Understanding Mobility Management: Trends, Priorities & Imperatives. Dean Alms- CSO, Visage Mobile

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1 Understanding Mobility Management: Trends, Priorities & Imperatives Dean Alms- CSO, Visage Mobile September 2008

2 Introduction Mobility Management is the set of people, processes and technology focused on managing the increasing array of mobile devices, wireless networks, and related services. This is an emerging discipline within the enterprise that has become increasingly important over the past few years. According to recent research, subscriber penetration in the US market shows that approximately 85% of the population owns a mobile device. This market is expected to reach 90% penetration in late By 2012, business mobile users will make up more than 30% of all subscribers in the United States. 1 Just as companies rely on human resource, financial management and CRM software, mobility management software will quickly earn its place in the portfolio of enterprise software solutions. The cost, risks and mission critical nature of mobility has accelerated the pace of sophisticated solutions and weighs heavily on the minds of CIOs. Research from all major analyst firms place managing mobility as a top five priority for IT in the coming year. This article will explore the key trends, management priorities, and operational imperatives of managing your mobility. We also will examine the many functions of mobility management and, finally, the alternative approaches that companies have today for managing mobility. Background The scope of mobility in the enterprise seems to expand daily. For the purposes of this article, we limit the scope to those devices and services provisioned to the workforce. This includes cell phones, smart phones, broadband aircards and other proprietary handheld devices. Some might include laptops embedded with wireless capability under this definition, but most companies have software and systems to manage laptops. RFID, WiFi and other wireless technologies are not usually included in the first wave of mobility management solutions. Key Trends Today, 55 million workers in the United States are considered mobile (i.e., they spend more than 20% of their time away from their primary workspace) and 12.1 million workers subscribe to a mobile service in the US alone. 2 The 1 IDC Market Analysis: Forecast: US Mobile Subscriber(Mar 08) 2 Yankee Group Enterprise Mobility Stats: 4/2008 Page 2 of 6

3 emergence of mobility management as a discipline is owed to the proliferation of mobile devices being used at all levels in the organization and being outfitted with increasingly expensive data services and features. Many organizations have experienced a doubling or tripling of mobility expenses in the past 18- to 24- months. Even more important than cost escalation is the added risk these devices have introduced to organizations as access to and storage of enterprise data have become widespread, and as voice-oriented cell phones have grown up to become data-oriented smartphones. These devices have sophisticated operating systems, feature extensive data storage, and run and other applications with sensitive data that must be protected. With a rash of lost and stolen devices resulting in multi-million dollar liabilities and embarrassing public exposure, an emphasis on device security and controls has taken center stage. Another important trend is the transition of responsibility of mobility management from finance to IT. When mobile devices were predominantly cell phones, IT wanted nothing to do with them. With the CFO in charge, cost control was the dominant driver and mobility management became synonymous with expense management. The desire to find billing errors and identify opportunities to optimize spend made the CFO very receptive to outsourcing this function to specialists called Telecom Expense Management (TEM) providers. Now that the CIO has taken ownership of mobile devices in a growing number of organizations, mobility management has greatly expanded its scope to include policy management, inventory management, and device management including security controls, and end-user support. Management Priorities A compilation of various research reports, coupled with our discussions with more than 100 companies, has established a clear top five management priorities for mobility. They are: Eliminate overspend and waste Protect enterprise data Streamline labor intensive processes Define and enforce corporate policies Better serve the mobile workforce Surprisingly, the need to better serve the mobile workforce often was one of the top two priorities for many of the companies with whom we talked. While cost control and security measures are obvious drivers of mobility management, many CIOs appreciate the mission critical need to keep mobile workers connected to the enterprise and create a more favorable mobile experience. Page 3 of 6

4 Functional Checklist Mobility Management has multiple functional dimensions to address the total mobility management spectrum. Some of these functions are provided by finance, others by IT. Increasingly, companies are creating centralized mobility management groups accountable for strategy/policy, financial management and IT management. We offer the following functional checklist for you to use when evaluating mobility management solutions. Workforce Enablement: the ability to extract and allocate devices and services to the end-user. Workforce enablement includes an individual mobile profile that identifies the inventory, billing and other actual mobile allocations, usage and spend over time. Ideally an enterprise can segment its mobile workforce into mobility groups based on unique device and wireless needs. Mobility groups can be used to establish budgets, associate policies, approve devices and plans, and other control mechanisms to better manage workforce mobility. Policy Management: given the pace of mobility innovation and the high turnover of today s workforce, the ability to effectively communicate and align end-users with continuously upgraded corporate policy is a critical task that lends itself to automation and compliance monitoring. Order Management: most enterprises buy from multiple carriers with configurable, and therefore, complex procurement and provisioning systems. Third party order management solutions reduce the complexity for enterprises, but are immature and often require labor-intensive processes. ERP procurement systems often cannot keep pace with change or effectively link to the carrier systems. Companies want an order management system that will have self-service requisition (pre-approved devices/plans only), multi-level procurement approval, and carrier integration or orchestration. Direct feeds of new purchases into inventory management would be ideal. Inventory Management: the vast majority of companies today cannot answer the basic questions of what do I have (in terms of devices) and who has them. An effective inventory management system not only identifies the devices under management but also to whom those devices are currently allocated within the enterprise. If a device was recalled tomorrow because of a product defect, could you identify and communicate with the user community in a timely manner? Or if 23 devices are due to expire next month, could you locate them and efficiently work with the user community to swap them out? Device Management: an increasingly sophisticated dimension of mobility is mobile device management (MDM). MDM solutions provide autodiscovery of devices in the network, security tools including device lock or device wipe, and over-the-air software and firmware updates. MDM Page 4 of 6

