How Amsterdam Airport Schiphol migrated its workforce to BYOD

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has recently migrated to a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, thanks to utilising the Good Collaboration Suite from mobility provider Good Technology.

The airport initially trialled a BYOD program among its employees to gauge if there was any interest, and saw approximately half the company switch on to the new system.

Many of the employees were similarly interested in using tablets as well as smartphones, which influenced the company’s decision to migrate, according to Good vice president EMEA North Michael Maas.

“They were aware that the same functionality, the same features and the same benefits applicable on the tablet are also applicable on the phone, so that program suddenly became bigger, where they wanted to enable BYOD from both tablets and smartphones,” he tells Enterprise AppsTech.

The net result is that all employees are switched on to mobile working, being able to access email, calendar, contact details, access and document sharing through SharePoint on their devices.

Employees get to BYOD, or choose their own device (CYOD), with Schiphol providing the SIM card and a fee to let them choose their own phone. Some go for low-end phones, while others go for the latest models. “I’m sensing it on a daily basis,” Maas notes. “People are really emotional about the type of device they use.”

Because of the fluctuating workloads airports have, Schiphol hires contractors for busy periods and the headcount changes by approximately 25%. The resultant effect of mobility, and being able to do distinct workflows is “significant”, according to Maas.

As a result of mobile working, the amount of printing the airport did went down 80%. It’s not just an environmental change afoot, either; it’s a behavioural one.

“[Employees] carry around a tablet, they don’t carry around stack of paper and a tablet,” Maas explains. “If everyone is working digital and this person comes into [a] meeting carrying papers, it’s like why – why are you doing that?”

It’s worth noting that at a lot of organisations, be it through general apathy, generation gaps or other difficulties in workforce management, not every employee might be on-side.  Good’s solution to that was a crash course in employee education; brief company videos put up across the building, booths in busy employee areas with hotspots so they could get connected, and what Maas called “mobility posters.”

The Good exec cites another customer who surveyed their employees to gauge what they wanted from mobile working, which is key to a successful rollout.

“People tend to be impatient, [they] don’t read emails very thoroughly, so to communicate your program is a big contributors to the success of the deployment,” he explains.

“I think what was really impressive to see was [Schiphol] articulated themselves well,” he adds, “IT towards management, towards HR, and HR publishes this as a benefit to the employees. I think that has been an instrumental difference in making this a successful bring your own device program.” in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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