Mobile technology is a major challenge for IT managers. The number of mobile devices — particularly smartphones — that connect to enterprise networks has skyrocketed over the past few years. Managing that kind of growth is no small task, which is why it’s a good idea to consider partnering with a reseller (rather than directly with a carrier, such as Verizon or AT&T) to procure, configure and deploy smartphones and tablets.
By working with a third-party provider, your organization can develop a proven mobility plan, simplify deployment and potentially save thousands of dollars in hardware and carrier service fees. At the root of these benefits is the close working relationship that resellers have with both hardware vendors and carriers. Here are five reasons why organizations should consider a move.
- The end of subsidies: In years past, most smartphones were purchased under a two-year contract from a cellular provider. Now, carriers tend to offer payment plans that spread the cost of the device over two years, but organizations can cut costs by purchasing unlocked handsets elsewhere and registering them with a carrier. Resellers can provide unlocked handsets at competitive prices, and provide lease financing to spread out the burden on budgets. In addition, organizations can benefit from taking advantage of out-of-contract monthly service pricing from carriers.
- Streamlined account configuration: A reseller can handle much of the grunt work involved in setting up phones. Through this service, the reseller scans devices and SIM cards and sends account information associated with each device and SIM card to the carrier for activation. This can significantly speed up large deployments. SIM cards for your carrier of choice can also be installed by the configuration center, saving your IT staff time they can use to work on other projects.
- Assured security: Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Samsung’s Mobile Enrollment Program (MEP) both ensure that phones conform to defined security policies, including the use of mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) applications. Certified Apple resellers can work with your IT team to create an enterprise DEP profile that resides on Apple’s servers. The first time devices are powered up and connected to the network, they link to Apple’s DEP servers and auto-configure the device using the organization’s designated DEP profile. The devices cannot be used until the DEP profile is loaded. If a device’s configuration changes — for example, due to a factory reset — the boot-time DEP process once again requires the user to deploy the official organization DEP profile. The system ensures that all deployed handsets meet security policies.
- Cost savings: When you buy devices from a carrier, billing for cellular service typically starts on delivery. But IT shops often need several weeks to configure and physically prepare smartphones and tablets. Resellers can work with cellular providers to defer billing initiation until the actual rollout, yielding significant savings. In some cases, purchasers can earn bill incentive credit for tablets and other devices discounted by a carrier but purchased at retail price from the reseller. The price difference is applied as a rebate against the monthly service bill.
- Logistical support: Managing scores or hundreds of smartphones and cellular data plans is complicated. Mobile-savvy resellers can help fill the gaps or provide end-to-end support, from initial purchase and configuration to crafting an all-encompassing EMM plan and supporting delivery and rollout. Resellers can also align mobile deployments with an EMM suite — such as VMware AirWatch, IBM MaaS360, Citrix XenMobile and MobileIron — that provides comprehensive management of mobile devices and environments.
Managing mobile technology is a big task that keeps getting bigger as the number of devices grows. Partnering with a reseller that provides mobility services and specialists ensures that your organization gets the most out of its mobile spending.