Address Management Challenges, Reap Big Rewards

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Managing mobile environments is a difficult task, and not for the faint of heart. Part five in our series of mobility solution briefs delves into the challenges associated with mobility management, including areas such as:

  • Finding the right strategy and mindset.

    The mobile landscape changes at a frenetic pace; what was considered revolutionary just a few years ago is now common practice. Take a look at some of the factors—from new device types to app evolution—that can affect management policies and practices. Learn how to think ahead so that your management strategy can accommodate your organization’s changing needs without compromising your devices, your data, or your users’ productivity.

  • Balancing software solutions and services.

    There’s a lot out there to help you keep your mobile environment in check and healthy, but the best strategy is to employ an amalgam of tools so that you have devices, apps, and data covered. Find out how to evaluate available management tools and learn about the next generation of solutions. In addition, determine which elements (dynamic policies, network access control, and cloud services, to name a few) you should focus on for holistic mobility management.

  • Getting results.

    Mobility for mobility’s sake just doesn’t make sense. As you pull together the right pieces of your management strategy, bear in mind why you’re doing this in the first place. Keep your eye on the prize by taking a look at the benefits that comprehensive, efficient mobility management can bring.

Want to learn more? Find our solution brief on mobility management here.


The Road from BlackBerry: Migrating to a New Mobility Plan

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Want to learn more about transitioning off BlackBerry? Watch our webinar, “So, You’re Moving Off BlackBerry…”

The once-mighty BlackBerry is—as we know it—no more. The company previously known as Research in Motion (RIM), which arguably invented the smartphone, has suffered what is likely an irreversible decline in the industry it helped to revolutionize. Its US market share has declined from 50 percent in 2009 to less than 3 percent, according to figures released in August 2013 by the analyst IDC, and its devices are selling at deep discounts. Few analysts expect a turnaround.

The first-to-market giant was a business and government darling because it featured a proprietary ecosystem that gave organizations direct control over their mobile environment, a model that may be hard to replicate on other platforms.

In many cases, mobility solutions are being rushed out because of heightened business requirements, competitive business needs, and other movements in the mobility ecosystem. But migration decisions can’t be taken lightly. A gap in a mobility plan implementation could cost money, risk assets, and prove embarrassing.

Preparing to switch from BlackBerry? Here are a few quick pointers to help ensure business continuity, lower total cost of ownership, and deliver a higher return on investment:

  1. Review your overall business requirements, processes, and security needs to determine the right mix of productivity and security. By investing in the right tools and solutions and using specific mobile platform features and applications, even organizations with the most stringent security requirements can obtain a desirable level of end-user productivity while protecting their data and networks.
  2. Segment the mobile platforms and align them with specific application types that your organization can allow while adhering to its security definitions. For example, you can use containerized applications—which involves separating and managing corporate applications exclusive of a user’s personal apps—on iOS 7 devices. As another example, you can allow only email on Android v2.3 devices by using the TouchDown with Exchange ActiveSync from NitroDesk, which manages security for corporate email.
  3. Consider what support will be needed three months, six months, or a year into the future. You should plan how to update device applications and decide how new applications will be managed. In some instances, you may need to pre-purchase and pre-install applications on devices. You’ll also need a contingency plan for when a device malfunctions, breaks, or goes out of warranty to make sure employees remain productive and there’s no break in a revenue stream.

By considering every detail—from bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs to help-desk support—you can more easily address potential pain points, and avoid pitfalls associated with using bleeding-edge technology.

Image source: The Guardian


Let’s Get Visible: Telecom Expense Management for Mixed Mobile Environments

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A mixed environment of both corporate-owned and employee-owned devices gives employees the freedom to use their preferred devices where appropriate, while employers maintain control of important assets where necessary. Although mixed environments are becoming the norm, managing them can still be challenging—particularly when it comes to telecom expense management (TEM).

