As unlimited data plans become a relic from the past, customers should look at ways to avoid carrier data plan overages in order to reduce their mobile costs.
Earlier, the carrier service plan subscription for enterprises included limited pools of voice minutes and text messages and unlimited data. Today, the situation has flipped, voice has taken a back seat and the major focus is on the data plan as the revenue driver at the carriers. Carriers are coming out with innovative plans like data pools, but these are geared more towards SMBs (Small and Medium Business) or family plans. There is no real cost effective alternative from the carriers to curtain ballooning data costs for enterprises.
From receiving corporate email on mobile devices to running mobile enterprise apps such as Salesforce.com or Workday, the mobile data bandwidth usage in the enterprise is on the rise. While the bandwidth is often served with Wi-Fi networks at work locations, employees on the move gobble up 4G data bandwidth on carrier service plans. What can companies do to get a handle on data bandwidth usage and manage within mobile operations budgets?
The first step in taking control is measurement and monitoring. While the carrier data usage is available to the smartphone or tablet user in a timely fashion, most users won’t bother to check their usage often enough. The answer is to keep track of data usage centrally with a neutral third party solution. There you can set threshold levels for data usage, monitor usage, and trigger alerts to users and management upon approaching or exceeding threshold limits. Timely action will help save money by avoiding data overage charges from carriers.
Another key preventive step you can take is to warn users in real-time when they are located internationally and trying to use data. In addition to location based alerts and warnings, automated actions can be put in place to escape exorbitant international data roaming charges. Using certain MDM related device features, data usage can be switched off remotely when necessary. Location services can identify international roaming situation on iPhones and trigger warnings and alerts.
At Amtel, we see data plan management as a growing concern among our customers and our goal is to offer innovative solutions to monitor and control those costs for them.