Wireless technology is a productivity and efficiency enabler for today’s mobile workforce.

Corporate fleets use GPS and location-based services (LBS) to track the whereabouts of fleet vehicles, to identify field resources near a specific job site for dispatch and to optimize travel routes to avoid traffic congestion. Transportation and logistics companies have deployed LBS to improve fuel economy for fleet trucks by mapping optimal travel routes based on distance, topography and traffic patterns. Field-service companies have deployed wireless timecard technology to streamline job tracking, wireless inventory management to identify available stock nearest to a job site, and wireless point-of-sale terminals to capture credit card payments in the field. Of course, fleet and field workers also have cellphones and smartphones for communications.

“A WMM program serves to optimize service-to-cost efficiency and to establish a baseline.”

As wireless technology continues to evolve and companies expand mobile-workforce applications, business practices for managing wireless assets and costs become more critical. As such, Wireless Mobility Management (WMM) enables companies to gain needed visibility and control over their wireless environments.

WMM allows companies to manage cost through a centrally managed inventory of wireless assets and carrier rate plans associated with each employee, business division or cost-center owner. Wireless rate plans can be validated for accuracy and optimized against usage. And mobile users can be supported effectively and efficiently.

According to AOTMP research, companies with a WMM plan in place can reduce wireless voice and data expenses by 25 percent. The primary drivers behind this cost effect are visibility and control. By gaining visibility into usage patterns, services and rate plans can be financially optimized against changing usage demands.

As devices are updated, carrier rate plans often change to accommodate new applications. An inventory provides visibility into these changes so that they may be validated for accuracy. When mobile equipment is decommissioned and replaced with newer technology, continuity of device, plan and user assignment is more easily maintained with a centralized inventory. Without an inventory as a control mechanism, asset and plan orphans go unnoticed and are absorbed into the environment, resulting in the added expense of unneeded, unwanted or rogue services.

And wireless carrier plans are prone to billing inaccuracy. In fact, AOTMP research has found the rate of overbilling for all telecom services is greater than 9 percent. Due to this rate of error, instituting a WMM program that validates charge accuracy against contracted rates and authorized services will serve to identify and reduce instances of overbilling that lead to budget overruns.

A wireless help desk provides user-facing support for all technical and service needs. Integral to any help desk is visibility into assets and their configuration. Awareness of these details enables help-desk technicians to expedite ticket resolution in support of the user. Companies with a valid and up-to-date inventory of wireless assets and carrier rate plans require between 35-percent and 50-percent fewer help-desk staff to support the workforce. When evaluating staffing requirements, efficiency of ticket resolution against volume of tickets contributes to the equation.

A WMM program serves to optimize service-to-cost efficiency and to establish a baseline from which the mobile environment can be effectively managed now and into the future.

Timothy C. Colwell is vice president/Knowledge Operations at AOTMP, the creator and provider of the Efficiency First System, a framework for managing fixed and wireless telecom environments. Contact him at tcolwell@aotmp.com.

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