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Mobile Management Featured Article

August 11, 2009

Choosing from Diverse Mobile Management Models

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

The days when mobile services were not an integral part of the business environment are long gone. In fact, as mobile services continue to be a regular part of productivity discussion, organizations of all sizes have embraced some type of mobile model for employees.
In a recent white paper, titled “Mobile Management Models”, Pankaj “PJ” Gupta, founder of Amtel (News - Alert), lays out important issues companies struggle with from what is the right structure to manage mobile services network and different models to consider.
The California-based company specializes in cost management of mobile resources and improving productivity at the enterprise level.
In recent years, the subject has garnered much closer attention as the number of devices have increased, bringing with it the complexity in maintaining them and controlling costs.
According to Gupta there are numerous issues to consider when trying to rein in mobile management expenses.
For starters, he writes, there is the Individual Liable or Stipend Model that many organizations are offering a flat stipend to their employees towards reimbursement of their mobile service charges.

The Stipend Model has the lowest accounting and limited IT overhead, while allowing individuals buy their own services. The company can add a fixed amount to as a reimbursement towards mobile spend.
Gupta notes there are numerous drawbacks, including missing out on deals often offered for corporate purchasing power for plans and the ability to pool optimization of calling rates.
For companies that prefer a more hands-on, control-oriented approach, the Individual Liable with Corporate Discount option allows the organization to negotiate discounts with the carrier. In turn, the employees then buy the equipment and plans. Invoices are then reimbursed through a company’s T&E expenses or fixed stipend.
One of the most pervasive options seems to be the Corporate Liable Centralized in which the organization provides the device and the calling plans. The devices and calling plan have a corporate discount and all the phones are owned by the organization. At the same time, billing is managed centrally and the company is able to take a full deduction of mobile expenses for tax purposes, according to Gupta.
For a complete breakdown of all the option, read the white paper here.

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Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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