Now that we've grappled with BYOD trends and policies for a few years, the option to "Bring Your Own Device" for professional work has become widely accepted in many industries. It's a great way to save money and encourage a more flexible workplace…but it also comes with unique challenges. Fortunately, you don't have to give up your old business phone system when adopting BYOD policies – you just have to integrate them correctly. Here are a few ideas on how to do that.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud hosting and generally cloud-based solutions are excellent at integrating more traditional phone systems (which still play an important role in the office) with BYOD policies. The secret is in the cloud-connected apps that employees can use on their own phones, which tap into the same data systems and features that the business phone system down. Of course, as you can probably guess, this setup works especially well with VoIP services, so if you are considering moving to a BYOD environment then VoIP features will be particularly helpful in making the transition.

Shared Calling Features

Employees should always have the ability to call in from their own phones and still access the same calling features that they would have from their own desks. That includes checking their messages, routing calls, dropping into conference calls, and more. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to set up when integrating BYOD and business phones, as long as you include basic call-in capabilities – don't forget about this area! Your employees on the go will need these services.

Remote Work Integration

Speaking of employees on the go, do your employees have remote work arrangements, or are you considering remote work plans for the future? You need a robust mobile integration plan that will allow them to work alongside in-office employees and easily reach out to customers. Again, one of the best solutions here is a cloud-based system that can be easily access through the phone system or available apps as needed. This includes some important features that you may not think of at first, such as making sure that outward calls show up under the business name instead of the remote employee's number.

Automation when Needed

Even if many of your employees switch to BYOD, it's a smart idea to keep a few traditional phone features around – features that help your company and cannot easily be replaced. Automated answering, messaging, and order-taking is a common example here, because many companies still need these services in the off hours, and they are a reliable part of business phone systems but rarely seen on BYOD – a key reason why your business may need both.

Security in Division

Security has always been a major concern when it comes to bringing your own devices to work – how do you protect data and phone security? The answers are numerous, but one of the more effective solutions is to divide what information is used on personal devices, and what information is kept on the traditional business phone system. This simple silo strategy can be very effective for smaller companies looking to save money while staying secure.