We believe the key to understanding Enterprise Mobility needs, requirements and activities is to grasp the buying process. The Carrier Contract(s) is the key element that drives purchasing activity. Based on significant observation, we have determined that there are 3 fundamental stages of the Mobility contract life cycle. Each stage requires somewhat different information and each stage has a different number of players and risk. There is a need to have specific information and services tailored for each life cycle state in order to optimize decision making effectiveness while reducing administrator effort and financial risk.
Most Enterprise mobility activities are driven by the Carrier mobile contract. Typically, every 24 to 36 months a new contract is signed. Planning for new contracts often start about 3 months or so before the existing contract expires. So the average life cycle is around 21 to 33 months. We have identified 3 distinct components. They are: 1) Pre-Contact; 2) Implementation; and 3) Maintenance.
In the Pre-Contract segment, tasks such as needs assessment, technology evaluation, geographic requirements, business process review, security, sourcing and market conditions are considered. Typically, this is a highly visible exercise which usually involves multiple groups within the organization (Finance, IT, HR etc.) as well as multiple levels (analysts, managers and C-level). At the end of the day, an agreement is reached and signed by a senior employee. It is common for many companies to tender (RFP) for service. If this is the case, the RFP must be created, administered and a then executed. Regardless if the contract is award informally or via tender, this exercise has the greatest financial risk. If an organization does not have a clear picture of their needs, future direction and of market conditions, the risk of a bad decision can be very costly. For example, making a $10/month mistake on 1,000 devices can amount to $360,000 over a 36-month contract. This segment requires decision support information that can reduce risk and create financial certainty. This is the most collaborative segment that requires a considerable amount of information in many different cross functional areas.
The Implementation segment basically deals with any activity that involves executing the contract. For example, this could involve tasks such as administering a new device role out, MDM registration, end user training and contract compliance to name a few. This segment involves far less people relative to the Pre-Contract stage. Since this stage is more administrative, there is significantly lower financial risk as the cost is defined in the contract. This segment requires transactional information to ensure contract compliance and order fulfillment statistics.
The Maintenance segment generally deals with regular tasks associated with administering wireless devices and monitoring usage. Typically, this involves IT for the most part. Tasks such as onboarding new employees, hardware upgrades, purchases, MDM enrollment, invoice review and payment and identification of carrier billing errors and their resolution. Usage information is often collected and reviewed by various stake holders in the company. It is critical to review data usage and identify any outliers in order to control usage spending in order to maintain cost certainty. This segment requires both transactional and management information to meet the needs of cost centre stakeholders.
For Buyers, it is really important to do an outstanding job on your due diligence during the pre-contract phase. Here you need to fully understand the cost, the necessary tools and the amount of human effort required to implement and maintain Wireless devices within the Enterprise.
For Sellers, it is really important to understand what stage your prospects are in. You will get the most attention during the Pre-Contract phase. During this phase, Buyers are looking at ways to lower both the financial risk and the amount of effort it will take implement and maintain a wireless contract.