How Schipol Airport Moved to BYOD

Dec 12, 2014

Schipol International Airport in Amsterdam recently made the move to a BYOD (bring your own device) environment. After trialling a BYOD policy to gauge interest, and seeing half their workforce take to the new system. It was apparent that many employees wanted to use smartphones as well as tablets, and that they were more than capable of using the system effectively.

Vice president of Good, Michael Maas who helped them with the move said: “They were aware that the same functionality, the same features and the same benefits applicable on the tablet are also applicable on the phone, so that program suddenly became bigger, where they wanted to enable BYOD from both tablets and smartphones,”

Now all employees are able to access all the systems and information they could previously, but without the constraints of being tied down to work devices. Schipol Airport employees are given the choice of bringing their own device or choosing their device. In this case the company provides a SIM card and lets them choose their own phone. Perhaps surprisingly, not everyone opts for the latest and greatest technology, with some preferring the simplicity of older or more basic devices. Maas said that is is clear that people feel a strong emotional connection to their devices.
Workload fluctuates quite considerably for airport employees, as a result Schipol uses contractors to fill in the gaps in busy periods. 
As a direct result of mobile working, the airport was able to reduce their printing by as much as 80% This offers a significant reduction in costs, carbon footprint and is a big time saver for employees.
No longer are people attending meetings with a device and a stack of paper. It was unnecessary, less secure and less efficient. It is worth pointing out that while the new system was well received for the most part, some did not like the change, or at least not initially. Reluctant employees have mostly been won over with appropriate training, and in some special cases finding a middle ground for those too accustomed to old ways.

Michael Maas explains: “People tend to be impatient, they don’t read emails very thoroughly, so to communicate your program is a big contributors to the success of the deployment,”

“I think what was really impressive to see was Schiphol articulated themselves well,” he adds, “IT towards management, towards HR, and HR publishes this as a benefit to the employees. I think that has been an instrumental difference in making this a successful bring your own device program.”



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