iPass is a global Wi-Fi and enterprise mobility services player that has long sought to offset the cost of wireless broadband and related wireless data charges through the use of a vast global network of Wi-Fi access points. Today, the company announced a new extension to its services, offering what it refers to as an IT-sponsored global Wi-Fi service with direct end-user billing. The new capability is part of iPass Open Mobile Express.
As an IT sponsored service, iPass Open Mobile Express pioneers a simple way for enterprise IT to offer their departments and employees a direct credit card billing option for seamless global Wi-Fi access on smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, IT is able to maintain control and support of a hybrid environment of both corporate-owned and employee-owned smartphones and tablets.
iPass Open Mobile Express is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows-based smartphones, tablets and laptops. The service allows mobile workers to be globally mobile with access to the world's largest commercial Wi-Fi network, with over one million Wi-Fi hotspots including in-flight Internet and far more hotels, airports, and business venues than any other network.
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The iPass Open Mobile Express service enables enterprise IT to control cellular data plan costs. These costs have been growing and are directly associated in many cases with new corporate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs. BYOD programs are pushing the biggest change in business practices and employee productivity today. Typical IT departments in the meantime face issues such as lack of support resources to deploy, configure and manage global Wi-Fi connectivity. iPass Open Mobile Express allows IT to push costs out to various departments, while still maintaining control and ensuring excellent national and international connectivity on both corporate-owned and employee-owned devices.
Although costs to an enterprise may not initially appear to be growing as BYOD is implemented, there is a substantial growing threat of enterprises discovering hidden runaway wireless data and wireless broadband access costs. This is already an issue nationally – but when employees head off on international trips the costs can become enormous. In most cases they result in budget-busting costs that enterprises neither anticipated nor planned for.
The new iPass service allows enterprise IT teams to negotiate the best Wi-Fi connection rates and enables the costs to be distributed outside of IT or a company’s teleco group. The idea is that an enterprise can now assign Wi-Fi costs to whatever departments employees actually belong to, and allows enterprises to make every department take fiscal responsibility for their employees’ Wi-Fi network needs. With Wi-Fi hotspots predicted to rise 350 percent by 2015, progressive IT departments now have a path to support BYOD programs but also a "Bring Your Own Network" (BYON) service with instant employee access to over one million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.
"Employees who pay their own mobile device bills are wary of high data roaming charges, and many leading enterprises are also starting to recognize the complexity and rising costs of global connectivity associated with BYOD programs," notes Christophe Culine, senior vice-president and general manager, iPass Enterprise.
"With so many corporate applications now in the cloud, seamless connectivity is essential for employee productivity. iPass Open Mobile Express allows IT to provide other departments the best negotiated connection rates for fast, affordable, global Wi-Fi access, and gives mobile workers the power to be connected virtually anywhere they do business. Importantly, it also offers enterprises the right tools to drive as much cost as possible out of business travel."
TechZone360 Senior Editor
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