Unfortunately, standard TEM solutions typically ingest data from the corporate phone bill. They lack mechanisms for tracking, analyzing, and reporting on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) costs in the context of overall mobile spending. The result is that mobility decision makers have to cobble together data from different sources to figure out how much is being spent on mobility each month.

One way to solve this problem is to use a TEM solution that tracks corporate-owned and employee-owned devices in a single view, which simplifies analysis and reporting of mobility spend across device types and employee roles. This makes it possible to continuously balance BYOD and corporate device costs together as part of a unified mobility strategy.

Consistent Cost Tracking

One of the difficulties of BYOD programs is that they are funded via stipends and are usually administered through the finance department. This can make it difficult to determine the total cost of mobility or compare the relative cost of your corporate-liable and individual-liable programs. With a TEM system designed for mixed environments, organizations can track these costs consistently and proactively without having to hassle the finance department for data. You also have the advantage of using a single reporting source, so that line managers can see employees’ total cost of mobility.

Enrollment Management

Using a TEM platform with a registration engine can help you roll out your BYOD program and supplement your mobile device management (MDM) deployment. Registering individual-liable devices for your BYOD program gives you the opportunity to share your acceptable use policies, and it gives employees an opportunity to review and agree to the terms. You can also choose to limit the rollout of the program to certain users or stagger the deployment.

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Our enrollment portal allows you to share your BYOD policy and request that employees agree to the company terms and conditions. It also serves as a single source for information about the program, including training materials. The enrollment includes an approval workflow that helps you control who signs up for the program. It tracks the stipends and allows you to consolidate spend data from your BYOD program with your corporate-liable mobility plan, giving you a single view of your overall mobility spend.

Improved Visibility

In addition to helping manage costs, a TEM solution designed for mixed environments offers one-stop visibility into the entire mobile ecosystem. With that knowledge, mobility decision makers can identify challenges and opportunities proactively and continuously optimize their mobile environments for maximum return-on-investment.

To learn more about managing your organization’s mobility costs, take a look at our BYOD template, BYOD Policy: It’s Protection, Not Paperwork.


Mobile Security: Protect and Serve

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Security is difficult in any IT environment. It’s especially challenging when you’re trying to secure portable devices that can go (or be left behind!) just about anywhere. Part four in our series of mobility solution briefs takes a closer look at how best to protect your mobile investments, with topics such as:

  • Planning your mobile security roadmap.

    Your security strategy needs to meet not just your own business needs but also those of the larger business community. Learn how to stay flexible enough to empower your employees through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and smart security policies while safeguarding your devices and data from security breaches.

  • Choosing the right security software.

    You can take your pick from a myriad of software solutions that help with mobile security, but putting all your eggs in one software basket won’t provide comprehensive protection. Find out how to balance mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM) software with more targeted security solutions to properly defend your mobile environment.

  • Employing the security methods that are right for you.

    There’s a lot to think about as you delve deeper into mobile security—from single sign-on to security analytics, the list goes on. Dig into some of the choices that can make a big difference when you face the real-world implementation of your mobile security strategy.

Want more details? Find our solution brief on mobile security here.


Premium Drinks Provider Uses Expert Guidance to Accelerate Device Rollout

SITUATION

To boost productivity and promote secure collaboration, the beverage company wanted to upgrade the mobile devices used by staff around the world. The company sought to work with a mobility services provider that could combine deep expertise in global deployments and support services.

SOLUTION

The beverage producer selected Enterprise Mobile, a global managed mobility services provider, to deploy, support, and manage more than 8,000 mobile smartphones and tablets. The company chose Enterprise Mobile to provide initial device staging, kitting, and provisioning; 24x7x365 help-desk support; and device depot services. This includes spare pool management, device replacement, warranty management, asset recovery, and recycling. Finally, Enterprise Mobile also handled initial enrollment and provides ongoing administration of the company’s Mobile Device Management software solution.

