JBuff’s BYOD Experiment (part 1 of 4) Acquisition Challenges

A while back, I decided to do an experiment on BYOD -- here are my results:

  • JBuff's BYOD experiment – part 1, Acquisition Challenges
  • jbuffs-byod-experiment-part-2-of-4-getting-started/index.html">JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 2, Getting Started
  • jbuffs-byod-experiment-part-3-of-4-corporate-expectations/index.html">JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 3, Corporate Expectations
  • JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 4, video excerpt from BYOD seminar

JBuff’s BYOD Experiment – part 1, Observations on Acquisition

One of the core premise of BYOD is that the individual believes that they can be more effective by using their own devices, perhaps because it is faster than the corporate standard, a different OS than what others use, etc. In other words, there is an assumption that the user is making an educated decision that is appropriate to them.

Android or iOS?

So, I went to my local Best Buy in Lewisville, Texas and told the blue-shirt in the tablet department, "I am a long-time Windows guy who has never owned anything Android or anything that starts with an 'i” - but I want a tablet." His response, "You're in luck because I am an Android guy". Okay, so I am now getting an android tablet -- and chose the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1" screen and the recently released Android 4.0).


My Needs: I explained that I wanted a lightweight device that I could do e-mail on, perhaps a little use of Office-style documents, and surf the Internet.

Sales Expert’s Answer: My blue shirted expert showed me how to play music and movies, and how cool it was to swipe between sets of icons on the desktop.

I reminded him that I wanted to do e-mail, and he replied “Yeah, I think you can download something that will do that.”

Really? My self-proclaimed Android expert didn’t know that the tablet comes with a mail client? Okay, I nodded politely.


My Needs: I mentioned that I already owned a Nook from Barnes & Noble with a large library of downloaded books, and asked if I could read those from my tablet.

Sales Expert’s Answer: So, he proceeded to show me the Kindle reader app that comes on the tablet and assures me my Kindle app will read Nook books, and any other book that I buy from Amazon.

So, the tablet and e-reader expert doesn’t understand that Amazon and Barnes & Noble don’t really get along well, so interoperating isn’t a design goal. But I know that BN.com has lots of downloadable clients, so I nod politely.

What else can it do?

So, I asked again, “What else do you use a tablet for?”

To which my Android expert says, “It really is primarily for pictures, music, games, and movies.”

I was a little exasperated by now, wondering why any business person would want a tablet – and more importantly, how is an average consumer supposed to get educated enough to get what they need from a consumer store?

Versioning and Features?

To finish, I asked my self-professed Android expert one last question, “I’m buying the Galaxy Tab 2 because I understand it comes with Android 4.0, instead of 3.x. Can you tell me what is different in Android 4.0?”

My expert’s response, “It’s newer.”

Summary of BYOD Acquisition

I totally get that a lot of folks feel limited by the standard corporate IT devices that some companies issue, and I have historically found some way to argue for something different – but I have been a self-sufficient “power user” for twenty years. Not to sound condescending, but how is Sue Sales or Joe Marketing supposed to get what they need, or do they buy iPads because they have iPhones, which they bought because their kids wanted them first … or Android tablets because they have Android phones or didn’t want to pay iOS pricing? I dunno.

Topics: Data Protection Enterprise Mobility