Guest Column | September 20, 2021

What Are Managed Mobility Services?

By Ian Slack, Stratix

Magnifier And Question Mark On Purple Background iStock-1263395015

Mobile devices are such integral parts of our daily lives that leaving home without them feels like forgetting your wallet. They’re just as useful for businesses—especially when the pandemic made the flexibility to enable remote work or serve customers curbside necessary just for survival. Far from just a “nice-to-have,” mobile devices drive productivity and enable anywhere operations. Enterprises know that mobile solutions mean nimbleness, protection against disruption, and the ability to lean into innovation opportunities that create competitive advantages. 

But while enterprises want mobile solutions, they’ve also learned that they can be unexpectedly complex for many reasons. Many are partnering with managed mobility service providers (MMSP) to get the resources needed to deploy solutions effectively and at scale. Let’s look at why enterprise mobility is hard and answer the question: What are managed mobility services, and how can they help? 

Why Is Enterprise Mobility Hard? 

When a consumer wants a new mobile device, they simply go out and buy one. If only it were that simple for enterprises. There are many reasons why it’s so complex for large organizations: 

For decades, IT teams mainly focused on Windows-based devices primarily located in offices. Mobile solutions include a much wider range of device types, operating systems, applications, and security challenges. The problem is many organizations lack the needed expertise. CompTIA’s 2021 Workforce and Learning Trends report shows 40% of companies hired tech staff during the pandemic. This year, 66% have plans to add more, but the global IT talent shortage makes it a challenge. 

Scale And Logistics 
Getting mobility right at an enterprise scale is also incredibly difficult. Planning a solution and procuring devices is just the beginning. You’ve got configuration and kitting to do before distribution. Then there’s the ongoing device management, tracking, support, and device life cycle components that are all critical. Distributed locations and remote workers add to the challenge. 

What Managed Mobility Services Are And How They Help 

Managed mobility service providers specialize in the technology, tools, and assistance that enterprises need to get mobile solutions right. Every MMSP has its way of doing things, but at Stratix, we divide managed mobility services into three areas centered on design, device life cycle, and support.

  1. Mobile Solution Consulting 
    Many organizations have launched digital transformation projects intended to drive mobility only to have them fail because of poor end user experiences, infrastructure deficiencies, device problems, or other reasons. That’s why end-to-end planning that starts with end users, expected workflows, and desired business outcomes is so critical. When you don’t have the in-house expertise, partnering with a managed mobility service provider who does can make all the difference. MMSPs have solution architects with decades of experience drawing up mobile solution blueprints. They can tell you where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them. 
  2. Mobile Lifecycle Services 
    If you cannot manage the logistics of large-scale enterprise mobile solutions, managed mobility service providers have the needed resources. MMSPs usually have relationships with OEM partners that help with device selection and procurement. Once purchased, they have configuration centers for setup and kitting before devices are delivered out-of-the-box-ready to end users. 

    After deployment, MMSPs can handle repairs if a device fails and manage the spare pool of replacements, including the logistics of getting them to end users. 

    MMSPs can even manage devices cradle to grave, including IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) to repurpose or dispose of equipment responsibly when it reaches end of life. 
  3. Mobile Support Services 
    The third leg of the stool in any effective enterprise mobility solution is support. MMSPs can help you select and run a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform to keep devices updated, properly configured, and secure. 

    When there are problems, MMSPs offer mobile help desks that can talk end users through solutions or arrange for repairs and replacements.

    Support also includes asset management, so you can keep track of where all your devices are and their status in real-time. 

Call In The Reinforcements 

When it comes to solving enterprise mobility challenges, managed mobile services providers have the expertise and scale needed. Getting it right the first time avoids projects that fail or don’t deliver all the expected outcomes. With mobility such a critical part of doing business today, enterprises can’t fall short. 

About The Author

Ian Slack is Enterprise Mobility Content Manager for Stratix.