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Xigo's Telecom Expense Management Blog
Blog Entries from 04/2012
Last month, we began compiling a list of some of the most commonly used acronyms in the world of TEM. Our initial list was just the beginning and we will continue to add to it on a regular basis. Do you use a specific telecom or mobile acronym at your organization? Something we missed? If so, please tweet these terms to @xigonow #TEM.
4G is the fourth generation of mobile communications standards. 4G is the upgraded and faster version of its predecessor, third generation (3G) standards. A "G" is a generation of wireless technology. Each generation offers significantly faster Internet access than the previous generation. A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband Internet access, allowing things to download faster, reach receipts in a shorter time and potentially act as a replacement for home wired broadband.
Chief Mobility Officer (CMO) ‘CMO’ no longer just refers to the Chief Marketing Officer in organizations. These days, more and more corporations are seeing the value of a person dedicated to the management and implementation of smartphone and tablet strategies. A CMO will ensure that organizations are ahead of the latest mobile trends, manage the device choice and purchasing decisions and work to streamline mobile initiatives that occurring across a variety of departments.
Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) CYOD borrows from the best elements of BYOD. The CYOD model offers employees broad choices for devices, services and applications in a company-defined portfolio but provides a robust, scalable mobile infrastructure and predictable end-user support scenario, often at a lower cost and with less overhead than the BYOD model.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) is a software or service that supports internally-developed enterprise mobile applications. MAM solutions also have the ability to manage commercially available mobile apps that are used in business settings on both company-provided and BYdOD smartphones and tablet computers.
Mobile Security Management (MSM) Given the amount of smartphones in the workplace and the ease in which a device can be lost or stolen, IT departments must secure mobile devices that are connected to corporate networks. MSM is a service used by IT managers to track devices and ensure that company information isn’t being compromised if a mobile device is lost or stolen.
Mobile Worker Support (MWS) A mobile workforce is a powerful tool for reducing costs and creating efficiency, but what happens when a device is stolen, breaks, or if an employee is not able to access the corporate network? Companies often set up MWS as a central location to assist employees with mobile needs. MWS creates a central place in a corporation for all things mobile, helping to ensure that mobile polices remain consistent and security polices are being adhered to.
We recently completed reviewing the 2011 patterns and usage for all the devices under our management last year and wanted to share some of the more interesting findings with all of you.
In addition to usage figures, Xigo’s quarterly research tracks the types of devices used and which carriers enterprises are subscribed to. It’s been well reported already that BlackBerry usage has decreased at the enterprise level. Among our users there was a decrease of 9% in 2011, dropping from 71% in January to 62% in December.
While this is not surprising, what is surprising is that the "other" category (which would include Android devices) was the biggest gainer, moving up over 6 points from 19% in January to 25% in December.
Despite the press and discussion of Apple devices driving BYOD situations, during the same time period iPhone use only increased from 10% in January to 13% in December.
Carrier subscription numbers also remained surprisingly consistent throughout 2011, with all of the major four carriers retaining their market share. Verizon ranged from 38%-40% market share and didn’t see a visible bump from the availability of the iPhone, at least not among our enterprise users.
AT&T also retained its numbers all year long, ranging from 38%-39% market share. Sprint remained at the low end at 10%-11%, as did T-Mobile with 9%-10% (amidst a failed merger) and the "other" category staying right around 3%.
These statistics show that enterprises are remaining loyal to their current carriers—but not their devices. We can expect these numbers to continue along this path as consumerization of the workplace continues to take hold and enterprises adopt additional BYOD and CoIT policies.
According to a recent survey, 85% of hospital IT departments allow doctors and staff to use personal devices at work. Furthermore, we also know that doctors are 250% more likely to own a tablet than other consumers. It’s now clear that BYOD in healthcare has arrived and is here to stay.
