This article originally appeared in the Oct. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY
Mobile communications is growing by leaps and bounds in consumer circles as well as in the workplace.
Worldwide sales of mobile devices to end users totaled 428.7 million units in the second quarter of 2011, a 16.5 percent increase from the second quarter of 2010, according to Gartner (News - Alert), Inc. The research firm forecasts that worldwide mobile connections will reach 5.6 billion in 2011, up 11 percent from 5 billion connections last year. IT research firm Forrester (News - Alert), meanwhile, tells us that 73 percent of the global enterprise workforce will be mobile users by 2012. That means the 187.9 million mobile users in 2008 will expand to a whopping 397.1 million individuals in 2012.
The ability for workers to communicate using Android (News - Alert) Smartphones, BlackBerries, iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices is great news for productivity and employee flexibility, as it enables people to get the job done whenever and pretty much wherever they want. At the same time, however, the mobile boom creates new challenges for organizations.
Many IT and telecom staffs, and executives, are grappling with how to manage and secure their networks and businesses in light of the onslaught of new, mobile devices. The bring-your-own-device trend, which has employees using their personal mobile phones and tablets for work-related tasks, and the fact that there are so many different kinds of mobile endpoints out there, only compound these challenges.
The mobile boom also means organizations are increasingly looking to manage expenses related not just to wireline, but to wireless devices and services as well. An ABI Research in a recent report indicates that wireless expense management is due to become a key issue for business IT departments. Indeed, for many businesses it has already.
To address all that, Amtel (News - Alert) offers a single platform that delivers mobile device management, and telecom expense management, including mobile expense management.
“Our solution can address expense management and device management – all from the same platform. That helps with ROI,” says Karlyn Gonzalez, Amtel manager. “With our competitors’ systems, customers need separate expense management and device management solutions – so customers have to learn how to work with multiple systems.”
Amtel’s TIMS platform, however, includes a broad range of functionality. It enables invoice management, inventory management, device security management, procurement portal, mobile policies, contract management, and dispute management and reporting of telecommunication services for global enterprises. Organizations can use the solution to implement adds and changes related to mobile devices, mobile plans and even mobile carriers; to track their wireless and wireless expenses; and much more, says Gonzalez. Clients typically eliminate 10 percent to 40 percent of their mobile expenses as a result of using Amtel TIMS.
“Our mobile services expenses were rising exponentially with 2,400 active devices,” says one Amtel customer. “With Amtel, we are able to input mobile policies, keep a clean inventory, handle all orders, allow end users to watch their overages, and manage invoice allocations at a fraction of the cost.”
Amtel earlier this year added to the TIMS platform an integrated SaaS (News - Alert)-based Telecom/Mobile Expense Management & Mobile Device Security Management Solution. That enables users to set security password and e-mail settings; approve and restrict particular mobile applications in the business setting; detect and quarantine jailbreak, rooted devices; and remotely wipe and lock devices (if, for example, an employee loses a wireless device containing confidential business information) . It also allows for 411 directory assistance saving; provides alerts related to international calling and roaming; and does GPS location and lost device tracking.
“The popularity of mobile apps is putting an extra burden on corporate mobile billing,” says Pankaj Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Amtel. “Companies are struggling to find ways to implement mobile policy and segregate the individual apps spend from the allowable corporate usage policy.”
Amtel’s TIMS solution can be configured to segregate personal employee usage charges from the acceptable corporate spend. Gonzalez adds that the Amtel platform can also be leveraged to prompt users when they’re close to hitting their mobile plan’s usage limits.
Customers can opt to use the Amtel solution internally or turn over device and expense management entirely to Amtel.
“For our global telecom network, we had a tough time matching invoice charges to various circuits and mobile phones,” says an IT analyst at a chip company using the Amtel solution. “Amtel helped us initially by cleaning inventory and performing invoice audits. Their TIMS platform provided an interface to manage our telecommunication services on a day-to-day basis along with invoice cost allocations. The savings generated have led to a positive ROI.”
Edited by Jennifer Russell