Criteria to Evaluate a Mobile Managed Service Partner
David Krebs, from VDC Research, explains what to look for in a mobile managed service partner and the key criteria to consider when selecting one.
What criteria should I use to evaluate third party mobile services partners? Third party mobile service partners, or mobile managed service partners represent an important capability or deliver an important service to organizations with large fleets of mobile devices, supporting that frontline mobile workforce. What is important to look for? There are a number of things that are important to look for from the standpoint of a service provider.
One is speed of deployment. How quickly can that organization operate if I have a device that needs to be upgraded, or if I have a device that goes down and needs to be replenished in the field. There is a speed component. And that gets multiplied. If I’m a multinational organization. What happens in a multinational capacity if a device goes down somewhere halfway around the globe? How can I deploy devices effectively in a global way? How can I manage carrier connectivity in a global way when you have differences from a country to country market? Those are certainly important competencies to consider.
In addition, it’s also about offloading or offsetting some of those internal constraints in terms of managing mobile devices. Part of it is depot services. How can I effectively manage spare parts and repair services and that cycle of issues that come into play when dealing with large fleets of mobile devices.
When considering mobile managed services provider, additional factors to also look at is life cycle. This is not just about getting a device into the hands of workers, it’s also what happens once that device gets deployed and making sure there is a clear transition when that device reaches end of life and how to manage that life cycle with the device and the application. So, lifecycle management services are additionally critical as is visibility. We’re dealing with often times tens of thousands if not more of devices in the field. I want to know where they are. I want to know how they are operating. I want to be able to be proactive, for example, if a battery is about to fail, if I can be proactive and address that before it actually fails, that’s a much better user experience. So, being able to have analytics capabilities around the performance and the use of the device, the performance and use of the applications, the performance and use of the network are incredibly valuable capabilities that organizations rely on.
With service organizations, one emerging trend that we’ve certainly been tracking as well is this whole concept of device as a service and really what that offers organizations is certainly peace of mind and continuity of operations. There are financial benefits from the standpoint of, when you’re looking at some of these mobile investments, they’re not insignificant investments, often times millions if not tens of millions of dollars. So, if I can shift what has been a capital intensive transaction or investment for an organization and I can shift that to an operational expense, from a financial perspective, for a lot of organizations that is also very beneficial.