RESULTS

• Rapidly deployed tablet-based technology to sales teams across the globe
• Delivered responsive support and management services
• Minimized project risk
• Gained predictability and consistency in project planning, timeline, and costs
• Implemented an industry-leading multiplatform BYOD program for employees to connect iOS and Android devices to company networks

For more details, download the full case study.

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Your Budget is Your Strategy: Key Considerations for 2014

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Enterprise mobility gets plenty of attention, but when budget season rolls around, it’s important to focus as much on the fundamentals as on the latest industry trends. Creating a budget is more than just number-crunching—it’s a strategic activity that is influenced by device usability, security, logistics, and collaboration. Focusing on the six key items below will help your organization increase profitability and productivity for 2014 and beyond.

1. Hardware and connectivity.

Companies have a myriad of mobile device options, creating the need to navigate a sea of hardware types and operating system variations. Furthermore, customers must pay attention to the influences created by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Hardware selection can be based on a variety of factors, such as form factor, wireless carrier compatibility, battery life, application availability, screen size, and more. For corporate-owned assets, evaluating leasing versus capital expenditure is important, not just to spread out costs but to enable a vehicle for consistent device refresh. Hardware, usage, and data costs are strongly influenced by your BYOD strategy. If you’re moving toward a stipend BYOD model and retiring corporate devices, your hardware lifecycle costs might decrease. However, there will be new factors to consider, such as whether employees are being reimbursed for data plans on additional personal devices. It’s also important to take into account the number of employees who still use corporate-liable devices—such as salespeople or those with access to protected data.

2. Security and management.

As your mobile user base grows, so will costs for security and mobile device management (MDM), including software licensing, support, hosting, and administration. With the rise of cloud-based MDM solutions, many companies are turning the capital costs of MDM servers into more predictable operational costs by paying for security software monthly or annually. On the security side, platform- and application-level security measures need to be consistently updated in light of evolving threats. It is also important to invest in user education and engagement, which is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce security risks.

3. Mobile support.

Help-desk costs can vary greatly depending on the mix of employee-owned and corporate-owned devices. For corporate-owned devices, employees expect support for issues involving hardware, applications, device replacement, and more. On the BYOD side, users can self-support to some degree, but BYOD programs don’t eliminate the need for help-desk services. Some companies offer users full access to a traditional phone-based help desk; others provide employee-to-employee communities or limit support to self-service resources. Costs will vary depending on your model.

4. Application planning, development, costs, and support.

Apps are at the heart of mobile productivity. In addition to licensing costs for third-party apps and development costs for internally built apps, companies need to consider the cost of creating, maintaining, deploying, and supporting in-house apps. Corporate-owned devices are ideal for the addition of applications to drive customer service and productivity gains. In a BYOD scenario, ensuring that everyone has access to the apps they need can be more expensive than with corporate-owned devices. Support also comes into play in the app space. If users come to rely on certain apps for day-to-day work, resources need to be available when those apps aren’t functioning properly or if an end user needs help using them.

5. Lost and broken equipment costs.

Sometimes mobile devices get damaged, lost, or stolen. The costs may vary depending on your company’s policies, but the risks should be taken into account regardless. Although, “bring your own” can also mean “fix your own” and “replace your own,” that’s not always the case, particularly if the device is damaged while an employee is on the job. And your organization will definitely be responsible for covering the costs associated with corporate-owned devices. Ensuring that devices are quickly replaced is key to maximizing the value of your investment in corporate-owned mobile devices.

6. Content management and collaboration.

With the basics of your mobility strategy largely addressed, the next step is to extend capability and access to deployed devices. Before doing so, it is critical to consider how content will be securely managed, accessed, and shared. With a variety of tools available, including cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid implementation approaches, enterprise customers need to determine the best way to enable and endorse content collaboration while mitigating risk.

With your budgets and plans in order for 2014, you have a solid foundation for tackling key strategic priorities. To get a head start on your BYOD plans or mobility strategy updates, check out these resources.