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Re-look at your mobile management, for the mobile evolution

The unpredictable nature of data usage is something of a real challenge for larger organisations.

I have the pleasure of introducing Telstra special guest Michael Covington, vice president of product strategy at Wandera -- an enterprise mobile security and data management company. He has been in IT for the past 20 years since he graduated with a PHD in access control modelling. Covington has worked for top IT vendors like Intel, Cisco, and Juniper Networks.

Organisations today are in the early days of mobile maturity and just about every company out there has embraced mobility as a communication tool. Employees are being given devices, bought by their company, to help them stay connected, when they're on the go outside of the office.

The mobile devices are being used for simple stuff like telephone calls, emails, and even text messaging. However, sophisticated organisations are starting to move beyond having a mobile device as a simple communication tool -- using mobility to do more.

Whether it's tethering a laptop or other devices to get connected to corporate datacentres or writing custom apps, these mobile devices aren't just used to access data, but also enrich it and interact with it. However, we have a long road to travel before we fully embrace and utilise mobility to its full extent.

That's not to say the journey of mobile adoption in the enterprise hasn't been an interesting one so far but we remain curious as to how innovative companies will unlock the potential of mobile devices to bring about transformational shifts in how their businesses operate.

Just look at where companies were about three to five years ago; they allowed mobility to be managed in 'federated pockets', so to speak. Their headquarters managed a complete set of devices and policies that differed from branch offices in other locations.

Now we're seeing mobility being adopted and managed from a central perspective with acceptable use policies enforced. Businesses now have one buying centre that's starting to coordinate purchases globally so they can standardise the adoption of platforms, applications and management tools. I think this is a really good move for companies and it will put them in a position to make more smart mobility investments beyond just the handset and carrier plans.

IT teams will reach a point where they feel comfortable that they have implemented a mobility strategy that works so they can take the next step of investing in custom app development, for example.

One of the biggest challenges to come out of the enterprise mobility evolution is the way organisations look at billing. And that's a challenge many people have experienced - whether it's an IT administrator managing a fleet of corporate mobile devices; or a parent who has distributed mobile phones to their children and is trying to manage a family plan - data cost management is a pain point.

An Australian law firm was being hit with monthly mobile bills numbering in the thousands. This was a result of escalation in mobile roaming costs due to increased international travel requirements following a merger. With monthly bills reaching thousands of dollars, the biggest challenge faced by the law firm was that their mobile carriers could provide very little detail or visibility into how these costs were being incurred.

The Wandera and Telstra solution provides the visibility into data usage that organisations need and the ability to put in place a more rigid policy for roaming users and a more generous one for domestic users.

The person responsible for the auditing or paying the bills often has no visibility of usage until the bill arrives and they find out someone has incurred a $1,000 charge for streaming while roaming overseas or exceeding their data allowance with a download, for example.

The unpredictable nature of billing is a real challenge for larger organisations who are buying not just megabytes or gigabytes, but petabytes, for their entire global fleet. It can be a barrier to adoption. If they can't get over this basic hurdle then how will they be comfortable with managing the expenses associated with the more powerful mobility strategies of the future?

This is where Telstra and Wandera have teamed up to wrap a managed service around Wandera's Data Management tools.Evolving technologies and workplace trends are driving the need to relook at mobile usage management.With the technology and trends being supported by the Telstra network, every smart device becomes another doorway into the company's IP.

Telstra and Wandera can better serve our customers and address their challenges by assisting and advising on policy management, securing their end points and giving deeper business insights into how their mobile data is being consumed through our visualisation reports.

The next post in this three-part series will look at mobile data usage management further. Find out which department was responsible for huge data spikes at one of our customers -- a Formula One team.

Read more on mobile management, to stay ahead of the competition.