Technology, IT Performance

Wireless Costs: Optimize More, Lose Less

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Wireless costs are growing. Users are demanding their pick of devices. Data usage continues to rise as voice usage starts to decline.  Device operating systems (OS) are becoming more independent and capable. MDM, M2M and MMP are making wireless a year round education challenges. Each of these items are adding cost and management needs to corporate programs. If one element goes unnoticed, it can significantly add waste into a program.

Although effective mobility management for a corporation is certainly challenging, several solutions offer opportunity for significant savings. Consider three proven ways to save at least 5 percent on any corporate wireless bill:

1.    Be mindful when cancelling zero-use devices.

For administrators, it’s easier to identify zero-use devices than to cancel them altogether—especially with the risk that a device is being terminated prematurely. Take several precautions before cancelling a zero-use device altogether:

Compare a Carrier Zero Use report: Verify the absolute necessity of terminating certain lines. After analyzing the company bill to identify zero- or low-usage carriers, request an explicit zero-use report from carriers for a thorough comparison. By considering how the company’s interpretation of the bill data compares with the estimation of the carrier’s zero-use report, it is simple to identify even a few users who might have had their usage cut off unnecessarily.

Clock in data lag time: The time it takes for bill data to become available, assembled and analyzed can take two weeks or more with complications or communication delays. Be aware of this time period and assure users that their services are not being terminated too soon.

Suspend before cancelling: While spare devices are ideal backup in this data lag time, there’s still room for concern that service will be terminated. Ease any fears by suspending the line of service and canceling at the cycle date.

Note Exchange traded funds (ETF) break-even: As users’ waivers also present concern, consider a simple break-even analysis: First, reflect how long users should continue to pay for monthly service before the ETF is the same cost. It will generally pay off financially to see if someone starts using a zero-use line. Similarly, administrators commonly keep extra lines around as a backup pool but fail to consider that users might not actually activate the accounts. It’s a large misuse of expenses for accounts to remain dormant while the company continues to order new lines of service for employees and pay full cost for dropped devices. Proper maintenance of procurement processes also ensures that users cannot automatically upgrade within the carrier when their phone malfunctions.

2.    Capitalize on the local MRC taxes associated with an end user’s subscriber address.

As taxes present a gray area in terms of optimization, it is important to consider the best ways to capitalize on taxes and how they affect the program overall—especially as mobility managers in enterprises often do not closely consider the different taxes associated with wireless bills.

When considering overage charges, users frequently misunderstand that every phone number has a subscriber address tied to it as opposed to the phone’s primary location or even the billing address. To alleviate this confusion, request a list of these addresses from the carrier.

Although switching every user’s subscriber address to the cheapest tax-back possible may seem beneficial in theory, the action is too extreme—instead, simply be aware of where users’ taxes are being calculated from, especially in light of travel or relocation. Tax rates can vary between 5-20 percent based on location and subscriber address. Although a complicated process, financial benefits can result.

3.    Be aware of how and when to identify the underutilization of messaging.

Although frequently overlooked, identifying underutilization can also play a key role when it comes to cutting costs. Messaging is especially simple to track because it is so isolated; there are no pooling or text plans, and companies can make personalized decisions based on individual usage. A user’s messaging pattern generally remains consistent, but if pattern changes occur, they usually come in big swings before reaching a steady state again.

It is also important to consider the difference between optimizing on overages and underutilization, especially as maintaining an expensive plan with a relatively large allowance is a misuse of expenses. While cutting back for one user can save about $15 each month, taking underutilization into account for hundreds or thousands of users can save exponentially.

Fortunately, it’s not necessary for administrators to analyze an entire account. It is equally effective to simply pick out 100 lines, consider individuals’ plans and patterns and make changes on only 20 lines if need be. The extremely segmented process allows for flexibility.   

When it comes to managing your company’s wireless costs, these simple yet effective precautions can make a monumental difference both logistically and financially.




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