All Mobile Users Are Not Alike, So Why Does Your Company Give Them All The Same Equipment And Service? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
12/10/2009
01:33 PM
Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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All Mobile Users Are Not Alike, So Why Does Your Company Give Them All The Same Equipment And Service?

A new Forrester Research report recommends that companies can save big money by segmenting users according to job roles and offering different devices, apps, and services for each segment.

A new Forrester Research report recommends that companies can save big money by segmenting users according to job roles and offering different devices, apps, and services for each segment.The report Cut Mobility Costs By Classifying Users, by Brownlee Thomas, PhD., with Christine Ferrusi Ross and Sean Galvin, also makes the controversial recommendation of disqualifying users from mobile service "when their job functions are location-specific and they don't need to be instantly reachable" -- regardless of job title!

Yikes!

You mean that company paid mobile connectivity isn't a right protected in the Constitution?

The report -- which surveyed enterprises for their biggest mobility challenges, but applies to SMBs as well -- suggests that IT and procurement departments should work together to audit current and past-year mobile spending and standardize packages for various roles. The authors identify five key roles:

  1. Frequent and regular international travelers
  2. Regular domestic travelers
  3. Field services and operations personnel
  4. Frequently out-of-the-office but mostly local mobile users
  5. Mostly in-office personnel who job requires continuous reachability, but not mobile calling, e-mail, or data access.

Then, natch, the report adds "high-level execs who insist on using their mobile phones" for most of their calls, and "a small number of users who's tenure and title make them reluctant to be reclassified into a lower-usage category."

Given all that, I would add that if you're planning on cutting off anyone's mobile service, you'll also want to involve HR and upper management, as you're likely to have some pretty unhappy former customers.

Other ways to save on mobile costs, the report says, include deferring purchases or buying refurbished equipment -- and not letting users "lose" their old device when new ones become available. Also in that vein, the report offers a useful tip to get user buy-in on controlling costs: "give them a copy of their billing statement -- the sticker shock is usually enough to correct unnecessary use."

Finally, the report also suggests getting some users to rely on their personal smartphones and service, perhaps reimbursing them via a fixed stipend or "shared-liability" option. That way, companies control costs and users get the phone they want.

Just be careful of the support nightmares...

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