How a trickle of BYOD costs can turn into a deluge

A few dollars in excess usage here, a few in overseas roaming there can make BYOD a pricier approach than it's worth

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Invariably, the carriers give bigger discounts to these larger companies than what they grant to a single customer. They also offer different types of plans that allow the business users to roam internationally at greatly reduced rates -- sometimes even at a fixed rate. This compares to the $1-per-minute voice costs and $10 per 10MB that many individual users pay for when abroad. These numbers vary based on the size of the company, but it represents significant savings over what many companies are paying for today for personally liable devices.

As each person who participates in BYOD does his or her own expenses, the cost difference doesn't seem like a lot. It's a slow leak, $10 or $20 a month. If an employee travels overseas only occasionally, you never really notice the $100 bill for roaming that he or she submits. It didn't seem like an issue; after all, the employee had to get business accomplished.

But take that one person's extra costs and multiple them by the other 5,000 people in the company who are doing the same thing every month. Now you have a run rate of $50,000 a month -- that's $600,000 a year. It didn't seem like much when it was only $10 for each person. It was easy to ignore. But when you add it up, it can be a real issue.

Sometimes that nuisance of a toilet leak is worth fixing. It doesn't seem like much, but when you start to look at the whole picture, it can make a major difference. You should run the numbers in your own organization to see if your BYOD program is unnecessarily raising telecom costs. If it is, you can still empower employees with mobile devices and even allow them personal use, but under better financial terms.

This article, "How a trickle of BYOD costs can turn into a deluge," originally appeared at A Screw's Loose and is republished at with permission (© Brian Katz). Read more of Brian Katz's The Squeaky Wheel blog at or at A Screw's Loose. For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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