PYOD: What’s That Mean?

By Marshall Mabie

A few years ago, my then-boss Jeff was reviewing our IT team’s procedures for upgrading our users’ equipment. Traditionally, we would research the latest technology available, select the set-up that provided the most solutions for the largest numbers of our user base, and deploy a standard computer to Fools.

There was not a lot of initial personalization, which ended up causing a lot of later personalization after the machine was already in the user’s hands, which cost them time, and therefore money. Further, and more importantly, we weren’t serving our individual users’ needs as well as we could – they weren’t always empowered to use the technology that most helped them do what they want to do.

With that in mind, Jeff considered the possibilities, and decided to embrace a relatively new solution – Pick Your Own Device, or, as we call it, PYOD.

Instead of selecting a standard technology package and customizing it later, what if we treated every case as an individual, unique configuration? Moreover, what if we worked with each Fool individually to find the best technology tools for them? As a Windows-using office, what if Fools could use Apple products if they wanted to?

PYOD was born. Budgets were drawn up. Lists of test groups were created. Then Wave One of test groups. Then Wave Two. All in all, the first year of PYOD, we worked with 100 Fools to select their individually-tailored computers and tablets. We’re currently working with the next 100 Fools. Next year? Yup, 100 more Fools, ensuring the entire company will have new machines every three years.

It was a hit. And still is.

Fools have strong input as to what choices they have to do their work the best way possible, and we get a chance to sit down with the people we support and learn more about their jobs, how they do them, and how we can help them to do even better.

It also has provided our team with an opportunity for not just a deep knowledge-base about the technology our company uses, but also has allowed us to broaden our knowledge-base. No longer do we service only Mac or Windows machines; we work with both, providing us lots of opportunity to learn.

It’s an ongoing process that we refine and change as necessary, but at the heart of it, nothing has changed. Fools get a choice in selecting them to help them work the way they want to work. Our customers are served better, our company is served better, and that’s a win-win.

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