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.


The Mobile Deployment Puzzle: How to Solve It

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Deployment is an often-overlooked area of a company’s mobile strategy. Get it right, and your employees are off and running without a second thought. Get it wrong, and your mobile initiatives will suffer. Part three in our series of solution briefs will guide you through the ins and outs of deployment, including:

  • Strategies for a measured, headache-free rollout.

    Managers and employees tend to be eager to adopt new mobile devices, and their enthusiasm can put pressure on IT departments to get devices into everyone’s hands quickly. Learn what up-front work is necessary—from scripting settings to choosing the right accessories—to ensure that the devices are ready to use and that you have a protocol in place when employees need help.

  • Unexpected deployment situations.

    Sometimes it doesn’t matter how carefully you plan your deployment. Specific business scenarios call for rapid deployment and make even the most organized IT departments scramble for reinforcements. And, much as you might not expect it, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs have an impact on corporate rollouts, too. Read about what you can do to prepare for these situations so you can be an IT hero in times of need.

  • Soup-to-nuts deployment.

    A solid rollout has all the bases covered, including purchasing decisions, app testing, asset management, and device disposal. Even the nimblest companies can have trouble predicting the impact that their mobile deployments will have on their organizations. Learn more about the different aspects of deployment so you can stay true to your mobility goals of optimizing employee productivity and maximizing your return on investment.

Get help solving your mobile deployment puzzle today – download the solution brief.


Application ABCs: How to ensure that you’re making smart decisions about mobile apps

 

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As mobile enterprise apps become more prevalent in the marketplace, companies must face a long list of decisions before they can offer their employees this welcome efficiency boost. Part two in our series walks you through some of these considerations, including:

  • App strategies that won’t break the bank.

    Can you find off-the-shelf apps that will work for you, or do you have to build your own? You’ll only know after you figure out your mobile app needs in several key areas. If you buy apps, make sure you’ve vetted them to avoid overloading your help desk and emptying your piggy bank on the wrong tools. Learn how to develop a comprehensive app strategy that will set you on the right path and keep you from the dreaded trial-and-error approach.

  • Effective mobile app development.

    It may be possible to customize off-the-shelf apps to arrive at affordable tools that will suit your business. Or perhaps your existing desktop apps can easily be extended into your mobile environment. If not, you’ll need to enter the world of mobile app development. Learn how to weigh the pros and cons of native, web, and hybrid apps, based on factors like the nature of your mobile environment and your dev team’s areas of expertise. You’ll also need to determine which platforms to work on.

  • App delivery and ongoing management.

    You have apps in hand… now what? Read about how to distribute and manage those apps, possibly with the help of a mobile application management (MAM) solution that includes an enterprise app store. Learn how you can use MAM software to help set up and secure your apps, enable “dual-persona” environments, and set policies regarding corporate data. By getting app management right the first time, you’ll inspire user confidence and achieve the productivity gains that mobility can bring to strategic companies.

Interested in reading more? Find our solution brief on mobile enterprise apps here.

 

 

 


All about Mobility: How your company can create a long-term mobile strategy

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A revolution is taking place, and it’s happening in every corporate office across the globe. Mobile devices have completely transformed the way we work, and with the increasing capabilities of the next generation of devices, the need to incorporate mobility into your strategic planning is only going to increase.

So how do you tap into this potential? Mobile phones and tablets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and a successful mobile strategy will have to think long-term in order to benefit your business.

To help guide you, we’re launching a series of solution briefs covering everything from mobility planning to device deployment. We’ll be posting them on the blog frequently, so we recommend you check back regularly. Our first solution brief on enterprise mobility planning offers tips on:

How to get your strategy off the ground

Like any good plan, developing a strategy always comes first. Planning for your mobile enterprise today and tomorrow will help save you money and prevent duplication of efforts. It’ll also protect your corporate data and enable your employees to do more.

Thinking beyond the device

Blackberries used to rule the enterprise, and your mobility strategy simply involved securing the end device. Today, this is no longer the case, and now you have to take devices, apps, data, storage, content and telecom expenses into consideration.

Aligning your business goals

Take heed: don’t invest in mobility for the sake of mobility. This is the easiest way to ensure no return on your investment. Your mobility strategy must align with your business goals and not just your goals for this year, but your long-term business goals too.

