We spend a LOT of time in this community talking about enterprise mobility management. We continue to talk about mobile device management, and increasingly about mobile application management and mobile security. One thing that we don’t spend too much time talking about is wireless expense management. We don’t do that partly because I had hoped – given how much we have spoken about it in the past – that this was a pretty well understood (and still important) part of the market.
Then I watch the 6pm ABC News last night only to catch a new story about angry consumers who are surprised by their monthly wireless bills. You can read a small excerpt of that piece here.
All I can say is really? Really people???
Some guy in the ABC News story was appalled when he saw that his son had gone slightly over their 250 monthly text message allotment…and by slightly I mean an additional 2250 messages. That’s 900% overage for us math geeks. What does he do? He calls his wireless provider and says it’s THEIR fault that his son went over. Again….really??? Shouldn’t he have instead grounded his son by either taking away his device or making him pay the extra charges…and at the very least switched to an unlimited text plan?
I find these types of stories, and the outcomes where the FCC then goes on a PR campaign to strong arm the wireless carriers into making it THEIR responsibility to manage the behavior of their customers, ludicrous. The wireless carriers look like the bad guys because, as we move closer and closer to a collective idiocracy, we are no longer responsible for understanding what we are paying for…and certainly never reading the EULA or Terms of Service.
Now parlay this to the enterprise world.
Overages happen all the time. Employees go over their minute allotments…forget to either turn off wireless data roaming (or turn on the international data plan)…or may even download entire movies off their data cards when they’re in a roach motel 20 miles south from the middle of nowhere. The flip side is that there are tons of dumb phones, smartphones and data cards that go unused or significantly underused every month. The above examples clearly demonstrate why we still need (real time) wireless expense management solutions to make sure companies continue to monitor their wireless expenses to optimize them to their needs. By the way, the wireless expense management strategy should be predicated on clearly delineated mobility policies that every employee signs off on. You do that in your workplace….right?
Then again…why not just have no corporate liable devices and let the employees just behave as they may. You may work in a generous work environment where you might get a monthly subsidy/stipend. OK, that’s great…but what if you then go over your minutes or have to travel internationally for work and have to use your personal device?
So this morning, I will ask you to go back to the people who are responsible for mobility in your workplace and ask them about their mobility policies. What does it include? When was it last updated? What are the “penalties” for not complying or violating the policies?
Wireless expense management and mobility policy creation are STILL core to a mobility strategy….unless your workplace is being run by President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.