Mobility Lifecycle: Ordering and Provisioning New Mobile Devices

Your business’s information systems are a blend of hardware, software, data, and the networking that brings those things together. And with the ever-increasing capabilities of mobile devices, their usage in the field is also growing. But to be properly utilized by workers, their mobile devices need to be properly set up to work with existing information systems -- and this poses challenges for many businesses as they implement their mobility policies and practices.

Mobile Carriers are Interested in Selling Connectivity

The problem begins with the mobile carriers themselves. Because their primary business is connectivity, the sale of mobile devices becomes a secondary revenue stream that’s primarily designed to enable users to access that connectivity. Anything further than that would require a close partnership with its business customers on an individual basis in order to fully understand the systems used by the customer, and then to properly provision all of the devices with all of the right software to access those systems. It would be a cost center that carriers don’t want -- and accordingly, they don’t do it.

OEMs and Resellers are Interested in Selling Mobile Devices

A similar situation arises when businesses buy their mobile devices from third parties, or even directly from manufacturers. The business models of OEMs and device resellers are focused on selling phones, and they don’t have the time or interest in properly provisioning devices to meet a particular business’s need. Again, doing so would create a cost center that they don’t want -- and again, as with carriers, they won’t do it.

IT is Interested in IT Infrastructure

With carriers, OEMs, and resellers not interested in doing it, many businesses thus pass the responsibility for provisioning all of their mobile devices on to their internal IT departments. It makes a certain sense, on the face of it: the IT department will know all of the information systems in place, and will understand the inner workings of connecting to and utilizing those systems. The trouble with this strategy, though, is that IT departments are typically funded and staffed to take care of all of the existing systems -- and not to work on a massive influx of new mobile devices. For any business whose IT department is operating as optimally as possible, adding a slough of new responsibilities can only decrease how efficiently they operate -- which of course leads to increased inefficiencies, which in turn become costs that directly impact the bottom line. 

MMS Providers are Interested in Managing Mobility

There is a better way for businesses to handle all of this, though. By offloading the work of mobility management onto a dedicated provider of mobile device management and managed mobility solutions (MMS), a business can cut its costs while at the same time be assured that its mobile devices are managed properly throughout their entire lifecycle. That includes the very beginning of that lifecycle -- and can be even more efficient when the MMS provider is brought on board during the planning stages, before the first mobile devices are even purchased.

Here’s how we at Wireless Watchdogs find that it works best:

Understanding the Mobility Needs and Requirements

A business interested in implementing (or rethinking) its mobility implementation comes to us with use cases for what they need their mobility to do. Based on those use cases and our experience in the field, we are then able to do several things for them, including helping to guide them to the mobile devices that will suit their use cases, as well as sourcing those devices for them so that they get the best possible deal. That can include sourcing the latest devices, but also prior-generation devices where the capabilities are both suitable and scalable -- which saves money from the very beginning of the process by ensuring that our customers aren’t paying for tech that they won’t use, or that’s only marginally better than prior generations of devices. For businesses whose use cases reveal that their devices will be used in the field in less than optimal conditions, we also help them with recommendations on -- and procurement of -- the protective gear needed to protect their investment in the device.

Kitting and Provisioning Mobile Devices

Once we understand the systems and use cases involved, and the phones are received, we then properly kit and provision them. This step, as with the first step, is of course customized to the particular needs of each of our customers, and includes making sure that all of the required connectivity, functionality, and software is installed on each device, as well as appropriate safeguards such as ensuring that unwanted software can’t be installed. As mentioned, this removes the burdens and the costs from our customers’ IT departments, while at the same time ensuring that the mobile devices can do exactly what they need to do before they ever touch the hand of an end user.

Properly Equipping Mobile Device Users

Further, after making sure that the devices can do what they need to do, we also make sure that the users themselves can do what they need to do. As with everything we do, the exact details are customized to meet the special needs of each of our customers, but in a typical situation we will provide end users with a set of instructions on how to properly use their device. If it’s warranted, such as in cases where the business or IS requirements might be complex, we’ll also provide training for end users via webinars or even on-site, if it’s the most cost-effective way forward for our customers.

Going Beyond Ordering and Provisioning

 The challenges that businesses face at the beginning stages of implementing mobility policies and the beginning of the mobile device lifecycle are real -- but so is the solution outlined above.

At Wireless Watchdogs, we pride ourselves on our experience and expertise in helping our customers manage their mobility implementations throughout the entire mobile device lifecycle, from ordering and provisioning all the way through mobile device end-of-life. Wherever you are with your mobility initiatives, we invite you to contact us with your particular needs so we can help you get started on the path to greater efficiency and reduced costs.

If you'd like more information about implementing mobile device management in your business, be sure and check out this free, informative white paper:


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