Three steps to enterprise mobility management heaven

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A three-step progress is the most pragmatic way for multinational corporations to manage their mobile users, said Derek Austin, head of MNC marketing at Orange, speaking at Orange Business Live 2010, in Amsterdam.

Citing the Eddie Cochran track, Three Steps to Heaven, Austin said users need to get prepared, get control and get ambitious if they're to transition effectively.

Getting prepared might seem like a basic point, but there's plenty to do. "Customers say they want single contract, harmonised offers and tariffs," said Austin. "So we say what have you got now and they say they don't know or they've just signed long term contracts with local providers. Until you've learnt what you've got you can't work out how to plot a way forward."

Once you know where you are, you can decide where you're going, he added but getting control of the raft of mobile users of different types across the enterprise is the second step. "You need centralised control and visibility to bring the costs down," said Austin. "Then work with telecoms expense management and get security in place."

Finally, the fun stuff starts; "Get ambitious," said Austin. "Start thinking about different services tailored to your different users, put in clear usage policies and institute a further development plan."

A representative from one international enterprise in the audience recognised the need for structure; " We've got a fragmented approach, we're a very peripatetic organisation so lots of senior and middle management move around the world," they said. "We tend to do things on a project basis rather than a group basis. One of the challenges we face is there are very few partners you can operate with who will provide that global support we require."