Partner up for success: 10 things to look for in a mobile device life-cycle management vendor

Partner up for success: 10 things to look for in a mobile device life-cycle management vendor

Mobile devices are changing the way companies engage with employees and customers, offering new ways to stay productive, enhance convenience, and improve the end-user experience. With any mobile movement, though, come logistical complexities that aren’t easily navigated. Between provisioning, issuing, tracking, maintaining, and supporting large-scale mobile device deployment, infrastructure and operations (I&O) executives have no shortage of challenges to tackle.

With tight budgets and limited resources, I&O executives often turn to mobile device life-cycle services vendors for help in deploying and managing technical support for smartphones and tablets, all while managing the expenses associated with making it happen. But finding the right provider is a complicated task. It’s a confusing market with a wide range of features, services, and approaches, and figuring out which provider can best meet your needs is no small feat.

To help you make sense of it all, Forrester has compiled a list of 10 core services to look for from a mobile device life-cycle services provider—and how that provider can help you sustain a successful enterprise mobility strategy.

  1. Strategy design

    51% of technology and business decision makers at enterprises say that implementing a comprehensive corporate mobility strategy is a high priority in the next 12 months. Your provider should be able to help you analyze your firm’s infrastructure and conduct assessments to see where your firm stands with mobile maturity, mobile policy, and mobile analytics.

  2. End-user portal design and setup

    Many vendors in this industry offer self-serve portals to automate processes such as device selection, manager approval, and helpdesk requests. These portals free up IT resources and improve the end-user experience.

  3. Device purchase

    If you company wants to improve the device purchasing process, look for a vendor that will shoulder the burden. Some vendors will purchase, fulfill, and manage device orders for you and will often include a portal to help you initiate, track, and review device purchase requests.

  4. Configuration

    Don’t waste time configuring devices manually. Choose a vendor that offers a wide range of configuration services, from custom firmware updates to simple application distribution prior to deployment.

  5. Deployment

    Vendors can help you supply employees with mobile devices across remote locations. Once devices have been ordered and configured, these vendors can send them out to the right employees at the right time.

  6. Enterprise mobility management (EMM)

    Most vendors offer some version of hosted EMM solutions, which include monitoring, policy and app deployment, and over-the-air management. These services are a cornerstone of enterprise mobility and are paramount to device security.

  7. Tech support

    Forrester expects that the need to outsource mobile tech support will increase as more devices and apps enter the workplace. Many vendors offer 24×7 helpdesk assistance for technology management admins, as well as responses to helpdesk calls from end users.

  8. Depot services

    Depot services include spare pool management, overnight device replacement, asset recovery, warranty monitoring, device recycling, and more. Some vendors also include device return merchandise processing through various channels, including the telecom carrier and retailers.

  9. Analyze and improve

    To keep your mobile strategy running smoothly, find a vendor that offers customizable reports to help you track users and device activity along with compliance. These reports should include metrics such as the number of incoming service calls, service desk metrics, response times, and first-time resolution percentages.

  10. Telecom expense management (TEM)

    TEM services include invoice processing, use monitoring, auditing, expense management, and data analysis. With these metrics in hand, you can ensure efficient and cost-effective use of devices and network resources.

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Forrester reports that there are five vendors providing full support for all 10 core mobile device life-cycle services listed above.

As you continue to research vendors, it’s crucial to remember that these services should complement your existing mobile strategy and meet the needs of your employees. Evaluate the vendors that support your long-term goals and geographic region, and you’re sure to find success.

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