How enterprise mobility can help people in your company

Enterprise Mobility Challenges and How to Navigate Them
Managing enterprise mobility and wireless service costs today is challenging at best! Employees, for the most part, are savvy about wireless carriers and devices and have high expectations with the support they expect. Security issues continue to plague even the most sophisticated organizations. Data consumption is on the rise to support new applications and network speeds, while device prices have topped $1,000 offsetting cost-management actions. 5G is happening now, while usage patterns are changing again as we transition from the 2020 work-from-home model to a post-pandemic hybrid framework that is still evolving. These factors, together with your own business demands, make managing an Enterprise Mobility Program a real challenge.

While the challenges have never been greater, deploying and managing an Enterprise Mobility Program can be successful with a comprehensive approach. Below are some of the key components that must be incorporated into your plan resulting in a logical comprehensive and scalable program.

Mobility Policy
It all starts with a comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Policy. You will never please all the employees and senior management, however, with well thought out policy, you can be consistent in managing expectations, configuring support, and aligning resources to deliver.

Policy components include:
• Who gets a corporate liable device (company-paid)
• Which individual liable devices (employee-paid) can access enterprise applications
• Carrier and device standards
• Activation and upgrade approval policies
• Acceptable use cases
• Human Resources, your company environment, legal regulations, and senior management discretion should also be factored into the policy

Support of Policy by Senior Leadership
Getting support from senior leadership can help lead to greater buy-in to the Corporate Program. This can be accomplished by regularly communicating cost benefit and risk mitigation; what is working, what requires additional focus, and where the wireless industry has presented issues that need to be addressed. It also helps to prepare internal communications from senior leadership to convey the programs value and need to participate.

Once you have a comprehensive policy agreed to by senior management and key business units, you can configure the services and support to align with the policy. Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) practices can enforce the rules around who is accessing what enterprise applications and infrastructure, device operating system versions, and permitted mobile applications, as well as identify devices/employees that are out of compliance.
Runaway costs can lead to reactive corporate policies such as the move to individual liable (employee owned), stipends or expensed wireless cost models and will not help in the long run. They only mask all visibility into just the areas you are trying to address.

Consumption and Usage Limits
An Enterprise Mobility Program will control the per unit costs while you need involvement from the business units to control the number of devices and the services (data & features) consumed. Acceptable usage limits are paramount to the identification and control of employees consuming. abnormally high (200+ GB) monthly data usage. Knowledge articles on International travel, roaming and international calling can yield good results. Remember, you are there to help guide good behavior and identify bad behavior.

There is a cost of operating a business, and your business units will know best what is appropriate for their specific needs. Reporting on consumption needs to be consistent and easy to digest. Periodic validation on employees with Corporate Liable devices should be completed. This will reconcile against your policy and uncover devices that may be accumulating in a manager’s desk.

Ongoing Contract Analysis
It is crucial to understand which carriers and devices are allowed and how competitive your contracts are. Ongoing monthly rate plan optimizations are required to continually align your actual usage to the best available rate plans. This also includes managing out zero use devices and the elimination of costly unnecessary features.

Equipment Standards
Equipment standards can be extremely helpful in controlling both one-time and support costs. Utilizing 1 or 2 year-old devices can decrease costs by 50%+ with minimal impact on functionality and a greater ability to replace broken or lost devices with new or refurbished devices. It is important to realize that with every standard comes exception requests.

Having a published process to manage exception requests that fall outside of policy standards may be beneficial for your business. Standards are great, but not for every business situation. Device upgrades and replacements can be a bit tricky. Some employees break their device once or twice per year while others carry an iPhone 6+ in perfect condition. Consider refurbished devices for users that require multiple upgrades each year. Reclaiming older devices will provide you with useable reasonable working devices that can be utilized to support unplanned upgrades and broken devices.

Device Refresh Program
A proactive device refresh program is important as iOS and Android operating systems do not always support older devices causing unwanted security risks. To avoid these and bring predictability to your equipment expenses, incorporate a device refresh program.

Implementation of 5G Technology
5G devices and rate plans are rolling out across the country. When will you allow employees to upgrade to 5G devices and rate plans? Does your network group have plans to utilize 5G services to replace landline services? How will those be deployed and managed?

Use of 3rd Party Apps
Publish appropriate use cases as well as specific use cases prohibited, such as using a device while driving. Third party applications exist that can enforce the rules, giving your employees access to everything they need when they need it, and never when they don’t. Define when these are important and for what purpose. Many organizations have safety initiatives that drive the utilization of these solutions.

Employee Acceptance of Policy
Considerations should be made with how to implement a new Mobility Policy. Employees will react in different ways that may have not been intended. Starting with one business unit or group of users will typically allow you time to work out the kinks and modify your program in advance of a larger deployment.

Partner with your Carriers
Be prepared for black-market or out-of-policy behaviors that will occur. These need to be identified and managed to prevent complete chaos. Partnering closing with your wireless carriers can prevent employees from ordering nonstandard devices, features and rate plans. While many times well-intended, managing your Enterprise Mobility Policy centrally will yield better results for the company that allowing your employees manage individually.

Where to Start?
There are many components to a comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Program. The best approach to take on this challenge is one step at a time beginning with a well-defined policy including areas of interest we have mentioned. Once you have a policy in place, all the services, support and communications should align to the policy. Don’t forget that with mobility, refining your policy annually is a healthy and proactive approach.

Contact OVATION to learn how we help enterprises design, implement, and manage a comprehensive Mobility Program to address the complex challenges that exist with managing mobility today. Our decades of direct wireless carrier experience can help navigate all the challenges with an ever complex wireless eco-system.