When it comes to mobile services, most businesses buy airtime and devices directly from the major mobile networks. For a small number of very large customers, the mobile networks will provide a dedicated mobile account team and on-site administrators, which can help to keep mobile administration under control. However, often that’s a chargeable service and these teams are typically order focused rather than proactive in their support and management of costs and usage.
For most however, managing their mobile services and devices is a significant and growing “in-house” challenge. One that continuously drains IT and Finance resources; creates ongoing budget challenges and often leads to overspending. And with “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and its variants; GDPR compliance and the rise of mobile security risks; it’s never been more challenging to protect your business from threats to mobile data and devices.
Is your mobile network working in your best interests?
The truth is, mobile networks typically make significant “hidden” profits when customers fail to proactively manage their mobile estates. Breaching usage allowances, uncontrolled roaming and paying for unused services, all lead to oversized bills and profits for the mobile networks. (See our white paper on the Four Mobile Expense Management Pitfalls for a more detailed insight into how your business might be overspending on mobile services)
Proactive ongoing management by contrast helps to materially reduce the impact of these issues; and as a result, it reduces mobile costs and removes these excess network profits. Freeing up budget that can be reinvested into new productivity enhancing technology and protecting the business against mobile security risks.
It is therefore of little surprise that the mobile networks rarely talk about, or offer their customers “managed mobile services”; it’s simply not in their interests for customers to effectively manage their mobile estates, and that’s the way they’d like to keep it. What they provide after all is an “unmanaged” mobile service. They’ll connect you, bill you, and react to service failures; the rest is up to you the customer to manage.
What’s the impact on your business of continuing to use an “unmanaged” mobile service?
If your business is like most and you’re still using an “unmanaged” mobile network service, then ask yourself whether you’re suffering from any of the following seven most common symptoms:
- Are your mobile bills regularly or even always exceeding the projected costs that your mobile network promised when your mobile contract was last renegotiated?
- Is your IT team spending a growing amount of their limited resources on mobile administration with little or no support from your mobile network (e.g. setting up users, preparing devices, tariff changes, managing costs, finance queries, roaming issues, network coverage)
- Is your mobile data usage increasing at a significant rate along with your excess data costs – but your mobile network doesn’t seem that interested in doing anything about it?
- Is your Finance team struggling to process, validate and reallocate your mobile invoices and charges to cost centres, and do they struggle to answer the challenge of “why mobile costs are out of control”?
- Do you have a constant level of inactive connections that are generating excess monthly recurring costs, but you’re struggling to identify the users or you’re prevented from cancelling these services because of contract commitments?
- Have you experienced one or more instances of “bill shock” in the last 12 months where individual users have generated over £500 of charges in a single month; but you didn’t find out until way after the event when the bill came in, and there was nothing you could do about it?
- Are you tied in to buying overpriced mobile devices using a network “tech fund”, but you now know that this fund won’t even cover the cost of refreshing all your devices?
Perhaps it’s time to consider a “managed mobile service”?
Most businesses have resigned themselves to these issues – “it’s just how mobile networks are, isn’t it?” However, most are unaware that there are real and effective alternatives.
Mobile Expense Management or Telecom Expense Management (TEM) services can go some way to helping to manage these issues, however these services still rely on processing mobile invoices and data provided by the mobile networks. As these invoices are produced many weeks after the costs were actually incurred, the TEM provider is unavoidably always playing catch up when it comes to managing mobile usage and costs. And when it comes to making changes to remove costs, the TEM provider also has to still rely on the unresponsive mobile supplier to physically implement any changes and correct errors. This process takes significant time and resources to manage, and it requires customers to pay for third party TEM services on top of their mobile costs.
There are however a small number of fully “Managed Mobile Services” like those provided by Utelize; that allow you to keep your underlying mobile network (e.g. Vodafone or O2), but to have every element of the services proactively and transparently managed, all in your business interests.
These managed service providers (MSP’s) have direct access to the underlying mobile network usage data, and full control of all provisioning, billing and administration processes. This makes it much simpler for the MSP to streamline mobile administration and quickly identify wastage and excess usage proactively throughout the month. Allowing the MSP to take action long before these issues translate into significant over budget spending, and long before the bill is raised. Importantly, much of this work can be completed without any need for resource from the customer’s in-house IT team.
Finally, the MSP can often blend together a range of more flexible wholesale contract terms, to deliver a more tailored contract that better meets each customer’s requirements. Enabling the MSP to deliver improved support to your users and business, greater contract flexibility and long-term cost savings through proactive management and the removal of wastage and excess charges. Often, amounting to a “total cost of ownership” (TCO) saving of 20% or more from your long term total cost of providing and managing mobiles.
If you think your business is suffering from one or more of the seven symptoms of using an “unmanaged” mobile service, and you’d like to learn more about Utelize’s managed mobile services then please get in touch or click here to download our free Best Practice Guides or white papers on mobile management.