Mobile communications companies have long worked to refine “dual persona” solutions that allow users to keep personal calls and contacts separate from business calls and contacts while communicating from one device. Results have been mixed for years, but Cisco’s recent launch of Webex Go appears to be a game-changer.
Webex Go is an add-on to the cloud-based Webex Calling phone system. Available since March 2022, it allows users to add a dedicated business line to a personal mobile phone. Unlike most previous attempts to enable dual personas, Webex Go uses the device’s native dialer rather than requiring a separate softphone application. This ensures far better call quality while also improving privacy.
With Webex Go, users no longer have to pick between two less-than-ideal choices — carry two smartphones to keep personal and business lines separate, or sacrifice privacy by comingling personal and business contacts, calls and messages. Instead, users can easily keep business and personal calls separate and effortlessly shift back and forth between personas.
Balancing Security and Privacy
That separation is particularly important given the rise of hybrid and remote work models that blur the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. It allows organizations to maintain a balance between corporate security and personal privacy.
Efforts to create dual persona devices arose in response to the BYOD phenomenon. Employees may have gained productivity and efficiency benefits from using personal mobile devices for work, but the practice also brought important disadvantages such as:
- Employers may establish restrictive security standards to protect business data on the phone. For example, some corporate BYOD policies prohibit the use of social media applications, cameras and GPS.
- Personal contacts and communications could end up in the company’s backups, creating privacy concerns.
- IT staff could potentially lock or wipe their device remotely, track a user’s location, or monitor their personal calls and web searches.
- In the event of litigation or investigation, the employee’s personal phone could be seized for discovery purposes. This process could expose personal data to multiple parties.
Previous solutions have suffered from quality and functional issues. Most have not been true mobile-first solutions but over the top (OTT) applications installed on mobile devices after the fact. However, these add-on apps usually don’t integrate well with a mobile phone’s native dialer or native messaging interface, forcing users into the cumbersome process of opening a separate app to make contact. In some cases, the user might have to log in or activate a VPN to make a call. Additionally, the audio quality with OTT apps is notoriously poor.
The eSIM Difference
Webex Go allows users to link their Webex contact details to their carrier plan, enabling calls using their device’s native dialer over a cellular network. Essentially, it converts a smartphone into a business telephony device without using a separate softphone application.
Webex Go is able to use a device’s native dialer by leveraging embedded SIM (eSIM) technology. An eSIM is a programmable SIM card embedded directly into a phone. Because the information on an eSIM is rewritable, the user can change providers just by making a phone call — unlike conventional SIM cards that must be swapped out in order to change providers.
Once the Webex Go eSIM is activated, users have a Webex-branded mobile network dedicated to business calling on their devices. The Webex network provider connects to the Webex calling platform to route business calls and provide access to enterprise-grade calling features natively on the mobile phone.
Mobile communication is the key to effective hybrid and remote work models. However, maintaining a barrier between personal and business communication has traditionally been difficult. Contact us to learn more about using Webex Go to enable enterprise-quality communications with greater privacy and security.