Despite many organizations’ best efforts to create tight security policies around the mingling of work and personal information, recent studies and anecdotal evidence have shown that it is still occurring. Along with enforcing HIPAA regulations and ensuring that patient data is not accessed outside of secure, approved systems, strong policies must also be put in place when healthcare professionals are using their own devices to manage the costs and risks associated.
Xigo has met with its clients and come up with a few additional rules (beyond HIPAA compliance and device/network security) for healthcare IT departments either deploying BYOD, such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, or being forced to consider it by employees.
Six rules to consider when it comes to managing BYOD in healthcare organizations:
Educate Doctors and Nurses About Appropriate Usage of Devices
Ensure that smartphones and devices are set up properly so that personal and professional information is not mixed together. We’re not even talking about patient information here—that should never even be a possibility—but rather inter-office communication, timesheets, etc. This will ensure that important information is not lost and healthcare institutions are not incurring expenses when personal applications are used during work hours.
Manage Smartphone Applications—They Can be Distracting and Costly
There are thousands of smartphone applications available for purchase these days. These apps can be very costly for healthcare organizations. Make sure your policies are set prior to launching BYOD programs. Certain applications may need to be turned off or blocked during work hours to avoid unnecessary distractions and costs.
Not all Providers Offer Appropriate Plans for Healthcare Organizations
Healthcare institutions should do the necessary research to understand all the various providers and plans and choose the one that will best support their organization’s specific needs.
Renegotiate Wireless Contracts
With the influx of tablets and smartphones, wireless companies are constantly changing their corporate service plans. Data and phone plans should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure health organizations are not paying for unused services and are fully maximizing their mobile spend. Greater use of Wi-Fi in the healthcare facility can help to mitigate expenses.
Track Unused Devices
More often than not, unused devices can go unnoticed but not canceled. It is essential to track hospital issued devices to ensure you are not paying for ones that are sitting in a drawer.
Have a mobile expense management (MEM) plan in place before implementing BYOD
Mobile expense management software can help organizations manage these devices and service plans, track monthly expenses, budget for new devices and see real-time updates of your mobile expenses. This software can prevent waste, fraud and bill shock from being an issue in your organization.
There was an article I read in the Wall Street Journal recently that focuses on the growing issue surrounding corporate adoption of iPads and other tablet-like devices.
The article discussed how more and more companies are investing in these devices, thinking that they’ll quickly and easily cut costs and improve productivity. However, while these devices can be incredibly valuable for those reasons, there are many ways in which they can go wrong.
Forrester research estimates that approximately 25% of computers used for work globally are tablets and smartphones, not PCs.
While that number is impressive, many organizations have no idea what they’re getting themselves into, because they don’t do the necessary leg work and research before adopting them, especially when it comes to upfront and ongoing expenses.
The article highlights the top five biggest mistakes companies have made and what those mistakes have taught them. They include:
- Neglecting to have a roll-out plan for the devices
- Not completely understanding what tablets are – what they’re good for and what their limitations are
- Having unrealistic expectations about being able to obtain all the apps employees need to do their jobs
- Overestimating tablets’ ease of security and support; and most importantly,
- Thinking tablets are less expensive and more cost-effective than laptops
Much like the recent mass adoption of smartphone use across enterprises, many companies don’t realize the costs involved with adopting and running these types of devices.
For example, the article highlights software giant SAP AG, who recently distributed 14,000 tablets to employees and says it plans to replace them every 18 months or so to take advantage of the latest software and hardware improvements.
While this will undoubtedly help SAP stay ahead of the curve, it will cost the company an astronomical amount of money, aside from just implementation and upgrade costs. Because tablets also change the enterprise IT cost structure, company and employee mobility costs are driven way up. Therefore, companies need to have the right plans in place to support the massive amounts of data that will be consumed and paid for on a monthly per device basis. And this can get complex and very costly if not handled correctly.
This is where Mobile Expense Management (MEM) can help not only manage these massive and complex wireless plans and bills, but more importantly, can help save a tremendous amount of money on expenses.
