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November 2, 2010
3 Min Read
Visage Mobile, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of mobility management tools for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and enterprises, announced Tuesday new features for its MobilityCentral service, which helps companies manage company-owned mobile devices being used by employees.
The new features in the fall 2010 release of MobilityCentral improve ease of use, security, and scalability.
MobilityCentral lets companies view, manage, track, and report expenses, policies, inventory, and other aspects of their mobile devices, which, according to Tim Weingarten, Visage Mobile CEO, can include everything from "12-key feature phones, smartphones, [and] tablets like iPads, to an AirCard in a laptop, a ruggedized custom device built into a dashboard, or a reader on a power meter."
MobilityCentral could include desktops, Weingarten acknowledged, "But we focus on mobility, because that's a major pain point for companies -- devices that have wireless connectivity, typically with recurring monthly charges, with a cost and connectivity element that needs to be examined in the context of your employee base, along with device and billing information."
"We take in data about your mobility program -- information about each device, what plans and features a device has, employee data from any [human resources] database, and the carrier data and plans," said Weingarten. "We provide reporting, analytics, and metrics like how much your company is spending, whether the right employees have the right privileges, and that IT has control over all these assets." One barrier to adoption of mobile corporate wireless devices, according to Visage, is the time, resources, and complexities of managing them, especially the expenses of wireless plans. By making this management easier, and providing more insight into costs, "Our customers are able to reduce their costs, on the average, letting them have 50% penetration of mobile device use instead of the 15% based on reports from Forrester and other analysts," said Weingarten.
Many companies are managing their mobile device information with standard applications like Excel spreadsheets, according to Weingarten. "We are unaware of any current SaaS alternative."
User interface improvements in MobilityCentral's fall 2010 release include enhanced login security; updated informational icons to provide contextual, online help throughout the application; and enhanced navigation and dashboards.
In terms of carrier management, MobilityCentral now lets the administrator take bulk action with reconciliation to improve process efficiency; allows automated device profile creation to add new devices into inventory; and offers a visual indicator to show when a user, device, or billing record is in reconciliation. Additionally, the display offers enhanced detail on feature downloads to highlight premium services and potential out-of-policy usage.
Also, Visage has worked with its cloud provider to provide server clusters and enhancements to backend systems support to let customers scale the number of employees and devices being managed.
Most of Visage's customers are SMBs with between 100 and 1,000 employees, according to Weingarten, although the customer base includes companies from 50 employees through Fortune 1,000, and, according to Weingarten, are "across every vertical, including energy, oil, and gas companies, with a number in technology, financial, and trucking."
MobilityCentral's new features are available now to all users, at no additional charge. Pricing for Mobility Central is $2-4 per employee, per month, regardless of how many mobile devices a given employee has that are being managed.
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