How to Shave 25% Off Wireless Costs

Most mobile managers could slash their company's wireless phone bill by about a quarter with very little effort, but instead throw dollars down the drain because they don't realize there are resources available to help maximize their budgets.

That's the claim made by Fernando Oliveira, director at Wireless Analytics, a Danvers, MA-based wireless managed services provider. The savings can be achieved, he said, by using rate plan optimization.

"When we carry out rate plan optimization, we take a company's carrier info and run it through our algorithms. If the company carries out the resulting recommendations, its savings could be as high as 60 percent or as low as 17 percent, but savings of 22 to 23 percent are most common," said Oliveira.

Enticing numbers, for certain, but what, exactly is involved in assessing rate plans?

Wireless Analytics is one of a number of companies offering rate plan optimization, and one thing these firms do is analyze the billing information from sizeable fleets of phones and identify zero-usage devices.

These could be handsets that belonged to ex-employees and have not been reallocated, and in many organizations they end up being put in a drawer and forgotten about, even though the company is paying for them every month. "In some cases these devices can remain inactive for years," said Oliveira.

Another area that the optimization process analyzes is text messaging costs.

Oliveira points out that there are unlimited text message plans available for around $15 per month, but some text-happy individuals in organizations rack up text message fees of $60 or more each month. Optimization identifies the individuals who should be put on a fixed-rate plan to reduce costs.

By carrying out optimization analysis, it is also possible to identify employees who may have unwittingly downloaded a ringtone or some other item that's incurring a monthly fee. "A non-business user would probably spot this and cancel it, but business users never see their monthly bills. In a large organization you could easily see $5,000 of these charges incurred every month without them providing any benefit," said Oliveira.

Clearly, optimization services can spot problems such as zero-usage devices and excess text message charges at the moment in time when the bills are analyzed, but as time goes on these problems will start to re-occur.

For that reason, Oliveira recommends that companies evaluate their wireless plans on a regular basis. "For a manufacturer with a stable employee base, we'd recommend it every year or perhaps every six months," he said. "For a company in an industry such as pharmaceuticals, with an employee turnover of perhaps 30 percent per year, I'd say you could have an optimization every month or at least every quarter."

Although Wireless Analytics offers optimization assessments, its core service is outsourced lifecycle management of wireless devices. This can achieve two things, according to Oliveira. First, like optimization, it can reduce wireless telecoms bills substantially: "We can easily save the client easily 23 percent of their monthly spend in most cases, although that can vary from 18 percent to 43 percent. For this we would typically charge a 4 to 7 percent fee," he said.

TAGS:

wireless, optimization, mobile management, mobile cost saving, mobile enterprise
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