Here’s a recent post we wrote, providing some valuable tips and best practices for managing smartphone and tablet expenses, such as paying attention to all providers’ offerings, rules and policies, reviewing and inspecting carrier plans on a regular basis, and taking advantage of WiFi in the office to help save money.
Our very own Dave Spofford was just featured in a Dimension Data blog post, so we thought it was too good not to share. In a spotlight Q&A, Spofford shares his thoughts about the recent acquisition and his tips and best practices on how to manage telecom expenses in the face of the growing BYOD trend. He also discusses the differences between Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Mobile Expense Management (MEM) and how they help manage increasing mobility in the enterprise workforce.
Take a look and please let us know if you have any comments or feedback on the subject.
Just wanted to share another interesting post from the folks over at Dimension Data Australia. In this post, CIO Ian Jensen discusses the impact the iPhone 4S will have on enterprise organizations and how they can prepare. While the launch of the 4S has come and gone, the device is starting to now be widely adopted across many enterprises. To that end, Ian provides some insightful tips and best practices on helping large-scale businesses manage these devices that may assist you in your own roll-outs.
For specific tips on leveraging MEM to better manage expenses for the iPhone 4S, tablets and other devices, take a look at one of our recent posts on the subject.
Governments are under immense pressure these days. Budgets are getting smaller and the spending decisions of officials and agencies are under the microscope. For example, in the state of Washington, state officials are currently dealing with a $1 billion budget shortfall. In an effort to put a dent in this number, Governor Chris Gregoire issued a directive in November 2011 for state agencies to look for ways to cut mobile device spending.
Well, look they did—and they were amazed at what they found.
In a press release recently issued by the Governor’s office, it is reported that this directive has already led to the discovery of 6,416 cellular devices that could be better optimized by consolidating plans, taking unused devices out of service and pooling minutes. In fact, the governor’s office says 3,450 unused or unnecessary mobile devices have been eliminated, and nearly 3,000 more have been made cheaper by moving them to better plans. This simple act has already saved the taxpayers of Washington nearly $1.7 million.
Here is a breakdown of the mobile devices from the Governor’s report:
We would like to congratulate Governor Gregoire and her team for successfully identifying thousands of unused devices and optimizing the thousands of devices that are necessary to keep the State of Washington running efficiently.
More often than not, unused devices go unnoticed but not canceled. They end up in a desk drawer somewhere collecting dust—but still accruing expenses against the bottom line. Large organizations need to be aware of the solutions available that will help identify unused devices and protect you from the start from paying more than you should.
Mobile Expense Management (MEM) solutions help large organizations track mobile devices and their usage. If an employee leaves their job or receives a mobile device upgrade, MEM solutions have the capability of monitoring these devices to ensure organizations are not double paying for service plans or paying for unused devices.
With BYOD programs increasing among government organizations, it is even more important to know who’s using (or not using) what. More advanced devices cost organizations more, and its not inconceivable to think that in a BYOD world, employees might leave a job with their device in tow, but not their bills—and their former employers would be none the wiser.
As part of our ongoing cramming education series, we wanted to offer mobile expense management professionals everywhere the chance to tout their cramming knowledge, and enter to win a free year-long subscription to Xigo Pro*($950 value), Xigo’s time saving, self-service mobile expense management solution.
Take a look at this sample wireless bill below. Name all the charges below that would most likely get you fired (hint: ignore the highlighted sections).
- 1, 7, 8, 9
- 3, 4, 6, 7, 10
- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11 –OR-
- 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11
To win, tweet your response to @XigoNow and let us know what you think. The contest will end on Friday, April 13, at which time we’ll post the winning answer. Good luck!
Random cramming fact: Did you know that over $2 billion worth of unauthorized charges appear on phone bills each year? Be sure to follow @XigoNow to learn some great tips on how to avoid these types of charges.
*Xigo Pro is only available for companies that use U.S. mobile carriers.