by Purushottam Darshankar
Today’s mobile devices with their significant processing power, multimodal communication and large storage capabilities are fast proving to be a productivity improver by enabling the business users to make better decisions by using up-to-date enterprise information, wherever they are working.
While field services and sales applications are the largest opportunities for mobility solutions, CIOs, CXOs, technical managers are busy working on ROI estimates to take go, no-go decisions. On one hand it brings direct benefits in terms of productivity improvement and few indirect benefits such as increased employee satisfaction, improved customer satisfaction that could save business thousands of dollars. On the other hand, there is ever increasing diversity of mobile devices and costs associated with managing and integrating these devices into organizations IT infrastructure, training, support, networks and recurring costs of data connectivity. There needs to be balance between the operational efficiencies and costs. The TCO of mobility solution may vary depending on the functionalities, middleware, type of architecture and deployment. The decision needs to be taken strategically and not purely on traditional ROI and TCO model.
Given the underlying complexities of mobility solution, it is necessary to have pilot-run prior to full scale all functionality deployment. Also, it is necessary to take serious look at the duration of productivity plateau, when it will be necessary to upgrade the solution and finally when it will be time to retire the solution.
With the economic slowdown enterprises want to stay lean. Faced with tight budget constraints and stretched operating budgets, every business is looking to cut the initial capital investment and recurring operating costs of the mobility solution. This has led to emergence of new business model of managed mobility services that uses a common platform to integrate, support and manage the mobility solution.
The current telecom market is very competitive and operators are constantly looking for new revenue sources. As a result, many telecom operators are now adapting to provide managed mobility services with revenue share model to add new revenue source. They are encouraging the solution providers to use their network resources to provide services to businesses and share the revenue earned. Solution providers are also attempting “non linear growth” to increase their revenue by investing in building the vertical solution for various verticals.
There are compelling financial and technical reasons why businesses will move from premise based services to hosted shared services model. The businesses can save on their capital investment as they stay away from purchasing, operating and maintaining any IT infrastructure for mobility solution. Telco managed shared services provides high reliability, security and uptime so that businesses can more focus on their core competency.
It is important that appropriate security infrastructure be in built into such shared services model. If proper measures are taken, shared services can offer a safe, secure and reliable means of communicating sensitive information and provide businesses with a mobile service infrastructure that is as secure as any organization's “traditional” IT infrastructure.
The pricing model for such services is usage based “On-Demand” pricing, fixed monthly payment for each user. The business does not bear any risk of losing the money. The telecom operators have required flexibility to scale-up or scale down based on rapid fluctuations in its customer demands and needs.
The hosted shared services model provides opportunity to businesses to pilot-run their services to demonstrate their ROI for decision making. Once successfully adapted by their end user the managed service model will place the businesses on longer term benefit.
Whether launching new mobility services or to manage the existing one , businesses can always look at managed mobility services option provided by operators that manages all part of mobility solution and also offers flexible per-user pricing option.