Companies spend a great deal of time analysing and putting together mobile contracts that meet their business demands, yet business mobile estate management is often overlooked.
“Effective mobile estate management is critical to reducing mobile costs, delivering ROI and getting the most out of your contracts”, reveals Juliette Lee, mobile sales director at Opus.
What does effective business mobile estate management look like? How can you qualify the effectiveness of your own mobile estate management and which business mobile services can you leverage to better manage your estate and deliver the mobile ROI you’ve promised?
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An effective mobile estate is underpinned by a clean database. What does this look like?
Additionally, the database includes any other line identifiers required to help finance, HR and all of the other teams that support the end-users with a clear overview of the mobile estate, from records such as where each device is assigned to specific mobile numbers for users.
"Effective mobile estate management is critical to reducing mobile costs, delivering ROI and getting the most out of your contracts."
Juliette Lee, Mobile Sales Director, Opus
Tariffing is often one of the first places a company will look when reviewing the effectiveness of its mobile estate generally. While effective mobile estate management is broader than tariffing alone, it does play an important role in reducing costs and managing mobile usage.
“There are many ways in which moving a tariff can improve the effectiveness of mobile estate management”, Juliette explains. “It could be that you conduct a deep-dive into your estate’s mobile usage and discover some users who aren’t using their phones at all. Or perhaps you’ve signed up for a digital data plan, at a higher rental cost, when half of your users shouldn’t be using their mobile devices for anything more than calls. Provided your contract is flexible, being able to make that change delivers an instant cost-saving.”
Correct tariffing also includes:
Mobile estate management also extends to the technology and the devices a company uses. Consider the following:
If the company runs third-party applications, can it also confidently say what kind of content is running on the devices (and by extension, the corporate network)?
“You might set up your mobile estate hierarchy so that the board has open phones”, Juliette suggests. “Using their devices, they can do what they want, when they want. But as you start going through the hierarchical levels, you might want to start removing permissions or limiting access. You might not place any roaming bars on the board’s PAs, but you could set their devices so that they can’t move data from the work email outside of that sandbox.”
This specific example involves unified endpoint management (UEM) and it’s particularly relevant in highly regulated sectors such as Finance, where FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulations mean you often need to lock devices down to just the sandbox in order to comply with standards.
In-depth mobile estate management involves utilising the right technology to ensure your estate is fit for purpose within your sector. With it, organisations can surface inefficiencies, reveal cost sinks and more to highlight areas for cost-savings and optimisation.
“Which of your devices are dormant? Which devices have never been switched on? You can see that you're paying for users who aren't even using their devices”, Juliette explains.
These are just two signs that the mobile estate could be managed better.
Bill shock comes in many different forms and companies are quick to associate it with roaming costs but as we referenced earlier, it’s not always a symptom that the tariff isn’t right. The effectiveness of mobile estate management will directly impact monthly costs.
“It could be a question of who’s using which phones”, Juliette reveals. “You might have tailored bars and permissions to suit one user, but that person left four years ago and their phone has found its way into a new user’s hands. The original owner’s name is still attached to it and no one has updated the bars because the leaver’s process hasn’t been followed.”
This is an extreme example but it highlights how mobile estate management can quickly unravel if those processes aren’t followed and the account isn’t being properly managed. Even general mobile usage reports and alerts can help an organisation stay in control.
“When you're cleansing your database, do your mobile contact records match your starters and leavers? Good housekeeping is critical for ensuring that the ROI that you promised the board right at the beginning is actually being delivered.” Juliette Lee, mobile sales director, Opus
Small companies are just as vulnerable to poor estate management as large deployments. They may not have the same number of lines or the scale of inefficiencies but budgets are typically tighter among small to medium-sized businesses, meaning the same principles stand. Regardless of size, a mobile services provider who provides these tools and delivers a strong account management strategy is key to improving efficiencies and reducing costs.
“When you're cleansing your database, do your mobile contact records match your starters and leavers? Good housekeeping is critical for ensuring that the ROI that you promised the board right at the beginning is actually being delivered.”
Juliette Lee, Mobile Sales Director, Opus
Every mobile services provider should offer you at least basic portal functionality, but companies can significantly improve their ability to manage their business mobile estates by looking into what those portals deliver and how easy they are to use.
“An effective portal provides clear visibility of exactly what each user has and what line identifiers they have against their numbers”, Juliette states. “This is key to internal teams getting the data and the insights they need, be that mobile usage or account details.”
Self-service is also important. This is the ability to add and remove usernames and assign cost centres without having to rely on an external provider or network account manager.
“In-depth self-service even grants companies the functionality to apply and remove their own bars, for example. While you wouldn’t want to open this level of control to end-users, it demonstrates just how much of your estate management you can take into your own hands.”
In another example, Juliette explains how some self-service capabilities enable companies to add their own bolt-ons when user demands change, such as an international limit bolt-on when the sales team has a campaign targeting international prospects.
“Effective account management always comes back to people”, Juliette states. “Good behaviours exist to make sure money isn’t wasted and risk is minimised. No system or technology can replace that.”
Our customer experience specialists tailor our mobile services to suit each of our clients. One company might require in-depth account management and strategic reviews, while another won’t, so it’s important that we’re accommodating to each client’s individual needs.
“It’s our people who make that possible”, Juliette explains. “As a standard, our business mobile services team runs routine database cleansing activities with our clients to make sure their estates are where they need to be. It all comes back to making sure the contract we've promised works.”
As companies increase in size, mobile estate management becomes more strategic and detailed. For companies with under-100 lines, where budgets are tighter, it's making sure that no money is spent over and above what's been promised. Opus has the tools to deliver these promises and the people to make sure your mobile estate management is effective.
To chat with Juliette about mobile estate management or anything she’s shared here, get in touch today.