The Data Dillema

April 25, 2014

Managing Wireless spend with a data hungry workforce

It seems that today’s smart devices can do everything. Your employees are not just calling their clients and colleagues anymore. They are sending emails with attached spreadsheets, presentations, video conferencing with them, and watching some videos on YouTube in their spare time. All of these things require data, and with a few exceptions unlimited data plans are a thing of the past. This can lead to big overages at the end of a billing cycle. Luckily, there are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure you aren’t hit with a big bill.

Set Standards

When managing your employees’ data use, it’s easy to feel like you’re playing catch up. New applications and web platforms pop up every day, and more often than not, these new applications are cloud based, constantly depending on an active data connection to keep the application up to date. Start with a short list of offenders that you know are known for burning through data. Video streaming and conferencing applications such as YouTube, Netflix, and Skype should be first on that list. Luckily, mobile-device-management platforms (MDMs) make monitoring data and application use easy. Consider investing in a MDM solution to be sure your employees are using data responsibly.

Here are a couple easy practices you can adopt to cut down on data use:

Use WiFi whenever possible

If you haven’t already, consider investing in more comprehensive wireless coverage at your office, and ask your employees to stay connected while they are in-house. Most apps that sync to the cloud also have a setting that only enables syncing only while connected to WiFi. While this might not be ideal for some essential apps such as email or corporate file share, backup assistants such as iCloud and others are best left to update while over WiFi, as they can quickly eat up data.

Cut down on Background Updates

Encourage your employees using iPhones to disable background updates for applications that don’t need to always be up-to-date. They can find these preferences by going to Settings, then General, and selecting Background App Refresh. Android also offers a wide variety of app killers that will periodically close unnecessary applications running in the background. Be careful with these applications though, as the last thing you want your employees to do is to kill an important application that they depend on to be up-to-date.

Rate Plan Analysis

The last step in preventing excessive data usage is actively monitoring and adapting your employees’ wireless plans based on their usage. Expert Rate Plan Analysis (RPA) is the best way to do this. Making sure your users are on the right plan for their usage is one of the most important steps in controlling wireless spend. The problem is most internal IT teams don’t have the knowledge or the time to negotiate with the big carriers and make sure they are getting the best deal for each and every line. Expert knowledge and experience in the wireless industry is the only way you can optimize wireless spend and make sure that your company’s mobility doesn’t cut too much off your bottom line.

About mindWireless

mindWireless offers over decades worth of experience in the wireless industry. Need help managing your wireless spend? We have a team of finance professionals with the experience and skills necessary to cut down on your wireless expenditures. mindWireless also offers branded help desk, procurement management, and strategic consulting. Contact us today to start a conversation about how we can address your company’s mobility needs.