4. What about wireless costs, telecom expense management?
Controlling telecoms bills using telecom expense management (TEM) usually depends on the analysis of consolidated call and data information from a single corporate plan, but this is hard to carry out with employee-liable devices connected to multiple carriers, often on the employees' own plans.
These include individual phone usage analysis (including the proportion of usage outside work hours, for example,) determining the distribution of employee-owned phones by carrier to enable the negotiation of carrier volume discounts, and offering alerts when the user starts to roam internationally so that roaming can be shut off or an appropriate roaming plan can be established.
Currently very few solutions include much in the way of expense management, but as the mobility management systems market matures an increasing number will include capabilities of one sort or another.
5. What other mobility management features are offered?
No two mobile management software systems are identical, so it's important to know exactly what features are offered or are in the pipeline. These may include:
- procurement portals to enable employees to purchase supported devices
- stand-alone encryption capabilities
- proprietary e-mail and messaging applications
- application and content management
- virus scanning
- mobile asset management
- message archiving
The mobility management market is evolving so rapidly that it is impossible to recommend individual vendors or products, or even to say which vendors support which platforms - this type of information would be out of date almost as soon as it is published. Costs also vary, but as an indication, Good Technology charges around $2500 for its management server and a base price of $99 per user for a client access license before volume discounts.
According to Aberdeen Group's research, the total cost of ownership per mobile employee for the most efficient enterprises it looked at was 70 percent less than the least efficient ones. "And there is a direct correlation between the use of mobility management compliance and control systems and lower costs," said Borg. That means choosing the right mobility management system doesn't just make sense from the mobility management and security points of view -- it also makes sound financial sense.