Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why Enterprise MVNOs should embrace device management?

 While the debate for enteprise MVNOs is still not settled, and the business models are still being tested, it is clear to me that enterprise MVNOs can not compete on brand-only like Virgin Mobile and AMP'd. While competing just on price is too risky in consumer MVNO space as well, it is even riskier in enterprise space, where the cost pressures are too great, especially in SMBs. The ever increasing cost of doing business, including health care and oil, is already straining the bottom line of SMBs, and the competition keeps them from raising prices. Thus, the only place where the cost has to be reduced is in optimizing business processes. In this networked world, business processes depend on communication infrastructure. Thus the onlyway to have optimized business processes is to have a streamlined, cost effective communication infrastructure. And while telecom industry tends to use FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence or Wired-Wireless Convergence) as a buzz word, I like to forget wireless or wireline convergence issues and simply focus on cost of communication as the driving factor in all these initiatives. In enterprise space, the large component of cost of communication is still carrier's monthly bill. And as the consolidation has happened in mobile carrier space, they seem to have even lesser incentive to cut the bill, in fact some have been increasing it (read recent SMS rate hikes from Cingular and Verizon). While VOIP is putting pressure on wireline carriers' traditional voice and voice related services revenue, their prices have not dropped sharply, largely because the industry is very mature anyway.

As VoWLAN picks up and cities cover their business parks with free WiFi networks (that is another way of enticing businesses to come open a shop in your city), SMBs will be the first ones to try out these free or tax break related services. But at the same time, the need to manage the devices that move between multiple networks (both free and paid, open and closed) would go up. No matter how seamless the phone manufacturers make their phones to move between these networks, the need for secure access policies, troubleshooting would still remain and perhaps increase. In those cases, where an application would work on closed network and would either fail or not perform on a free network (I can count many reasons why that might happen), the end user would not know who to call and how to resolve the issues.

And that is whare enterprise MVNO play will happen. But what should MVNOs offer other than consolidated carrier bill and bandwidth sharing across all enterprise users? I believe enterprise MVNOs can provide device manage as value add. Here are the service that I think enterprise MVNOs can provide a comprehensive device management solution-
  • Enterprise class help desk - using remote view and control capabilities across all enterprise mobile devices
  • Periodic and on-demand backup of corporate data from enterprise devices, without touching the personal content of the user on the device.
  • Encrypting corporate content only, thus preventing data theft.
  • Inventory in-field devices for application licenses for compliance with licensing requirements
  • Wipe out corporate data remotely from stolen devices, to protect against data theft
  • Since the line between personal and enterprise devices is very thin in SMBs, manage seamless mobility of devices between enterprise and home networks. The end user perhaps would like a single button press approach to switch between home to enterprise networks. The device management systems have to manage all the network access configurations behind the scene, without breaking the user's home network access settings.
  • Provide Managed Services for device lifecycle management, right from buying the devices for enterprises, to stocking to RMAs, to device migration from older to newer models.
  • Provide behind the firewall connectivity for all types of devices, not just BlackBerries.
  • Manage multiple enterprise network access policies.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home