Toggle Improvements Open Up Doors For AT&T
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AT&T (NYSE: T) will soon extend the availability of its dual-personality software for mobile devices that has, until now, been exclusive to Android users. This extension will now include Macs, PCs, and mobile devices. Essentially, the system is expanding to Apple's iOS, and I believe this will have positive effects on AT&T stock.
The expansion should eventually allow AT&T's Toggle to provide "a walled-off and encrypted work environment" for users of these devices. This is still under development, but new enhancements in Toggle could turn the service into a broader platform for remote work. Therefore, this may become a particularly good investment in the long term.
The main point of Toggle is to allow users to adopt its BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy. These policies often occur in work places where people prefer to bring their own devices to work. This can pose a problem though. If the device is being used in personal settings and work settings, there is a chance that sensitive work-related information could be compromised by the apps being used in one's personal life. In other words, there is less security for sensitive information.
Toggle addresses the security issue by allowing users to divide their device into a personal mode and a work mode. In the personal mode, users can download and use whatever apps they would like to use. In work mode, however, the user can only access apps and content approved by an enterprise. This makes it a far safer device to use in a work context, and it has made this an attractive option for businesses. The user can switch between the two modes when necessary, thereby protecting both the company and the user. Security is one issue that faces workers who would like to take their own devices to work, and the other main issue is the complexity of the situation. With Toggle, AT&T is able to address both issues sufficiently, marking the company as an innovator in this domain.
Toggle's most recent improvements allow users to go to a site and download the approved applications in work mode. This is a far more streamlined and convenient system than the previous one. The new version is a significant step for the company, and has the ability to open up several new pathways for development for AT&T.
Although this is a significant step, it is important to remember that AT&T is not the only company offering a service like this, so there is a significant amount of competition in the market. That being said, AT&T is consistently proving to be a leader in this domain.
Verizon (NYSE: VZ), in contrast, has taken a different approach to AT&T's BYOD movement. It recently launched its data-sharing package, which would facilitate the use of multiple phones by one user on the same plan. Consumers can now buy a single data package that can then be split between up to ten devices. Splitting by device provides physical compartamentalization rather than software-based firewalling with AT&T's Toggle. Fees will be based on how much data each device uses. In addition, customers will have to pay a flat rate for each specific device on the contract. It is difficult to tell whether or not this is a good deal though. It is unlikely to be an overwhelming success for at least another few months as people figure out the advantages and disadvantages. The stock should similarly remain fairly neutral until device-usage growth materializes on Verizon's network for work/personal uses.
When it comes to a tech stock, what we want to see is a range of new ideas and innovations, and AT&T's Toggle software is an example of exactly this. If you are specifically looking for a tech stock to add to your portfolio, this is one that will maintain strength. If you already have an interest in AT&T, hang on to it, at least for now. In my opinion, the company is clearly on a successful path, and I see no indication that it will leave that path anytime soon.
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