Building out a solid mobile infrastructure for any enterprise is tougher than it looks.

Managing The Mobile Disconnect It makes sense on one hand for a single company to sign up with a national carrier for all of its mobile data and telephony needs. But as businesses scale – as they grow domestically and internationally – their mobile needs change too.

As a result, businesses start to review their mobile contracts when they hit a critical mass – often to their disadvantage. While the cost savings may seem justified, the additional front- and back-end coordination needed to implement, rollout, and maintain a new mobile carrier comes with a significant time, effort, and financial cost.

In short, a mobile solution isn’t just a phone, a sim card, and a tariff. Businesses need a full suite of delivery, maintenance, and support services to get the best ROI. And where carriers fall down, it’s up to a company’s IT and telecoms department to balance ease of use, connectivity, budgets, and contracts.

But how?

1) Understand User Habits

Companies should always strive to make access to mobile devices as simple as possible. That’s a given. There should be no learning curve for users needed to ensure optimum productivity.

However, different employees have varying mobile needs. Field sales reps will burn through data allowances and allotted minutes a lot faster than office-based staff for example. But ultimately, users don’t really care what kind of price plan they get – if it’s a company expense.

As a result, enterprises need to guide each user to choose the correct subscription for their needs or manage this in the background. They should be aware that there’s a cost involved and that data limitations apply.

2) Avoid Departmental Silos

Similarly, companies are often in danger of different departments siloing their IT and mobile solutions if they don’t get what they need. The danger of this kind of ‘patchwork’ approach is a disconnect in the user experience; which ultimately impacts the IT and telecoms department when there’s a problem, as there’s no overall consistency of protocol.

While a full process redesign might look time-consuming, if outstanding issues can’t be addressed centrally, the same problems will keep happening time and again.

3) Get A Grip On Geography

Geography remains a major sticking point from a mobile standpoint, for a number of reasons. While it’s easy to assume that all business are treated equally by mobile companies, carriers operating under a single brand often have varying levels of service from country to country.

For example, a parent brand – such as Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange etc – may offer a global mobile business solution. However, the reality is that roaming charges will still apply when users travel between countries or regions, and services that are included as part of the deal in one country can often be a costly expense in another.

This is why it’s often better for businesses to opt for regionally optimised mobile packages. For example, a business with an international sales presence in Amsterdam, Dubai, and Toronto, would be best suited to different plans covering Western Europe, Middle East, and North America.

Another issue is that in many areas 3G is already fading out. From a practical perspective, users in remote locations – such as factories, warehouses or power plants – won’t have the same connectivity as those in the middle of the city. So having blanket coverage from a single network isn’t always a good move.

4) Find A Knowledgeable Solutions Partner

Understanding the user, the business, the technical challenges, and the vendor, in equal measure requires specialist knowledge. That’s why, when migrating to a new mobile solution, it’s crucial to work with a telecoms and IT partner who can identify the best kind of contract for your business’ and users’ needs, and who understands the context of your existing IT infrastructure.

As IT and mobile experts, MobilityWorks can help you redefine the services you need. We do this by looking at processes from a user perspective first and matching them with supplier processes.

We can also help IT departments adjust all the of the necessary back-end processes – documenting everything in detail and optimising processes – as well as creating easy-to-understand knowledge assets that users need. In this way, the migration to a new, more cost-effective carrier can be better managed from both the front and back ends.

Ultimately, the combination of best-in-class mobile services with a more personal touch will result in better processes overall. And the better your processes, the fewer incidents you’ll have – meaning less complaints and questions. From there, you can focus on your quality of service and offering a great user experience, which will result in increased productivity and increased ROI all round.