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Behind the Scenes of Softchoice’s BYOC Journey: First Meeting & Project Charter

From the experts | Posted on July 27, 2012 by Melissa Alvares

This is the first in a series about how Softchoice implemented BYOC. We hope you find the series interesting and look forward to your comments and thoughts on your experiences.

Like many other organizations, Softchoice is in the process of working our way through all the complexities of the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) revolution. We’re down the path now, and so we wanted to share our experiences with the hopes they might help you on your journey to BYOC.

Our First BYOC Team Meeting

I have to admit that staying on subject during our first BYOC team meeting was tough. BYOC is an exciting new strategy where so many elements of its success depends on factors outside just the technology itself.

We talked about what other companies have done in the past, with Citrix’s recent rollout providing a lot of great guidance. The video of Citrix’s CIO Paul Martine explaining how they implemented BYOC gave us a good starting point for all the things we should consider.

He recommends 5 phases to the project:

  1. Survey Employees – Asking them about why they’d want to participate, understanding their willingness to take on more responsibility and looking at what they see as the benefits and concerns of BYOC.
  2. Determine Your Stipend – Identifying the existing costs of corporate-owned laptops, defining any cost savings requirements and then determining the stipend rules.
  3. Understand Corporate Policies – Assessing what current policies could apply and what new ones may need to be created.
  4. Ensure Security Requirements are met – Both at the endpoint, the infrastructure and the data center.
  5. Determine Program Rules – Not really policies, but the rules that relate to just the BYOC program itself.

So after looking at these steps, we realized that we didn’t have a survey – so that became Mark Sebastian‘s and my task to review. We needed to understand costs of laptops to come up with a stipend, so Mustafa Ebadi took that on since his Service Desk team are already familiar with these costs.

BYOC Technology

And then the conversation quickly turned to the technology.

  • Were we going to use Citrix or VMware? Desktop Virtualization or another type of remote access?
  • How many new servers and storage would this mean? That’s when Lester Moniz stepped in, offering to see if there was capacity for a pilot group of 50 users on Softchoice’s current investment of VDI and Citrix.

This prompted more questions!

  • Is there a greater security risk with VDI over Citrix?
  • How much storage per user is needed with VDI?
  • How do users access storage with VDI?
  • Are saving documents still going to be easy for users?
  • How do these solutions work if the user is offlline?
  • How would MS Office licensing work for employee devices?
  • Where’s our data going to be? Where are people storing things?

These are some of the questions that we’ve set out to answer in the course of this blog series. Let us know if you have other questions that you’d like to add to our list.

BYOC Project Charter 

Now that we had brainstormed some initial to-do’s for the group, we got back to one of our goals for the meeting – defining the Six Sigma project charter. The project charter defines all interactions of the project and sets the stage for a successful completion. It makes sure we keep to what we all agreed was in and out of scope and holds us accountable to timelines and roles and responsibilites.

Here’s our BYOC Project Charter: How does this compare to your process?  Let us know by adding your thoughts to the comments section below.

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