Software maker gets its mobile house in order

Hosted service from Visage Mobile tracks and manages enterprise mobility costs, including cellular plans

Working with MobilityCentral's management screens, administrators can create usage and security policies for the various telco wireless services. A Web dashboard lets administrators see an array of reports on such things as usage patterns and trends, and lets them compare the mobile budget for individuals or groups with actual carrier bills, quickly pinpointing problem areas. The software can process information and manage mobility plans from different carriers, covering an array of devices.

Visage Mobile can put as many as 500 users online in about 30 days, if the customer is receiving electronic bills from their mobile carriers, Alms says. If they're not getting electronic invoices, it might take two or three months. The service handles all the monthly invoice processing, individual employee bill presentment, and full reconciliation of carrier services.

There is no upfront capital investment: The list price for the MobilityCentral service is US$5 per user per month, which can vary based on the number of users, the length of the service contract, and prepayments.

Alms says there is no shortage of interest. In developing the software, the company talked with more than 70 companies to get insights and feedback."What they wanted was a 'better end user experience,' says Alms."They had the device they needed, and the connectivity they needed. But support issues [for users] are a nightmare."

Chordiant has about 500 employees, counting about 200 outsourced R&D engineers. Of that total, about 300 are mobile workers, not based in a company office. What information the company had about its mobile assets was stored in Excel spreadsheets, laboriously compiled and maintained by hand. One key benefit has been the accuracy of the data collected and processed by MobilityCentral."We see an improvement in the quality of the data, and in minimizing exceptions, the longer we use it," Chordiant's Yu says.

Shifting to MobilityCentral, Chordiant administrators could see at once where excessive expenditures were taking place under the various wireless service plans. Rules were tightened, plans modified, expanded or scrapped as needed, all based on current data."We could identify plans that didn't make sense, based on the business requirements," Yu says.

Another benefit is the company's ability to now accurately and consistently predict what its wireless costs will be month after month. "That's a huge benefit from a business perspective," Yu says.

The only thing missing from MobilityCentral at the present, he says, is Visage Mobile's ability to support mobile users worldwide. "For companies like us, with a global presence, they need to move quickly into partnerships with global telcos," Yu says.

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