April 29, 2020

What are Managed Mobility Services, and Why Do They Matter?

Mobility has become increasingly vital among today’s data-driven businesses. The ‘always-on duty” mindset of the modern worker has dramatically increased the use of corporate mobile devices. As the importance of a corporate mobility program grows, so too do the internal resources required to support and manage it. But many companies lack the right policies or tools necessary to implement a successful enterprise mobility strategy. So, an enterprise will often opt to ease their financial and administrative burden by outsourcing some, or all, of their mobility infrastructure and management to Managed Mobility Service (MMS) providers.

Analyst firm Gartner actually created the category Managed Mobility Services. Their ‘official’ definition states that MMS “encompasses the IT and process management services required by a company to acquire, provision, and support smartphones, tablets, and field force devices with integrated cellular and/or wireless connectivity.”

So using that definition, a Managed Mobility Services provider (MSSP) is a resource that drives, supports, and manages a company’s entire mobile environment on their behalf, handling procurement, carrier interaction, and monitoring/optimizing costs. Other support activities include providing visibility and reporting to help IT departments understand where mobile devices are, who is using them and how, what they cost the organization, and whether the network and data are secure.  Often times value added service are also offered, including outsourced mobile help desk, and device staging, kitting and shipping.

MMS solutions featuring cost optimization can offer significant cost savings for enterprises. An estimate from Blue Hill Research suggests MMS can deliver a three-year ROI of 184% – indicating that outsourced mobility services are considerably more cost-effective than in-house or unmanaged environments. But, while the financial incentive for outsourced MMS is clear, it's just one of several ways that MMS can help an organization better achieve its business goals.

A turnkey MMS provider offers a single point of contact across the entire mobility lifecycle – from contract negotiations and strategic planning through deployment and device retirement. In addition, turnkey MMS providers can entirely manage the day to day activities, including interactions with carriers and end users, while following company guidelines and enforcing corporate mobile policies.

Delegating responsibility for enterprise mobility programs to an MMS provider allows the company’s internal IT team to maintain its focus on business critical initiatives with the confidence of knowing that their mobility program is in the capable hands of specialists.

MMS is often confused with the somewhat similar industry acronyms:

  • MWM (mobile workforce management). MWM vendors generally provide the devices as well as software and services and the focus is more on field-based workers, such as utility employees. 

  • Mobile device management (MDM), another similar term and concept that is sometimes confused with the other two, is the administrative area dealing with deploying, securing, monitoring, integrating and managing mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, in the workplace. 

To understand why MMS is critical to productivity, it’s important to look at the mobile ecosystem across a majority of enterprise-level organizations. Mature organizations are facing a shift in digital connectivity, with 52% of employees utilizing three or more devices for work that all require centralized management. As new device types and carrier plans continue to flood into the workplace and the mobility ecosystem continues to grow in complexity, business will struggle to keep up without an experienced  MMS partner like vMOX in place.

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