Our solution brief on enterprise mobility training is available for download here.

 


Survey of IT Execs Identifies Enterprise Mobility Challenges and Trends

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Organizations talk about the value of mobility in specific terms—productivity, reduced costs, better customer service, agility in the marketplace—but to what extent are they taking steps to realize these benefits? How many even have a strategy for deploying mobility across the enterprise, much less for implementing specific mobility solutions?

A recent survey explores the status of enterprise mobility in terms of its importance to organizations, what kinds of strategies they’re developing to make mobility work, and what their concerns are about it. In other words, what are organizations actually doing about enterprise mobility right now, and what will they be doing in the next several months?

The survey of more than 200 IT executives across a range of mid- to large-size businesses offers some interesting results. Not surprising is the large number of organizations that identify enterprise mobility as an increasingly important part of their business that will play a significant part in their upcoming IT plans. Also not surprising is that many companies do not yet have a well-defined strategy for putting their ideas and plans into practice. What is surprising is just how wide the gap is: 82 percent say mobility is very important, but only 8 percent have a well-defined strategy and have executed on it.

The obstacles that prevent reluctant organizations from jumping deeper into the mobility pool are exactly what mobility solutions and solution providers are intended to address: security measures, cost management, a lack of expertise within the company, and the development and management of mobile apps. Of these, security is the biggest concern, and it overlaps with concerns about mobile apps. Organizations want to understand how apps fit into a picture that keeps corporate data separated and protected from user data. Many IT departments are aware that mobile device management (MDM) solutions can play a big part in providing this security, but very few (less than 50 percent) actually have a solution in place. (And again, even when they have one, it’s rarely part of a larger, overall strategy.)

Many organizations don’t realize how flexible and wide-ranging their mobility options are. For example, beyond MDM alone, they may not realize they can mix and match solutions for MDM, mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), intelligence, analysis, monitoring, and so on. If they did realize this, the companies may feel more confident about going forward with deployment. (As a side note, the survey results also reinforce the importance of having a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to promote security and efficiency—an important reminder for the few organizations that don’t already have a one.)

Finally, the survey shows that many of the IT executives do recognize that their companies will need outside help to address their security and other concerns. Half are considering a mobility-as-a-service model, bundling services, and using outside providers for most or all of these services. Also, most of the organizations that have strategies at least partially underway are emphasizing components that make good sense as part of any strategy. That means outside providers will not have the burden of trying to sell a solution that the organizations aren’t familiar or comfortable with. Still, developing a strategy has to come before deploying any solutions. The key will be for the providers to get involved early and educate organizations on the range of services and solutions that they need and how they fit into the big picture.

To learn more about the challenges of enterprise mobility and how IT leaders plan to address them, download the full research report.


BYOD: Evaluating the Real Costs

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While they may be the latest trend in mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs require careful consideration. The idea of allowing employees to bring in any device so that they can be more productive for the company seems like a win-win proposition. But many organizations hesitate when it comes to jumping on the BYOD bandwagon because they worry about skyrocketing costs—and they’re right to proceed with caution.

Not having to purchase mobile devices sounds like a cost saver, but developing for, managing, and supporting a heterogeneous mobile environment is usually more expensive than maintaining a standardized set of devices. Support is the area that causes the most concern: How do we support all kinds of models and platforms? Can we even provide custom apps to our user base? How do we support users getting their own devices and plans? Should we provide a mobile operator plan(s) to reduce costs? How will stipends work out? What are the legal details regarding data and device ownership? What are the costs for additional security software that mitigates risks?

It All Adds Up

A BYOD program, if done right, can be an effective way to enable mobility and increase productivity while maintaining employee satisfaction. The key is knowing if it makes sense for your organization.

There are many aspects of BYOD programs that have an effect on total cost of ownership. The best course of action is to conduct a thorough evaluation, starting with raw device costs and factoring in mobile device management (MDM) software or services and apps (whether off-the-shelf or custom-developed). Next, examine possible support costs, consider the impact of heterogeneous devices on your help desk, etc.

Of course, there are always unexpected costs. For instance, security breaches—the source of many an IT staff member’s nightmares—can happen, and they can have a huge impact, especially in certain business verticals. Some organizations fail to take into account legal considerations. A recent lawsuit charged that hourly employees should get extra pay if asked to check email after hours. Also on the legal side, wiping an entire personally owned device (even one that the user has agreed can be wiped by the organization if it’s lost or the user is terminated) can put the organization in the position of being liable for damages. It’s a gray area—more court cases need to be conducted before we can see where all of this will go—but one that you should think about.

