Posted by Brownlee Thomas on January 13, 2012
I've had several conversations with Forrester IT clients in sourcing and vendor management and infrastructure and operations roles during the past few months about how-when-why-who to outsource mobility management. The top drivers identified are: 1) concerns over perceived and detected escalating international mobile roaming costs and how to avoid/stop/reduce them; 2) corporate-level sourcing strategies to consolidate vendors in order to reduce the burden on stretched IT and administrative resources responsible for telecom services contract negotiations, and invoice processing and chargeback; and 3) a need to understand whether a move to more individual-liable user (ILU) mobile services to respond to consumerization and user demand for more choice in smart connected devices (including personal) would erode corporate contract price benefits and also increase IT support burden. I generally recommend they start by conducting an audit of their mobile spend using a third-party service, and then poll heavy users and their managers about interest in, and support and subsidy expectations in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. Next, firms should reach out to two or three of their main mobile service providers, like Vodafone, AT&T Mobility, Verizon, Orange, Sprint, and Telefonica about their telecom expense management (TEM) and mobile device management (MDM) capabilities, and about ILU programs that might even benefit rather than erode the company's price discounts for corporate-liable user (CLU) accounts, and even contribute to meeting overall telecom revenue commitments under a Master Service Agreement that includes fixed-line services (if they have any). There are several dozen (albeit mostly small and privately held) pure-play TEM providers that offer telecom audit consulting, either specifically focused on single-country or regional mobile services or more broadly on multicountry fixed-line and mobile telecoms. The large global systems integrators like Accenture, CSC, and IBM (which is buying Emptoris [previously Rivermine]) also offer auding services along with TEM and MDM. User company comments are welcomed.