New countries, devices and carriers! Oh my!
Taking your enterprise mobility program international can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, there are many global nuances to navigate – plan structures, regulations, carriers, even the cultures themselves – but partnering with an experienced global managed mobility services (MMS) provider can streamline all of it.
When you’re ready to go global and optimize your international mobility management, here are eight things to consider when choosing the right MMS provider for the job.
1. Current State
First things first— you must know where you’re starting from. Before you can set international goals and select a partner best suited for them, you need to assess your current inventory:
What devices, plans and carriers do you have in your current business regions?
What do you need from a global MMS provider—policy, strategy, contracts, logistics, expense management?
Perhaps you don’t know what you have and where to even know where to start. You may need a partner to help you assess and organize your entire mobility environment and avoid the pain points you know are coming but can’t pinpoint.
Choose a provider that can clearly identify its geographic strengths. No provider can provide a consistent level of exceptional support literally anywhere in the world, but you can find one for your specific business needs. Considerations include:
The key when it comes to geography is balance. Your provider doesn’t need a physical presence in every country on your list. When operating at scale, you need the benefits of centralized management. But your MMS partner should have in-market knowledge and/or the ability to manage local delivery and provide local expertise. Without those, your efforts will be plagued with headaches and failures.
Much of the world does business in English, but that doesn’t mean business won’t encounter other languages in your global pursuits. Since language support can become costly, determine what you need to have versus what’s nice to have.
If an MMS provider advertises language support, it’s vital to investigate which functions are supported. For example, a provider might tout support in seven languages. That’s a good start, but you need specifics:
Is that for service or help desk calls?
How about written correspondence for end-user support?
Do you get a dedicated project manager for that language?
What about single-click platform translations?
Will you receive translated platform outputs and reporting?
Often, multilingual support isn’t itemized in the contract, making it very easy for the provider to revert to English when resources are unavailable, leaving you paying for functionality you are not receiving while having to find it yourself elsewhere.
4. Time Zones
Make sure your MMS provider provides support in the time zone(s) you need. For example, if the support team is in America, but you have employees in Asia, your time zones could be out of sync. Because of this, providers who say they provide 24/7 support shouldn’t be taken at face value. Even if support is provided around the clock, check to see if the SLA on that support tied to a specific time zone (or zones). If so, it might not sync to where you need it. Pay close attention to time zones and SLAs.
As with many facets of MMS offerings, automation and integration are all about the fine print. Many MMS providers make lofty claims of “integrations with 300 carriers” and other grandiose statements that sound impressive. But functionality often becomes limited when you strip away the surface-level claims and dig into which automation integrations exist outside of North America. Traditionally, MMS providers have focused on North America, so if your needs for automation integration extend to other continents, dig into specific functionality.
You want your provider to be able to support all currencies, in addition to managing exchange rates. Typically, companies will set their exchange rates in accordance with one of the large central banks, like the United States Federal Bank or the European Central Bank. With exchange rates constantly changing throughout any given day, your MMS provider should be able to record those rates, dynamically calculate an average based on all international rates, and tie that rate to transactions in real time. This way, you always have a clear accounting of rate adjustments for auditing purposes.
TIP: Most companies operate primarily in U.S. Dollars. If you need reporting in another currency, make sure your prospective global MMS provider has that capability.
7. Regional Expertise
Ideally, your global MMS provider is familiar with the structure and the trends of your international markets, but a key area of regional expertise to look for is legislation familiarity. Privacy and data protection laws vary from one country to the next. In a data-rich industry, MMS providers deal with copious amounts of personally identifiable information (PII). Ensuring that your MMS partner understands how these laws change from region to region – and, therefore, how that provider’s system is able to comply (redaction, encryption, etc.) – is essential to avoiding legal issues. Assessing their dedication to information security management is also important in order to reduce risk and avoid penalties. Are they ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified? GDPR compliant?
The technology that powers your mobility operations also needs to be regionally “smart.” MMS platforms take in mounds of data and call detail records (CDRs). If the software can’t absorb or convert data formats from, say, Vodafone in the United Kingdom, Vivo in Brazil or KDDI in Japan, the platform’s analysis and optimization capabilities become moot.
8. Global Process, Local Delivery
One of the most significant benefits of standardization across geographies is a consistent user experience. However, you still have to consider local and regional nuances. Optimizing contracts, plans and devices might be your goal in all locations, but it won’t all look the same across the board. Your global MMS provider should detail how they’ll streamline your user experience while customizing it at the same time.
Ultimately, when all is said and done, the goal is a streamlined global process with local delivery.
Want to learn more about expanding the international capabilities of your MMS platform? Connect with a vMOX expert today.