When it comes to corporate mobility management, optimizing expenses is easily a full-time job, especially as wireless costs are growing at a rate of 30 percent or more each year. Although advances in mobile technology have freed professionals to work beyond physical office boundaries, it is a newfound freedom that comes with a cost.
Effective mobility management for hundreds of devices presents a unique challenge with a subsequent solution that offers big savings opportunities. Let’s explore three actionable and proven methods for saving a minimum of 5 percent on any corporate wireless bill:
Suspend a line today to save a lot of money tomorrow with zero-use devices.
Although it is simple for administrators to identify zero-use lines in their wireless program, there are certainly fears about cancelling those devices. It is important to consider several roadblocks that could arise before cancelling service for zero-use devices, including the following:
Carrier Zero Use report: Verify that the lines being suspended are warranted for termination. Analyze the company bill to identify zero or low usage carriers, but also request an explicit zero-use report from carriers for a thorough comparison. Consider how the company’s interpretation of the bill data compares with the estimation of the carrier’s zero-use report. This can effectively identify even a few users who may have had their usage cut off unnecessarily.
Data lag: The time it takes for bill data to become available, assembled and analyzed can take two weeks to one month or even longer with complications or communication delays. Be aware of this time period and assure users that their services are not being terminated prematurely.
Suspend first: Although users could be utilizing a spare device in the data lag time, there is still the fear that service will shut off. While these concerns cannot be eliminated completely, they can be mitigated. To give users peace of mind and avoid a logistical nightmare, suspend the line of service and cancel at the cycle date.
Exchange traded funds (ETF) break-even: Users’ waivers can present a concern, as well. However, a simple break-even analysis can curtail any issues. First, consider how long users should continue to pay for monthly service before the ETF is the same cost. It is rarely advisable that all zero-use lines are cancelled. It is generally worth the wait financially to see if someone starts using a Zero Use line.
Similarly, administrators commonly keep extra lines around as a backup pool. Although the concept makes sense in theory, there is a high risk that users will not actually activate the accounts. In that case, accounts remain unused while the company continues to order new lines of service for employees and pay full cost for dropped devices. Companies must also maintain good control over procurement processes to ensure that users cannot automatically upgrade within the carrier when their phone breaks.
Know to capitalize on the local MRC taxes associated with an end user’s subscriber address.
Mobility managers in enterprises often do not closely consider the different taxes associated with wireless bills. As taxes present a gray area in terms of optimization, it is important to consider the best ways to capitalize on taxes and how they affect the program overall.
Most commonly, users do not realize that every phone number has a subscriber address tied to it. Overage charges are not billed to the phone’s primary location or even the billing address—they are tied to a specific subscriber address. Always request a list of these addresses from the carrier.
While mass-changing every user’s subscriber address to the cheapest tax-back possible is too extreme, it is beneficial to be aware of where users’ taxes are being calculated from, especially in light of travel or relocation. After considering where the tax rates are, where users are located and adjusting every subscriber address, tax rates can vary between 5-20 percent. Although a complicated process, it is worth taking time to consider—and significant savings can be a result.
Be aware of how and when to identify the underutilization of messaging.
Companies tend to overlook messaging when it comes to cutting costs, not just in terms of overages, but in identifying underutilization. Messaging is simple to track because it is so isolated; there are no pooling or text plans, and companies can make personalized decisions based on individual usage. A user’s messaging pattern generally remains consistent, but if pattern changes occur, they usually come in big swings before reaching a steady state again.
It is imperative to note the distinction between optimizing on overages and underutilization. Maintaining an expensive plan with a relatively large allowance is a misuse of expenses. While cutting back for one user can save about $15 each month, taking underutilization into account for hundreds or thousands of users can save exponentially.
Fortunately, administrators do not have to consider an entire account if they do not want to. It is effective to simply pick out 100 lines, consider individuals’ plans and patterns and make changes on only 20 lines if need be. The extremely segmented process allows for flexibility.
There are always more ways to cut costs, but these three simple steps are the start to saving your company on burdening wireless finances.
Scott Kraege is a director at MOBI Wireless Management
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Edited by Jennifer Russell