5 solutions are provided by device manufacturers such as BlackBerry (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), Motorola (acquired Good Technologies) and Nokia (acquired Intellisync). Microsoft has an MDM solution for its mobile operating system linked to its other system management tools. Independent MDM providers, including mformation and Perlego, emphasize their device and OS independence. Spend Management: one of the more difficult aspects of mobility management is spend management. This includes processing invoices on a monthly basis, allocating wireless expenses to the individual and departments that incur the charges, and handling bill presentment at the managerial or end-user level. Major carriers will provide their invoices in electronic format for processing, but there are no standard formats and the data integrity is notoriously bad; errors and omissions seem to be the rule rather than the exception. While carriers will provide their own portal with reporting and analysis capability, the portals are carrier-specific. Even the smallest of enterprises tend to have multiple carriers. End User Service & Support: end-user service and support includes selfhelp capability and help desk services. Given the number of devices and the complexity of their features, it is increasingly difficult to master mobility from a support perspective. Carrier-provided support is discouraged by excessive waits on the phone for a semi-knowledgeable service representative. Outsourcing your help desk is an alternative, but experience with these services has received mixed reviews because long term, narrowly scoped contracts don t mesh with the pace of innovation in mobility. Alternative Approaches Enterprises have three primary alternatives for solving mobility management within their organizations: point solutions, managed or outsourced services, and new Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Point solutions come from many sources including home-grown solutions such spreadsheets. Customer portals from the major wireless carriers have expanded their functionality to help companies manage mobility, but they are limited to the providers data. Other point solutions can be traced to the aforementioned functional groups, including Mobile Device Management solutions, mobile security software, help desk applications for user support, asset management systems and more. These are often in-house software solutions that require significant care and feeding from IT. The bigger challenge with software solutions is the need for enterprises to integrate these disparate systems to achieve unified visibility and control. With IT already over-extended, this unification rarely ever occurs. The other extreme to mobility management is managed services or outsourcing. Page 5 of 6

6 Mobility Managed Services are available for procurement and provisioning, invoice processing and expense management, mobile help desk and more. Managed service providers provide the labor and expert assistance to address one or more mobility challenges. Momentum for managed mobility offerings is evidenced by the growth in operators, such as AT&T and Verizon Business, that are now offering operatoragnostic services. 3 Increasingly carriers are offering managed services to provide a cross-carrier solution to mobility. Whether customers are ready to trust Verizon to manage AT&T wireless services or vice versa remains to be seen. The third major alternative for managing mobility is Software as a Service. Software as a Service has become increasingly popular in many software segments including HR, CRM, and Finance. Modern technology platforms, hosted platforms, subscription based pricing and managed integrations with service providers are just a few reasons why SaaS has become the preferred approach to enterprise software. Now through companies like Visage Mobile, Software as a Service benefits have been brought to the complex world of mobility management. Summary Mobility management has emerged as a top priority within enterprises during the past 18- to 24-months. Industry analysts increasingly provide more education and evaluation of solutions available to organizations seeking answers. Fortunately, companies have new choices in how they address this mission critical service they provide to their mobile workforce. However, with all these new choices comes the difficult task of deciding which is the right choice for your enterprise. Do you want to do-it-yourself, hand it over to a third party or use a Software as a Service solution? The only bad choice is to ignore the problem and suffer from overspending and waste, exposure and liability, and poor employee service. About Visage Mobile Visage Mobile, based in San Francisco, is a leading provider of management solutions for enterprises seeking to gain visibility and control over its smart phones, cell phones and other workforce mobility solutions. Its flagship product, MobilityCentral, provides policy management, spend control, inventory tracking, end-user allocations, configurable reporting and more. Moreover, MobilityCentral is a Software as a Service and the only Do It Yourself (DIY) approach to mobility management; a clear alternative to expensive and often unsatisfactory outsourced approaches. In 2008, Visage Mobile was named one of Nine Wireless Companies to Watch by Network World. Additional information is available at 3 IDC Market Analysis: Forecast: US Mobile Enterprise Subscriber (Mar 08) Page 6 of 6

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