in place.

While these can vary from the traditional corporate provisioned device and service, through to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, having the right policies and processes is critical to supporting better connected employees and enabling flexibility.

BYOx-friendly and flexible

1. Start with smart policies 

To give employees greater device choice and more flexibility over how they work, IT departments need to provide a clear framework for the devices and operating systems that will and will not be supported. 

Tools should be set up to measure against compliance and most importantly, policies should be managed and communicated regularly with employees, placing an emphasis on the benefits to the end user.

2. Safeguard with security

With the right measures in place, employees can access the apps and operating systems they need without compromising the security of the business. Cloud-based security services can ensure all traffic to and from devices is scanned to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content before it reaches the device.

Mobile device management services mean devices can be managed and locked remotely, while device content can be erased if the device is lost or stolen. While mobile threat management services can be used to prevent malicious attackers from intercepting sensitive data and password protection and data encryption can be set to support device security.

3. Stay open minded

By establishing a robust mobility strategy with clear policies and considered security measures, companies are in the best possible place to listen to the needs of employees to let those employees define the best way to make their contribution to the business.

By Gary Adey, Commercial Marketing Director, Vodafone Global Enterprise

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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