Getting it Right

Luckily for all of us, BYOD programs aren’t all-or-nothing propositions. Most successful organizations take a hybrid approach, using BYOD as appropriate for different user groups. Often, upper-level managers get corporate-owned devices, back-office employees take part in BYOD programs, and field-facing staff might use a combination of the two, depending on needs. International organizations need to be guided by local labor laws and regulations because privacy rules are different around the world.

The most important piece of any BYOD program is to ensure that it’s structured correctly from the start. That means gathering requirements and goals, getting sponsors and defining budgets, and fine-tuning it based on user feedback to make sure the program continues to function well as technologies change.

Learn more about getting your BYOD program off on the right foot through our recent webinar, or for help from the experts, contact us.

 

images via: cultofmac


The Next Wave: New Mobile Devices

Until just a few years ago, if an upcoming device generated buzz, that device usually came from Apple. And today’s big event from Apple continues to bring lots of speculation. Apple still delivers great devices, but other players are making device innovation more competitive, going beyond the smartphone and tablet to bring information to you in new and different ways.

The World of Inspector Gadget

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Clip-on computers and “personal area networks” are no longer the stuff of science fiction. Wearable computers are becoming more and more prevalent—and it’s not just about dressing to impress. Visiongain, a UK research company, estimates that wearable technology is a US$4.6 billion business this year, with “explosive growth and high adoption rates” coming in the next five years.

Leading the way are health and fitness applications—health monitoring is an easy sell when it comes to wearable devices, which will be built into shoes, hats, and even clothing. But eventually, health and fitness applications will be surpassed by more general personal information applications. Imagine Apple’s Siri, but built right into the clothes you wear every day.

Another wave of the not-so-distant future is motion technology, which expands on the sort of capabilities you see in today’s Kinect apps for Xbox 360 and applies it to just about anything. It’s 3D interaction without even touching a device. From what I can see in the industry, it won’t be long before motion technology is part of our everyday lives.

But Back to Today

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Consumers already have a variety of mobile devices to choose from, and manufacturers are working quickly to deliver even more feature-rich products to market. But, just as twirling or “flaming” icons in an online ad don’t always result in more clicks, flashy new hardware and software doesn’t necessarily hit the mark for consumers. Consumers are increasingly aware of the need for a complete ecosystem of services, and I predict that providers who offer comprehensive services (such as Google, Amazon, and Apple) will receive more attention and better sales in the next few years as that awareness grows.

Later this month, consumers will have a chance to get their hands on Apple iOS 7, which is a giant leap forward in terms of major iOS releases. Apple is working to make iOS 7 devices more appealing to corporate users and organizations with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs in place through features such as:

  • Activation Lock, which prohibits a stolen device from being activated without the proper Apple ID accreditation
  • Application VPN, in which individual apps can establish a corporate VPN connection
  • Extended Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) features
  • Open In control, which dictates the apps that workers can use to open and share documents and attachments
  • Security updates to safeguard against non-trustworthy chargers and batteries

Of course, a few features, such as AirDrop for iOS (which makes it possible for users to share anything from any app using WiFi and Bluetooth), may be problematic for corporations that need to keep tight controls on their data. The jury is still out on whether AirDrop and other potentially troublesome features can be disabled through mobile device management. Stay tuned.

As I mentioned above, the coolest device isn’t necessarily the “must-have” device anymore. That’s certainly what I’ve seen with the Moto X and Samsung Galaxy S4, so I’m keeping watch on both of these products to see if there’s an uptick in consumer interest. And, as always, manufacturers are planning releases for the holiday shopping season, so keep your eyes open for new low-cost Android tablets, more Samsung devices (even wearables!), and an Apple announcement about two new models. It should also be noted that Android OEMs are coming up to speed with “kill switches,” similar to the Apple Activation Lock feature, as anti-theft mechanisms in their new devices—that’s good news all around for consumers.

Keeping up with the endless device launches can be daunting—savvy organizations turn to Enterprise Mobile to find the best devices to keep their employees happy and productive.

images via: Collider, Techcrates