Enterprise Management of Mobile Devices: Deployment

The lifecycle of an enterprise mobile device begins with device deployment. If on the other hand (as is becoming the norm), the devices in your enterprise are predominantly owned by the employees themselves, this activity can be easily skipped.

An effective device deployment strategy involves providing a limited selection of devices from which your users can choose from (providing a large selection would entail a broader support burden that in most cases is unnecessary). Additionally, the strategy entails negotiating with carriers about bulk pricing (including pooling data, text, and voice across your user base) and shorter contract length to allow you sufficient flexibility to evaluate effectiveness and pricing periodically.

If, however, you're tasked with deploying devices in the enterprise, you need to take the following factors into consideration:

  • Device selection(s): Opt for a limited set of devices to cater to a basic voice user as well as to the more advanced mobile device user. Device characteristics should reflect the enterprise policies we discuss earlier (device encryption, remote wipe capabilities, and so on).

  • Carrier selection(s): Depending on the size of your enterprise and whether or not roaming is needed, your carrier selection may vary. Typically going with a larger carrier provides better worldwide coverage, but if you require local roaming only, some of the tier 2 and tier 3 carriers have very good promotions and service.

  • Pricing terms: You need to negotiate bulk pricing that allows you to aggregate data, text, and voice across your users to give you better pricing based on consolidated usage and your users better flexibility by not having to carefully monitor their individual usage.

  • Contract lengths: You should negotiate contract lengths down to the smallest possible terms to allow you periodic evaluation of effectiveness and pricing from the carrier.

  • Warranty terms: Negotiate extended warranty terms for mobile device replacement as well as periodic upgrade terms because your users will expect reasonable upgrade cycles as technology and offerings advance.

Because the criteria used by similar-sized enterprises is about the same, you would be well on your way with device deployment by going ahead and copying, so to speak, from others. Look at competitors from your industry and others as well with similar company sizes, to draw upon their device deployment choices.

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