Mobile support: The pitfalls of pinching pennies

By Marisol Rawlins

On the enterprise level, mobile support involves many factors. It’s crucial that you avoid using cut-rate support solutions or consumer offerings, since they can inflict a significant cost to your business. In order to make the right call, you should consider the business impacts of the following five factors:

1. Employee downtime

If you choose a low-cost depot or advanced exchange, it can take anywhere from two to five days to put a device replacement in your employee’s hands. Even when this device arrives, it may not be ready to use right out of the box. In this scenario, you might have to dedicate a resource or team to manage the depot, field the devices and make them operational for the employee — and then return a device if it breaks along the way. This infrastructure calls for you to consider how employee downtime affects your business as a whole. Is this disruption worth the financial savings that come with a low-cost depot solution?

2. Operational efficiency

Do you have full- or part-time employees who are dedicated to managing mobile support? Perhaps you have a dedicated in-house help desk that manages multiple mobile support vendors as well as packing and shipping devices, or employees who leave your site to perform device services. If so, you should consider whether this is the most effective use of your employees’ time. Ask yourself how these workers could affect your business if they could focus their time on core activities instead of mobile support. Do you really want to be in the business of mobile support, or are you better served by outsourcing these functions to professionals for minimal uplift?

3. Device life and value

Low-coverage warranties are a seemingly budget-friendly choice for enterprises. However, it’s crucial that you keep in mind that the average mobile device refresh cycle is two years. As such, you must consider the value — or lack thereof — that aging devices on your shelf bring to your business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the cost of the pile of iPads with broken screens that are sitting on your IT manager’s desk?
  • What is your refresh strategy for mobile devices?
  • How would a support strategy with a residual value affect your business? Would it keep current technology in the hands of your productive employees?

4. Operational insight

As an enterprise, you likely deploy thousands of mobile devices. MDM provides some level of operational insight, but this does not extend to hardware and software issues. As such, support that includes reporting and analytics on your mobile device fleet could provide real business value and cost savings. For example, it could be helpful to know whether certain organizations are driving high call volumes to the help desk. In this scenario, you can realize a variety of cost savings by determining whether this high number of breakages could be solved by simply ruggedizing the department’s devices.

5. Integration

Enterprise devices do not exist in a bubble. They require advanced integration with a corporate infrastructure, software and MDM. Unfortunately, many brands overlook this consideration until it leads to a problem. As such, it’s crucial to consider the potential business impact of having enterprise-wide integration-related outages with slow resolution times. Ask yourself what the business value is when you choose a support solution that can solve your complex integration issues with an SLA.

Mobile adoption is changing the business landscape. After all, picking out the devices that are just right requires months and years of planning, an MDM tool, software, peripheral, app development and more. What if your enterprise devoted the same amount of time and focus to choosing the best support solution? How would that affect your business as a whole?

When deciding which support solution will work best for your enterprise, it’s crucial to take the time to do an ROI analysis that compares an established product, such as AppleCare for Enterprise, with one of the cut-rate options that are offered on the market. Comprehensive solutions such as that provided by Apple will likely offer perks such as on-site service on the next business day, a device replacement pool, 24/7 IT support and an account manager who can offer you the support you need for minimal uplift.

When it comes to support, it’s clear that penny pinching may lead to major solution gaps for your business.

Written By

Marisol Rawlins

Enterprise Mobility Solution Sales at IBM

I am passionate about bringing world class technology and mobility solutions to my clients. I have been in the field over 18 years in the areas of mobility, security, cloud and delivery. Deep expertise in bringing enterprise level customer's mobility strategies to life.