For enterprise IT leaders deploying large numbers of mobile devices to their workforce, there are multiple moving parts and a lot at stake. While few businesses today would question the value of a mobile-enabled workforce, a successful corporate-liable program relies on getting several things right — from choosing an enterprise-ready device and an effective MDM solution, to implementing a coordinated app strategy.
One factor often overlooked at the outset is establishing a predictable and sustainable mobile refresh lifecycle. Mobile churn — resulting in multiple models and even disparate platforms in use concurrently — can undercut the benefits that corporate liable holds over BYOD or other hybrid mobility models.
In my role at Samsung, providing steady and predictable device availability to our enterprise customers is a key responsibility. This is why I’m so excited with our new Enterprise Device Program (EDP). I’ll get to the program shortly, but first let’s look in more depth at some challenges in enterprise MDM today that have shaped our approach.
Any large mobile device effort is bound to be complex, from deployment and enrollment of thousands of devices in your MDM, to managing day-to-day employee requests. A successful mobility program depends on choosing the right device and establishing a predictable, sustainable and long refresh cycle. But this can be easier said than done.
The mobile refresh lifecycle is condensed in part by employees’ desire to always have the latest and best. The result is that instead of a long stretch between refresh events, IT managers end up facing a sort of staggered refresh — an ongoing mobile churn. With multiple devices deployed throughout the workforce, something else is always due for a refresh. This plurality of devices likewise increases the potential for security gaps as IT scrambles to keep patches and policies current on multiple models.
Even when managers do achieve a degree of uniformity, the issue of availability remains. Consider the case of a large enterprise sending out 5,000 new devices to its West Coast sales representatives. Perhaps this is just a trial run to see if these devices pass muster. But by the time the new smartphone has won approval and the IT team is ready to expand the deployment, it finds out that manufacturer has stopped making that model.
Suppose that same company buys out another firm and discovers, when it tries to expand its existing inventory, that the phone presently in use can no longer be purchased. Here again, availability (or the lack thereof) results in a negative business outcome.
This, in a nutshell, is the great mobile lifecycle challenge: IT wants a uniform mobile inventory. They and their employees also want to keep current with technology. In this way, demand and availability too often fall out of sync. Mobility managers are justifiably tired of product cycles that don’t match their business needs.
Our new Enterprise Device Program (EDP) illustrates a new way of approaching the mobile refresh lifecycle. With the EDP, we offer a two-year purchase availability assurance for enterprise customers standardizing on our key mobile devices. For IT planners, this window of availability addresses a number of important challenges.
First, it helps ensures that the entire workforce can remain on a single platform, simplifying support and maintenance. Long-term purchase availability also ensures that customer-specific accessories remain compatible longer, and that custom applications — often months in the making — will be able to run seamlessly, as the platform remains consistent.
At the same time, our EDP encompasses monthly security upgrades. This helps to ensure that the security issues that had been an inherent part of the fragmented device landscape are better addressed.
A Rational Approach
When an enterprise looks at the two-year availability assurance, there’s more on the table than just the effort to pare back churn and maximize device investment. At its heart, this is all about rational IT management.
There are some concerns regarding device refresh that every IT leader should already have on the chalkboard. Is there a robust apps ecosystem? Does the vendor possess a strong partner network? Are enterprise services available?
But this is basic block-and-tackle. A truly rational approach to mobile device management will take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This isn’t just about devices, it’s about business management. That’s where device refresh meets such issues as recruiting and retention, custom development and business-specific accessories. More than simply an evaluation of the functionality of any given mobile device, mobile churn and device availability are all about business outcomes.
It’s in this context that the benefits of our EDP and two-year availability assurance become crystal clear.
Learn more about our *keyword not Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, backed up by Samsung’s Enterprise Device Program.