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Can a Lease Solve Many Of Today’s Challenges In Enteprise Mobility?

It’s a little frightening (perhaps depressing) when I think about the fact that my being home these last four days, has been the longest period of time I have been home in two months.  Oh well.  As we get ready for an abbreviated week here in the United States as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you an interesting article and pose you a question.

I stumbled upon this blog entry by Vodafone in the UK as they announced their Red Hot service where you get to rent a new mobile device every 12 months.  To quote the entry:

It’s a brand new way to own your phone, but is it a new way of thinking? It’s more common than you’d think; Red Hot sits in line with a growing trend. Renting our possessions is a big part of 21st century living, and we love it.

Kudos to them for being honest with the public and recognizing that it’s not a new way of thinking.  This is SaaS pricing for Hardware.  Could this be HaaS or IaaS (Infrastructure?)  Actually, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, because it is SaaS.  It is OpEx payments as opposed to CapEx purchasing.

Vodafone is understandably touting how great this is for the consumer….because basically, what the Red Hot plan means is that you – Mr. or Ms. Fashionista/Geek – will have the latest and greatest device available.  My question to you instead is – how is this model not IDEAL for the workplace???

Organizations are moving more and more to OpEx models.  OpEx is great because it’s predictable and you don’t have to spend time worrying about hardware uptime and software updates.   That’s why you pay someone else to worry about it….and what’s more you really only pay for what you use.  CFOs all around the world (obviously) love this.  So why can’t this payment model extend to the pure hardware…why can’t this work with the COPE (Corporate Owned Personally Enabled) model?  (Hint: it can and is perfect).

In my mind, COPE and OpEx (in fact, it’s really leasing) are ideal complements to each other.  The user continues to get what they want – which means, whatever (now latest and greatest) device they want.  Heck, they can even switch out next year to the new device that makes today’s device look obsolete!  This cost model will actually be much more advantageous for the employer than traditional BYOD because it can spread the cost out across 12 months as opposed to having to eat it all up front.

And speaking of BYOD, leasing the device in the COPE model removes the greatest hurdle that exists today in the market – managing and securing personal devices.  This is such a win/win/win that it makes my heart miss a beat.  Too bad I doubt it will happen.

We actually talked about this about 18 months ago.  I had to laugh because even Engadget called it HaaS back then.  I just don’t see if the carriers will want to offer such a pragmatic service.


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