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March 1, 2006
IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE that the state of the mobile enterprise is in disarray. Because wireless carriers initially built their businesses in the consumer markets, enterprises long have been treated as an amalgamation of consumers. Too often employees procure their own wireless services and expense the cost an approach that fails to deliver the appropriate level of security, control and visibility required in a world where data is flowing wirelessly to all reaches of the enterprise. Add to that the growing numbers of wireless devices, services, technologies, service providers and applications, and its easy to understand how enterprises with limited internal resources find it difficult to manage these now missioncritical assets. Enterprises are not staffed adequately to handle regulatory compliance, risk mitigation, asset management or security.
Solutions providers VARs, integrators and agents generate recurring revenue for ongoing management, governance and outsourcing of wireless voice and data services.
Providing the Framework for Mobility Governance.
Establishing the initial framework for success is the critical first step in implementing effective mobility governance. The initial framework includes defining wireless and mobility objectives and ensuring the appropriate policies, procedures and resources are in place to achieve the objectives. Defining and managing the policies, procedures and resources is best accomplished with an Enterprise Mobility Council that meets once a quarter and is made up of key constituents within the enterprise who rely on wireless technology to drive productivity gains and performance improvements and the vendors helping to accomplish the objectives.
Corporate Liability and Centralized Procurement.
If the enterprise is to achieve the necessary level of control, compliance and security, wireless handsets and services need to be approved and procured via a central process that addresses the needs of each mobile employee. Solutions providers can assist in helping the enterprise migrate from an environment of individual liability, where each employee procures the device and service, to corporate liability, where the company contracts for the service, pays the bill and has control over the devices. Corporate liability also provides the enterprise with the greatest position of strength with which to negotiate with wireless carriers.
Solutions providers can perform the centralized procurement function across all carriers and align the most effective and efficient handset and services to meet the needs of the mobile connected workforce within the guidelines of the mobility governance framework. Solutions provider value to the enterprise increases significantly when managing a multicarrier environment and providing the enterprise with visibility and control all while lifting the burden on overtaxed telecom administrators.
Defining the Optimal Device Mix.
In an enterprise environment, it is virtually impossible to take a one size fits all approach when defining the optimal device mix. In addition to considering the functional requirements of the end user to accomplish the required tasks, it is important to evaluate the form factor, durability and replacement costs. If a significant percentage of devices will be replaced within 10 months of purchase, youve got to determine the impact on the total cost of ownership of a nonsubsidized handset replacement. Many enterprises dont think twice about replacement costs and solutions providers can provide guidance and direction.
Policy Administration and Asset Tracking.
Another area of pain for the enterprise is administering policies and keeping track of the untethered devices. Because they are wireless, the complexity of their management, administration and security increases. By providing a central repository of transactions, device and rate plan catalogs, and approvals, solutions providers are best equipped to meet this need and drive additional value and revenue.
Mobile Technology Adoption Road Map.
In addition, by becoming the trusted advisers on mobility issues, including handsets, solutions providers are best positioned to address the future needs regarding fixed-to-mobile convergence. In this role, solutions providers become integral in the planning, adoption and retirement of handsets and technologies.
Enterprises are searching for value-added service providers to off-load the growing burden of wireless. Theyre reluctant to request one carrier manage another, which is somewhat akin to the fox guarding the hen house. Therefore, solutions providers hold the key to a growing and profitable opportunity.
Jeff Fugitt is vice president of marketing for TRAQ, a provider of Mobile Lifecycle Management solutions to telecom dealers and enterprises.
TRAQ-WIRELESS Inc. www.traq.com
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