Mobile Technology and Digital Transformation for Enterprise: A Strategy for Success

Mobile Technology and Digital Transformation for Enterprise: A Strategy for Success

Mobile Technology and Digital Transformation for Enterprise: A Strategy for Success

Mobile technology used for work is not a fad and is not going away. Businesses both large and small are buying smart phones, tablets and developing apps or buying SaaS to digitize and automate their workflow with form and function.  It is transforming business, empowering employees to be more efficient and unleashing worker creativity and engagement. It has saved millions of hours by eliminating or streamlining outdated manual processes and let’s not even talk about the trees saved. Let’s consider it a new and welcome normal.

It makes total sense for an enterprise to adopt mobility work platforms and we are going to see more of it, lots more. How then should a company go about making this transformation to a digital work platform? Just buy a bunch of tablets and give them to workers to use? While that sounds simplistic and perhaps a touch sardonic, this is exactly what is happening. If only it were that simple. It is imperative to consider support and financial structures that will increase the impact and overall ROI of digitized mobile solution.

A company must have a complete plan for deploying and supporting the digital initiative and invest in good hardware for the entire process to succeed. Spending time and money on designing software, automated forms or selecting robust SaaS solutions are only part of the process. Apps, digital forms, programs and software are what they are: specific solutions. Some even come ready off the shelf. While perhaps challenging to initially conceive and design to fit a particular business model, they are easy enough to procure, implement and manage.

The devil is in the devices. The hardware you choose to deploy your digital solutions can make or break the entire implementation. Poor device reliability, bad user interface and/or user experience, the wrong wireless data plan, security lapses or poor device technical support will all leave the worker frustrated and incorrectly blaming the SaaS solution or software. Saving a few dollars on cheap devices or worse, trying to support mobile device technology in-house, usually proves to be disastrous.  It’s like buying cheap tires for a new Ferrari.

Building on that analogy, some tires are inexpensive and might look good, but you need to change them every 30,000 miles. Better tires last 60,000 miles. It’s the same concept with mobile devices. The commitment to utilize mobile devices for business is not a one-time purchase, it is a long-term investment and must become a supported operational process. Don’t go cheap. Devices will wear out, need updating and despite every best effort, will need replacing and upgrading every couple of years. This will be ongoing. Thought needs to be given to selecting the right device and supporting the process over the years to come. How one responds to inevitable device support issues will define the success of a program with workers, not how good software design is or how clever a SaaS package is.

A few basic questions might serve to illustrate the real challenges:

  1. Who is going to physically manage ongoing support for this new investment in technology? The procurement and fulfillment stuff, like buying devices (or leasing them, more on this later), setting them up, staging and shipping them where they need to be, activating the devices on your wireless carrier plan. This is serious work and it needs to be both thorough and responsive.
  2. Understanding the total costs associated with your deployment and ongoing support will best prepare you for funding requests, ability to measure costs and success, and lead to an overall successful program. Cost for the software, device, accessories, installation, and support need to be identified up front to secure proper funding.
  3. How about trouble-shooting and 24/7 help desk support when a device in the field malfunctions? It is going to happen. Employees will not work if the device doesn’t.
  4. What about the critical process of reclaiming, securely de-commissioning and disposing of old devices?
  5. Whose or what resources will be there to support all of this? Wireless carriers are not in the position to provide this comprehensive level of support.

Answers and options

Outsource the device and wireless carrier management to professionals. It is important to understand exactly what support the service will provide and the associated costs. Thresholds, overages, and out of scope fees can make for an unpleasant surprise.

If a SaaS provider offers a proprietary device, don’t buy it. Single-use devices, with dedicated data rate plans, defeat the full possibility of integrated digital work platforms. If a decision is made to modernize, don’t choose multiple single-use devices with multiple rate plans. Get the right device and combine work processes and data and, to the extent possible, data plans.

There are essentially 3 choices for devices: Android, Apple/iOS and other. Smart business owners will choose only Android or Apple/iOS.

Remember the cheap tires on a Ferrari analogy? Many enterprise customers will opt to try and save money and implement new, often expensive, SaaS solution on inexpensive devices. This customer might believe quality devices are more expensive and that they cannot afford to purchase the new SaaS solution AND quality devices at the same time.

What else could you do with an integrated mobile device?

  • Video Training
  • Enhanced communications
  • Navigation
  • Routing
  • E-Signature
  • Scanning
  • Enhanced reporting and data mining from a single device with all systems

This customer will inevitably bear additional, latent costs for poor device reliability, functionality, frequent downtime for updating, and the expense for device management support. All of this impacts the total cost of ownership and importantly, the perception of a provider’s quality solution, integration and deployment. This device decision all too often leads to an overwhelmed and dissatisfied worker, struggling to keep up with device management issues and incorrectly blaming the SaaS system or service provider, not understanding the issue started with the choice of device.

Unless there are compelling tax issues or liquidity concerns, lease don’t buy mobile devices.

Why buy and own mobile devices when they will just become outdated in a couple years and need to be replaced? Leasing makes better sense. What to do with the old devices anyway, stick them in a junk drawer?

Comprehensive lease programs provide many if not all of these essential managed services and refresh with new devices automatically every 2-3 years. They handle the critical provision, on-going device support and reclamation/ de-commissioning process.

Configuring, kitting, staging, shipping, activating, de-activating, and securely de-commissioning devices on various wireless carrier rate plans takes experience.

Bundle it all up. Consider a comprehensive lease program that allows bundling all the components to be included in one payment. Device, accessories, mounts, installation, software, SaaS licensing, subscription payments all in one bill allows for comprehensive TCO, enhanced ROI and usage reporting.

OVATION Wireless Management works with a leading leasing company to solve for this critical device support issue by providing enterprise customers a total mobile technology lease bundle and service solution. High-quality devices are bundled with the customers’ choice of SaaS service and subscription expenses, including installation, accessories and one-time set up and deployment expenses. The bundle comes with a full-service device logistics support component rolled up into one easy and affordable monthly lease payment.

This unique lease bundle package comes with OVATION’s ongoing professional device management service, 24/7/365 helpdesk, with customized ordering and e-commerce portals to support service, implementations and deployments. The investment in mobility software and hardware as a user-interface work platform for employees is for the business’ foreseeable future, not just for the life-cycle of one device. For the entire term of the lease, OVATION provides experienced wireless support to the end-customer and solution provider alike with kitting, staging, device deployment/reclamation, even device activations and rate plan optimization on all major wireless carrier networks. OVATION automatically refreshes, reclaims and deploys new devices at the end of the lease term, an important long-term service consideration for any successful mobile work platform initiative.

In the end, it’s about your ability to customize and manage this digital transformation process in an easy, self-perpetuating way. It’s the future of your business operations. Any mobile device solution you select must be embraced by the worker, the IT department and the operations teams alike and be able to be managed centrally and professionally for years to come. Choose a mobile technology lease partner that can provide a full range of wireless device support and mobile managed service options.