Mobile Device Management: The Zombie Phone Killer

Zombies are every where you turn. Movies, books, and games are being overrun by Zombies. But the last place you want to find zombies is hidden inside your corporate cell phone bill.

A zombie phone is a mobile device that you, as a corporation, believe is dead, but in reality is still alive, being billed by your carrier every month. For a better look at the hidden costs of Zombie Phones based on the number of mobile devices your enterprise has check out our infographic, Mobile Device Management: The Zombie Phone Killer

There are two ways Zombie phones can manifest themselves.

The Walking Dead

Many organizations have policies that allow an employee to keep their phone after they leave an organization. The policy usually involves a process to transfer the finanical liability from the corporate account to the employee. The employee gets to keep their phone and the company gets to transfer the monthly bill to the now ex-employee.

Unfortunately, about 10% of the time, the transfer/termination of the device does not happen. The employee has the phone, oftentimes for months on end, the carrier keeps sending the invoice to the company, and the company keeps paying the bill, oblivious to the zombie device that is now draining money from their coffers.

Buried Alive

Another method for a zombie phone to find its way into your organization is the buried alive method. The employee must turn over their phone, either to IT, HR, or Finance. A process is in place that then alerts billing to alert the carrier to terminate the phone. The phone is put into a drawer or box and forgotten. But about 10% of the time something happens in the process and the phone does not get terminated. And there it sits, buried out of sight, sucking resources from the company.

Costly Oversight

One of the biggest challenges with recoginizing the threat of zombie phones is being able to see the threat from the corporate perspective rather than from the individual perspective. To a department head or manager, the missing device is not seen as a big issue. It is just one phone and the effort to track it down can seem more than the cost savings involved.

But when taken in aggragate the true nature of the threat of Zombie phones can be seen.

During an audit of mobile devices for a large multi-national biotech firm, 2% of the mobile phones were found to be Zombie phones with an annual bill of $70,000.

When taken together, the threat from Zombie phones can be easily recognized.

And this isn’t uncommon. Nearly every company we encounter, no matter the size, has difficulty managing their costs for mobile devices.

MDM: The Zombie Killer

The problem is not going away and is growing in complexity. But a strong Mobile Device Management system can address the problem. In addition to managing the security of the device, MDM Cost Management is able to immediately identify the zombie phones that show up. In a single month of deployment, MDM with cost management begins to pay for itself with the identifying of all zombie devices and removing them from the carrier’s bill. For a company like the bio-tech firm, that is an extra $70,000 that suddenly appeared in the budget.

All MDM solutions can lock a device, locate it, and wipe it if necessary. Nearly all also manage the apps on the device and the overall security of the device. But few MDM solutions manage the entire lifecycle of the device, helping you manage costs in addition to the security.

IT and Finance are not in a position to look to the other to have responsiblity for the management of the mobile costs. But your Amtel MDM solution is going to allow both departments to use a single tool to solve both of their issues.

Kill the zombies in your organization with Amtel MDM.

 
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