Why Managed Mobility Services Are Retail’s Secret Weapon

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Why Managed Mobility Services Are Retail’s Secret Weapon

By Gina Gallo - 12/09/2016
In today’s always-on, always-connected marketplace, retailers have a wide range of technologies available to create value and remain competitive. Forward-thinking companies embrace the disruption associated with digital transformation; mobile can offer the value they’re seeking. The linchpin to the digital transformation of business, mobile already connects consumers, customers, businesses and partners in ways no other technology can – instantly, seamlessly and reliably. Mobile allows retailers to tap into an existing communications network bought and paid for by its customers and partners.
                                                                                         
But adopting mobile technology comes with added risk around data breaches, increased infrastructure traffic, multiplatform device management and rapid technology obsolescence. The same digitally powered transformation that lets retailers reach out and touch customers on demand requires considerable IT resources from an organization that is expected to be spending most of its time “heads down” on strategic programs, such as big data, analytics and security. In most cases, the skill sets found in corporate IT do not include the specialized expertise needed to create and manage a diverse mobile ecosystem. As a result, deploying mobile across an enterprise languishes, even as mobile transforms business operations in almost every industry, geography and market.
 
Mobile is not your average technology deployment: In many cases, it’s an all-at-once rollout to a diverse population hungry for out-of-the-box use. One challenge to getting involved is the multitude of devices and platforms, each of which has been customized for the end user, not necessarily the business. A second concern centers on securing devices that travel in and out of the store or office every day. Finally, many retailers already have too many business-critical projects underway to redeploy resources into mobile. Is there a viable alternative to “do-it-yourself” mobile?   
 
The answer is yes. Turning to a managed mobile services provider makes sense – technically and financially – for retailers that need to focus IT resources on building and supporting business-critical infrastructure. Today, many large, global companies have taken a managed mobile services approach. The reasons for this sea change in IT’s approach to mobile are multi-faceted, with cost savings, rapid deployment, device management and security concerns topping the list.
 
Managed mobile services takes an end-to-end approach to the mobile ecosystem – from planning to deployment to support. Delegating mobile deployment and support to a trusted partner allows retailers to tap into mobile-specific expertise they could never amass on their own and ensures a consistent delivery and service model. It also enables businesses to get a handle on mobile’s true cost and speed deployment time, in many cases.
 
The benefits of working with a managed mobile provider include consolidating provisioning and deployment services, which streamlines processes, improves execution and reduces time to market. Centralized spare pool management and trained support services can reduce unnecessary returns, resolve issues more quickly, and lower spare pool requirements and associated costs. The predictability of an ongoing managed mobile services subscription, which can include mobile device acquisitions, is also a welcome alternative to erratic CAPEX spikes.
 
In almost every case, outsourcing to a managed mobile services provider brings down the costs and risks associated with deployment and ongoing support programs. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need help scaling an existing program, the right provider will leverage its knowledge to help you develop a strategy that works today and tomorrow. 

Gina Gallo, President and CEO, Stratix