How Channel Can Help Customers Cut Mobile CostsBy Guest Author | Print
COMMENTARY: There are three questions every channel partner should ask to help customers save on mobile costs.
By Graham Bevington
With more employees traveling and working from home, mobile technology in the enterprise has never been more important. The market has created a unique opportunity for resellers to become key mobility resources for organizations to rely on, particularly as the growing mobile marketplace transforms and we see further developments in the industry like Comcast expanding its service provider play and Verizon snatching up Yahoo.
The mobility issues facing companies allow tech vendors and value-added partners to work together to ensure they are creating the best possible package to bring their clients into the mobile-first era. The feedback we have heard from working with our customers and our channel partners is that C-suite executives focus mostly on price concerns when deciding to make the transition to mobile.
To address this, we have been working with our partners to create a few baseline questions that help them improve existing relationships, while getting them a foot in the door with prospective clients looking to go mobile-first. While these questions may seem simple, you would be amazed at the cost savings and conversations that can be gained from them.
May I See Your Phone Bill?
Your clients may feel–as many of us in the consumer space do–that their mobile phone bill is much too high, and the only way they can save money is to go back to their service providers and negotiate a new plan to lower the bill. This approach may work for some large global enterprises once or twice, but it is not a sustainable practice and is next-to-impossible for small and even some midsize organizations to achieve.
Still, there are many ways companies can take advantage of mobile technologies to improve their overall phone bills. It behooves the channel partners of these organizations to bring these simple tips to their customers' attention and then sit down with them and create a game plan for taking advantage of their existing infrastructure to create a better mobile plan.
Are You Taking Advantage of VoWiFi Technologies?
Organizations with multiple branches, remote sites or international teams are probably racking up quite a large phone bill, thanks to international exchange charges. However, if a company has an existing Private Branch Exchange (PBX) infrastructure in place, the first step to mobility cost savings could be quite simple. Many carriers such as T-Mobile and device manufactures like Apple are ensuring devices are now built to handle voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) calls. This allows an organization's phone calls to be routed through the PBX network to take advantage of the existing technology infrastructure. Whether teams are remote or in the same building, they can now take advantage of features such as HD calling, while ensuring a more secure, stable connection that helps drive down costs.
Are You Using Mobile 2.0 Technology?
Mobile 2.0 is one of the newest mobile technologies we have been working with our channel partners to have clients take advantage of; this technology allows you to have your mobile and work number on the same phone. Mobile 2.0 lets you embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture employees want, while giving the C-suite the peace of mind they need when it comes to security. Companies taking advantage of this technology can track and log all the activities from an employee's work number, while keeping the device secure with the mobile security features an organization already has in place. If the employee leaves or loses their device, the company is then able to remotely disable it without impacting the employee's personal data. This also helps keep costs down because companies won't need to purchase additional devices for employees and it is more convenient for employees than the alternative of carrying around two phones.
Next time you walk into a customer's office, use these conversation starters and see where they take you. I think you will be surprised to find that you can introduce some nice cost savings for them and engender further trust moving forward.
Graham Bevington is chief sales officer of Mitel, an Ottawa, Ontario-based company that focuses on unified communications and VOIP solutions.