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Best of &#*? IT Says About Managing Mobile Devices

The most grueling horror stories of managing mobile devices on the front-lines of IT.

Best of &#*? IT Says About Managing Mobile Devices

by Rob Patey | July 18, 2012

When the topic of enterprise mobile device management (MDM) is broached, the ails of managing end-users will slip through the cracks all too often. For this reason we decided to give our devoted Spiceworks fans (better known as Spiceheads) a megaphone to vent their tales of dismay on the MaaS360 community page for the &#*? IT Says About Managing Mobile Devices contest. If you stand on the fence of the travailed IT Pro, commiserate and read further for the painful first-hand accounts that won their authors a New iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Jawbone BIG Jambox (respectively)...

1st Place - Wonderboy's Harrowing Exploits of Mobile Devices, HIPPA and End-User Entitlement!

Here is a tale, a common one of noncompliance and stubbornness.

The HIPAA storm cloud had finally ascended upon us and the great violation dragon reared its ugly head!

Brace the firewalls!

Man the OWA servers!

Register the mobile devices!

"Soldiers, I need you all to stop by my quarters and register your mobile devices. Should the need arise that we might need to wipe them clean, we need information. Our enemies spies full of hackery and thievery shall not know our secrets, this day or any other!", IT decreed.

"Yes sir!" affirms one soldier.

"Yes sir!" and another.

"Yes sir!" one more pledges allegiance to the Office Empire.

From the back, an angry and whiney voice squealed, "Waaaaait a minute! I don't want you spying on me, on my every move. I have personal information that I don't want you to see. Why aren't you paying for this device that I can check my work email on? You're big brother! This is big brother! I'm not complying." an unruly soldier complained.

"Fine, then you won't have access to you data out of the empire. Also, you must think your actions far more important that the tasks we handle daily to run this empire. Trust us, they are not." IT fired back.

The argument went back and forth, the sun had set, the mead grew warm and the mutton turned cold. Then, the unruly soldier, unwilling to give up his foothold on what he thought to be a valid argument, let his pride lead to a lack of access. He returned to his quarters only to rely on the Citrix Wizard to grant him sight into the data realm.

To this day, that lonely soldier does not have the wondrous freedom to access data, emails and other magical things because of his fear and lack in the all-knowing and powerful IT staff.

~THE END~

...or is it???

***EDIT*** UPDATE! We have won the day my friends! The rogue user has finally given in to his fate and surrendered to our decree! A victory feast shall be had on this day! Let word ring out across the fields and echo in the halls of every castle! HUZZAH!

2nd Place - Theresa7077's View from the Bowles of the Ivory Tower

We decided to provide iPads to our Board of Directors. I purchased a dozen of them and got them configured with appropriate applications. I attended a board meeting last winter, distributed them, gave them a cursory overview of how they worked and offered my assistance to anyone who needed help setting up their email.

Everyone was delighted and pleased and didn't need my help. Except for Bob Smith (name changed). Bob is an older gentleman. He seemed excited about the technology but I should have known better when upon leaving he asked "How do you open the CD player on this thing?"

Since that time, about each month Bob will call me (or come to the meeting early and stop by my office) with a question about his iPad. Some of the more memorable ones:

"How do I install Windows on this thing?"

"I need to change my passcode. I set it to 9999 but my neighbor said that's not a good idea. I'm going to change it to 1234 but don't remember how to do it." While assisting him in setting up his email, I turned the iPad over to him and told him to enter his email password. "Oh, you can do that. It's ‘bsmith.' I use the same password on everything I do. Sometimes they need a damn number so I put a 1 after it. Try bsmith. If that doesn't work, try bsmith1."

"Is there a way to download the internet so if I go somewhere and they don't have wireless I can visit the web?"

"My iPad keeps dying on me." I looked it over and honestly couldn't figure out what might be the problem. I told him to stop by the Apple store. Turns out he had NEVER powered it off in the eight months he has had it. Apple told him that after a while it will "wear out."

"I like this iPad so much I'm thinking about buying an iPhone. Can you set it up for me?"

I cringe every time I see his name come appear in the caller ID screen of my telephone.

3rd Place - Gonefishing's Babes in Device Land

Some of my most &@^% memories around mobile devices surround the iPhone/iPad and children. Here's a couple:

There are a plethora of videos, articles, etc of very young kids (sometimes around the ages of 1-3) using an iPad like it was second nature to them. However, put one in the hands of an adult with a PHD and watch the deer in the headlights look. Then come the questions, directing them to the Apple iPad/iPhone tips website for self service, then the "I couldn't find anything about XYZ", then sending them a direct link to what they wanted to know which was located in the tips section, followed by "I don't get it. Come do it for me.". This proceeds with every app on the device...

"I let my infant play with my company issued iPhone, now it just has the iTunes image on the screen and I can't do anything with it. HELP!!!!!" (Password to unlock the device entered incorrectly too many times, consequently wiping the device.)

"I let my 2 year old play with my iPhone while I was doing XYZ chore around the house. Next thing I know he was laughing and saying 'Splash, Mommy! Splash!' Turns out iPhone's don't swim very well, so I fished it out of the toilet as quickly as I could and threw it in a bowl of rice for 10 minutes, but now it won't power on. Do you think the rice did something to it? Maybe got stuck in there or something?"

We based our selection on those presented the most horrifying tales in the most entertaining fashion. It’s schadenfreude to be sure, but we have no doubt the fantastic prizes from this contest will soothe the bitter sting of incompetent users.

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