Strategic Device Sourcing & Enterprise Mobility Management

April 13, 2017 | Post by Tim McCulley | 0 Comments


Your enterprise needs smartphones and tablets to support your business units and end users. 

You want your telecom expenses to stay under control. So, wouldn’t it be more cost-effective to have your in-house IT department handle device sourcing? 

After all, it’s just choosing a few devices for the company – how hard could it be? Let’s find out.

Imagine that you are a district manager working for a major national convenience store chain. You naturally have a sales target to hit, need to manage the region well, and the stakes are high. 

New stores are about to open in your area, bringing on 200+ new employees.

These new hires will start in two weeks, and each of them needs a phone set-up and configured. This leads to several questions:

1. Do we have the internal resources to accomplish this task including:

  • ​Device Selection
  • Procurement
  • Provisioning
  • Deployment

2. How do we ensure we get the best price for the selected devices?

3. What mobile access rate plans will these be provisioned for?

Device sourcing is trickier than it looks

You reached out to your busy IT staff for help, and they advised you not to underestimate the effort it takes to handle device sourcing. 

Here’s the catch: Purchasing hardware is only the tip of the iceberg. You must think about the mobile access and the business-unit specific software coming with it. As well, there may be apps specific to the company that need to be installed and configured on the phones. 

They told you about one colleague who chose the wrong application to be installed, and this ended up costing $8 per phone per month. Your budget would take a serious hit if you were to make the same mistake – around $20K annually for your 200 new recruits. This is why IT is very cautious about this responsibility and wants to avoid the risk of ordering the wrong technology or negotiating a bad deal.

Money is not the only point, time is another consideration. It could take up to 45 minutes to provision and configure each phone. That equates to a four-week, full-time job for 200+ devices. Your IT department does not have enough resources to do that for you right now, or anytime in the future!

Download the work to the end user

Leaving the configuration of a new phone to the responsibility of your newly hired employees isn’t the right way to go either. Sure, some will be technically inclined and go through the process with little effort. 

Most, however, will not know what to do, or how to start. They will get frustrated and need to call upon your IT department for assistance. Your IT department resources are already exhausted with day-to-day operations. 

Keep in mind, you’d be expecting people to do this on their first day of work as they’re issued their new device. What a welcome! They have no idea about the company's applications, corporate policies, etc. This is no way to get new hires off to a great start.

It looks like you are on your own again. The only sensible alternative would be to work with a single-source solution provider. Here’s why:

Getting device sourcing done by the experts

A single-source solution provider takes the pain away. A team of specialists manages the various tasks around device sourcing on your behalf, including developing a catalog of approved devices for your end users. What a huge time and resource saver. 

You and your organization no longer have to face the same challenges over and over, and can skip questions such as: 

  • Which device manufacturers and carriers should be contacted? 
  • What are acceptable mobile access prices? 
  • Who needs to give approval internally before employees buy new devices?

Instead, the solution provider can procure mobile equipment at a very competitive rate. They can also develop services that are simple to use and make it easy for your company to get on with business. 

For example, some manufacturers have a device enrollment program – meaning that you can get your company’s phones configured “at no extra charge” in line with your IT policies. This includes having them shipped directly to your offices or end users.  

How nice it would be for end users to receive their device, ready for use, on day one! This also creates streamlined and automated processes, reducing your overhead and required IT support. Out of the box, they’ll work on your network from day one. 

Another example is an employee device portal. Employees can order the device of their choosing without contacting IT. This gives them the feeling of being able to select what works best for them. Meanwhile, all devices in the portal are pre-approved by the company to work on the network and support the apps needed for your business. 

Device sourcing is not a step you want to take on your own. Enterprise mobility management is so much simpler and faster with a single-source solution provider. 

The right provider can support you throughout the mobile device management process – empowering business units with the right technology at the right price. Read more about device sourcing and the benefits of working with our Mobile Access Solution (MAS) – powered by AT&T. And feel free to ask a question or leave a comment below.

The content and opinions posted on this blog and any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of CompuCom.

  • Tim McCulley's picture

    Tim McCulley

    As a Mobility Consulting Senior Specialist, Tim McCulley owns the Mobile Access Solution Powered by AT&T product suite of services and assists with CompuCom’s Telecommunications Expense Management partner.

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