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Managed mobility services is a branch of enterprise mobility that is concerned with the acquisition, deployment, management, and service of mobile devices used by a company—particularly for corporate-liable devices. This includes:
It also involves monitoring the cost per employee of an enterprise mobile strategy, and working to make that cost as low as possible while still maintaining the necessary quality of service.
This is a strategy that some companies will attempt to do in-house. Some will even be successful if they play their cards right and learn the ins and outs of how mobility management works. But more and more companies are turning to experts who specialize in strategic mobile services to accomplish this. Why spread yourself thin becoming a jack-of-all-trades when you can entrust a specialist who knows their field better than you do and has experience putting its principles into practice?
For companies that are still new to enterprise mobility, hiring dedicated managed mobility services (MMS) specialists has multiple benefits in addition to improved cost transparency and management. One of these is less downtime. A quality MMS plan will include provisions to cover device malfunction, such as fully-prepared spares, help desk support, and expedited repairs and maintenance.
Another benefit is avoiding vendor lock-in, particularly with cloud services or cellular service providers. Vendor lock-in refers to barriers created by the vendor of a certain service. These barriers, such as proprietary hardware or an excessive switching cost, make the user dependent on the vendor. A particularly famous example of how this works involves a 2005 lawsuit against Apple Inc. by an upset consumer. The consumer claimed by ensuring that music purchased through iTunes was only usable on Apple devices, the company was limiting customers unfairly. Apple has since removed restrictions from its music files, to the great pleasure of many. While this isn’t specific to mobility services, it illustrates one of the ways in which a vendor can lock you in. Other ways include proprietary mobile app development, high cancellation fees, and lack of interoperability with other platforms.
One of the ways that an MMS provider helps avoid vendor lock-in is by having experience with negotiating and tailoring services just for you. This helps prevent lock-in before it happens. They can also help get you out of a locked-in situation. Many people stay in a disadvantageous mobility strategy because they simply find it too complicated to change vendors or services. By having a third-party enterprise mobility firm manage your MMS for you, you are ensuring that an experienced professional is taking care of these elements. This ensures that each is optimized for cost efficiency and usability.
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