The days of settling for the plain-Jane, work-issued cellphone are over. Now, workers are bringing their personal smartphones, tablets and other devices into the office, and connecting that array of gadgets to their corporate networks. Work by day, play by night, all on a single device. According to a July 2011 Forrester Research, Inc. report, nearly 60 percent of companies allow employees to use personal devices for work and provide IT support for some or all of these devices. But even as employees take advantage of that flexibility, enterprises still need to manage security and productivity on those devices and know that when they roll out a new app, it will just work. AT&T Toggle takes advantage of the opportunities by creating a walled-off "container" on the employee's device where the employee will be able to access corporate content without having to give up their favorite games and social networking apps.
How did the Idea Hatch?
An early concept for AT&T Toggle stemmed from an employee's idea posted to The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T's crowdsourcing engine. Through TIP, the idea was discussed and improved on, getting funding and business unit support along the way. Through AT&T's Fast Pitch program, we connected with a developer to help us deliver a multi-persona solution to our business customers.
The Toggle idea fit with requests from some of our enterprise customers to help them find ways for employees to use their personal devices on the corporate network. We quickly set up a team at the AT&T Foundry to take the idea from concept to reality, collaborating with customers along the way.
About the Project
Toggle is an enterprise-grade application that is installed on enterprise employees' personal devices (smartphones and tablets). The application creates a "container" or "walled off" area on the employees' device where an employee can access corporate content. The corporate content can be corporate applications, email, contacts, calendars, and other Exchange ActiveSync features. The solution also includes a web portal where the customer's service admin may manage the employee's experience in the AT&T Toggle application like basic container management capabilities & security capabilities. AT&T Toggle is now available for download on the Google Play app store for Android.
The "container" AT&T Toggle creates on the employee's device becomes a fully managed enterprise environment with the possibility to push apps directly to the space, remote wipe, remote restore, migration, etc... Other applications include support for capabilities like device backup, network storage, and integration with other AT&T products. We're also working on an end-user portal where the employee can have some limited ability to manage his own container.
About the Researcher
Douglas Ring is the forward-thinking employee who submitted the original idea into the TIP web site. He is a Director and Chief of Staff for Network Operations Planning and Support. Per his bio on the TIP web site, Doug is a "brainstormer at heart... During the remaining hours of the day and night I'm responsible for your ATM, Frame, Metro E, Mobility, and DSL infrastructure." He adds: "Dare to dream... and doggone it, be persistent."