What is MMS? What you need to know about managed mobility services

By Jonathan Crowl

It’s clear that mobile devices are changing how enterprises do business. However, mobility is forcing monumental changes on IT departments as well. With new devices, technologies and employee behaviors comes the need for new policies, security measures and device management alongside a range of other activities and services designed to support an increasingly mobile workforce. Some of these services inevitably need to be outsourced to external providers and labeled broadly as managed mobility services (MMS).

Exactly what is MMS? To put it simply, this term represents a suite of services that maximize the potential of mobile devices while mitigating the risks that can come with these various endpoints. These services enable remote access to enterprise assets through the cloud while ensuring the technology doesn’t put the company at risk of security breaches. Further, MMS provides a method for increasing worker productivity while keeping costs under control.

As a recent Gartner report highlighted, these external providers can vary widely in their range of service, vision for MMS and ability to offer an effective, comprehensive solution. Before settling on a vendor, enterprises should evaluate a provider’s services and how they’re rendered.

Understanding core deliverables

MMS is an umbrella term that encompasses several critical services to ensure effective enterprise mobility. According to Gartner, these services include the following:

  • Sourcing and logistics management
    These are the systems used to acquire and activate mobile network services, which provide the necessary infrastructure for enterprise mobility.
  • Mobile service management
    This term refers to the inventory of network contracts and devices, as well as device audits and usage logs. Some usage management can also provide telecom expense management, which keeps communication costs under control.
  • Device and system management
    This is the optimization of a mobile framework, including device performance and technical support. The demands placed on this aspect of MMS are determined by whether devices are corporate-owned or part of BYOD policies.
  • Application and collaboration management
    These services deal with applications, operating systems and how these platforms integrate with one another to support enterprise collaboration.
  • Security and content management
    This deliverable involves the unique challenges and concerns faced by an enterprise mobile network.
  • Program and financial management
    This service relates to any outsourcing arrangements made by the company as well as smaller financial details, such as warranty management, device upgrades and auditing.

Many external providers offer some or all of these core services, but the specific functions and performance levels can vary widely. As such, enterprises should do their research wisely before they make an investment. Instead of asking, “What is MMS?” they can go one step further and ask service providers, “What can your MMS offer my business?”

Read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services

Written By

Jonathan Crowl


Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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