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Xigo's Telecom Expense Management Blog
Can you believe 2012 is nearly over? It seems like just yesterday Kony 2012, Gangam Style and Grumpy Cat dominated headlines and the collective human conscience. 2012 wasn’t without its game-changing technology breakthroughs that have lead to changes in the way employees work. While it is impossible to predict the future, there are some resolutions that corporations can make to place themselves in a prime position to optimize their telecom expense management strategies in 2013.
- Approach BYOD Cautiously… If at All – BYOD emerged as one of the dominant technology trends in 2012; however, the cracks in the strategy have begun to show. For 2013, we predict that CYOD (Choose Your Own Device), BTRD (Bring the Right Device) or COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled)—which you may well have already heard of—will overtake BYOD. These variations, where employers retain control over devices and security but empower employees to use them as they see fit, overcome the support, security and liability concerns of BYOD.
- Shed Dead Mobile Weight – Unused mobile phones still cost you money. This isn’t a misprint. The State of Washington was looking for areas to eliminate costs and found 3,450 inactive phones (i.e., not in use and shut off, but not de-activated) belonging to government employees that cost the state $1.14 million annually. Gaining visibility into your company’s inactive, moderate and power users will help technology leaders tailor their mobile strategy to the unique needs of each employee in the workforce.
- Avoid Extraneous Mobile Activity While Traveling Abroad – Global travel is a regular function of business in the flat world. Unfortunately, outlandish mobile expenses tend to come along with the territory. Make sure employees know the repercussions of their actions while they are on the road. Something as simple as streaming Pandora for ten minutes can cost up to $583.68 in certain regions of the globe.
- Push for Data Pooling – Major telecom carriers have begun to offer consumers data pooling plans that allow groups – primarily families – to more effectively manage their mobile bandwidth. Why are these options not available to enterprises? Companies should work with their carriers to push for these offerings because it would allow organizations to purchase shared resources rather than buying a “one-size-fits-all” plan for their entire organization.
From everyone here at Dimension Data | Xigo, we hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. We’ll see you in the New Year.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 1 in 6 mobile device users have experienced some form of bill shock.
As 2012 comes to a close, we though it was as good a time as any to recap some of the egregious instances of bill shock that made headlines this year – and share advice for how to prevent these massive charges from even being an issue next year.
The cost of sending 10 plain text emails is $6.65, which doesn’t seem like a great expense. Until you decide to go to Canada on a business trip and you send/receive 105 in a day (which is the average amount an employee sends/receives every day), at a cost of $69.83. Spend a whole week there working and you’ve spent almost $350.00.
Or say you’re on a family trip and wanted to get a movie for your family to watch. Well, if you’re visiting the pyramids in Egypt and are fans of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy, you’re out of luck. If you streamed “The Dark Knight” from Egypt you’d have just rung up a $2,400.00 bill.
But there are ways to protect yourself and your company from these outrageous costs, short of deciding to never travel or never use a mobile device again. Using Wi-Fi is important – but maybe not as important as turning data roaming, email fetch and push notifications to the “off” setting, so your phone isn’t using data behind-the-scenes.
Simply understanding the ways that these mobile devices use data “in the background” and putting an end to it while traveling can dramatically decrease your bill.
So check out our latest infographic (below) and get informed. Share these tips for eliminating overages and let’s make 2013 the year that outrageous charges become a thing of the past.
Would you rely on your banking provider to review your monthly statements to ensure that they had not charged you illegitimate overdraft of foreign transaction fees? Unlikely.
This same principle applies to telecom carriers offering expense management and related services.
Why would an enterprise enlist its mobile carrier’s services to manage mobility usage and spend, optimize rate plans and validate its invoices? Is it in a consumers’/enterprises’ best interest to work with its carrier on mobile management, as they’re the ones who have direct financial benefit from the charges on every monthly bill? The scenario presents a situation where the service provider “fox” is in the corporate IT “hen house.”
AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have each made a recent foray into the IT services market via expense management and related service offerings. In a recent piece on Channel Pro, “Mobile Carriers—Threat or Opportunity?,” Sandra Gittlen points out that “carriers will win on price because they can bundle services for existing customers or offer rock-bottom introductory offers to new customers.”
Cost is hardly the issue. Carriers will not be able to beat third-party expense management providers when it comes to objectivity and customer service surrounding mobility plans and spend. Experts quoted throughout the ChannelPro story are not convinced that national carriers have the bandwidth and expertise, as well as an understanding of its clients’ unique requirements, needed to make sound, customized recommendations.
The growing BYOD trend further confuses this move by carriers as a single enterprise would also have contracts across multiple carriers, which would make it more of an obstacle to try to work directly with carriers for value added services of this type. Even if it was effective, it would only shed light onto the mobile usage and cost of a segment of the workforce thus creating a complicated, fragmented expense management environment. There is value in looking at expense and usage across your entire network.
According to a McKinsey report [Winning in the SMB Cloud: Charting a Path to Success] published in the summer of 2011, “as companies [like the carriers] grow larger and more complex it becomes more difficult and more expensive to provide customized offerings through different segments of customers.”
While it is difficult to foresee the success of carriers’ expense management and related services, enterprises should assume the responsibility to monitor its mobile billing or to enlist a neutral third-party to help manage the process and safeguard against billing errors and employee abuse. This is the prudent way to keep the enterprise data “hen house” protected.