The use of mobile phones in the enterprise has greatly changed the way that end users go about their work. No longer limited to a fixed desktop PC, they can work from anywhere, on any device, improving collaboration and streamlining business processes.
The advent of LTE – super fast mobile data connectivity – is one of the key drivers of mobility in the enterprise. LTE enables end users to conveniently surf the internet, share and access the files that they rely on, and use the enterprise applications that are becoming key to business productivity.
However, as business users continue to drive mobile data uptake, it is becoming apparent that communication service providers (CSPs) are holding them back, offering a critical lack of visibility over mobile data service spend and usage. This is inhibiting enterprises from using their mobiles in a cost efficient, controlled manner. The result is that businesses are now on the hunt for a mobile service provider that can effectively suit their needs and enable enterprise growth, not limit it.
Businesses only have to look at the consumer mobile experience to realise that something is wrong with the current state of play regarding their billing experience. CSPs are empowering consumers by giving them the ability to purchase data top-ups, access services on-demand and view accurate balances, instantaneously, direct from the device. These innovative billing models provide consumers with a more personalised mobile phone experience, and also safeguard both the consumer and the CSPs from the perils of bill shock. In fact, what replaces it for the enterprise CFO, is bill comfort and a set of financial planning tools that allow companywide data allocations to be used where they’re most effective.
However, this advanced digital experience, enabled through real-time business support systems (BSS), is currently limited to the consumer and has not yet been implemented in the enterprise. CSPs continue to service the enterprise with the same back office systems of 25 years ago, that are offline and out of sight. The time lag between employee usage and CFO or department head visibility of the account charges gives rise to a continual cycle of problems. This can cause unexpected charges, generate unnecessary queries to account managers, create billing disputes, and understandably results in an unsatisfied business with no control over its mobile costs.
In today’s digital world, enterprise should be demanding an urgent upgrade – batch billing and unexpected costs are no longer acceptable and must give way to transparent and customisable billing options.
The demands of a digital enterprise
Today’s digital enterprises must seek a mobile experience that can keep up and add value to their business – delivered through friendly self-care apps, providing rich functionality and visibility. These tools can give enterprises dynamic control over how they manage, allocate, share and relocate pooled data allowances across their organisations.
Administrators and CFOs should be given a dashboard, providing a real-time accurate view of spending from the top of the organisation, through the department levels, down to the individual device. This will enable them to accurately manage expenditure and forecast budgets – a vital part of running a successful business.
At a lower level, employees have no way of accurately understanding their usage, and can often inadvertently run up large, unexpected charges by using data roaming, which may go unnoticed by finance until the bill arrives and is analysed. Businesses therefore require real-time insight into their incurred usage, with the ability to re-appropriate data and minutes between departments and users to ensure mobile expenditure is always consistent.
Usage alerts can enable CFOs, administrators and department heads to understand where data allocations can be more effectively positioned, as well as make the case for purchasing more – and then being able to implement those instantly, rather than incurring overages.
In today’s digital world, enterprises must seek out a mobile experience that put them back in power. Enterprises must demand the same proactive, strategic financial information they find elsewhere in their value and supply chains to be available at their fingertips. Some CSPs are getting closer to delivering this kind of experience and it is up to the enterprise to make sure they adopt an innovative approach for their mobile employees.
Jennifer Kyriakakis, Founder & VP Marketing, MATRIXX Software
Image source: Shutterstock/Rawpixel