How Much Wireless Support Does a Company Need?
This allows flexibility for end-user choice while shortening the company’s resources and their associated learning curve of supporting a select number of device types. If the company is the “Wild West”, allowing end-users to bring any device with a variety of OS’s into the corporate environment the time to support these devices grows immensely.
In addition to types of device OS’s, companies should periodically measure the impact of the increased mobile devices on their own network. All new smartphone devices have Wi-Fi capabilities and since these devices don’t physically connect to a corporate network, it can be easy to forget that they do consume bandwidth and other resources. More and more employee devices increase the need to track their access to the corporate network and its impact on internal bandwidth and network server resources.
Does the company utilize a web-based portal? And the million dollar question: do the employees, as end-users, have access to the portal?
As technology progresses web portals are becoming a hub for managing and delivering a variety of information, tools, applications and access points through a single platform. Many companies have a variety of information and business rules specific to different roles and work units across their business. Portals provide the platform needed to better centralize elements within a mobile telecom environment. End-user access allows them to quickly submit requests or issues and get back to their daily responsibilities.
Portal solutions can provide workflow management, collaboration between work groups and policy-management. Most can also allow internal and external access to specific corporate information using secure authentication or single sign-on. The new generation of employees and management are relying on aggregated business intelligence from information sources through any electronic device.
Mobile Device Management
Does the company employ mobile device management (MDM)?
By controlling and protecting the data and configuration settings for all mobile devices in your corporation’s network, MDM can greatly reduce support costs and business risks. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of a mobile communications network while minimizing cost and downtime.
With mobile devices becoming ubiquitous and applications flooding the market, mobile monitoring is growing in importance. Numerous vendors help mobile device manufacturers, content portals and developers, test and monitor the delivery of their mobile content, corporate specific applications and services. Monitoring of the environment is done is real time and allows companies to proactively spot potential problems before they become issues.
If a company is considering engaging with an MDM solution there is an added layer of management the internal resources will be taking on. Most MDM solutions require a license for each user so it becomes extremely important to be able to report and take action on end-users entering and leaving your company. Some MDM’s also require the purchase of additional server equipment.
Does the company have access to set up or modify users on the Exchange, Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) or ActiveSync servers? Or, are they passing these action items to another team?
BlackBerry, Exchange and ActiveSync, are the most popular in mobile email access and push technologies that make communication on-the-go even easier. BlackBerry and ActiveSync enable synchronization with Microsoft Exchange servers for the latest updates of employee email, contacts, calendars and task lists on different email client software, such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Entourage and mobile email devices.
It is important to note there are limitations to each of these options. For example, ActiveSync does not allow you to restrict the number of devices the end-user can connect with one account. BES for the time being only supports BlackBerry devices; RIM is actively pursuing the ability to support iOS and Android devices through the BES.
Is the company an early adopter of new technology? Do end-users like to resolve issues on their own or do they prefer to talk to someone over the phone?
There is a great deal of technology available that will make your company more profitable and/or more efficient. They might even have specific people allocated to identifying and evaluating new technologies that could be beneficial to the company. Depending on the business model, companies might be inundated with vendors who promise that adopting their technology will save you money, increase productivity and make upper management giddy.
When is it time to adopt emerging technologies? Take a look at company culture. It is defined as the unique personality of your employees within your company and is based strongly on the position that management and upper management take toward change.
Some companies are average adopters and always will be. The more cautious adoption timeline works for them and the people they employ. And some companies have a reputation for their vision and innovation, thus attracting employees who thrive on the risks and excitement of new technologies and change.
Taking these factors into account can easily help determine the amount of support companies need and ultimately drive them to the best decision. The productivity and financial well-being matters. Don’t let wireless difficulties stand in their way.