Thursday, 5 November 2015
For most people the last time they renewed their business mobile contract the questions would've been, “what network?” and “what handset?” but with the merging of Orange and t-mobile to form EE, the launch of the joint 4G network modernisation program venture between O2 and Vodafone, the launch of the ‘calls over wifi’ technology and the growing dominance of Android and Windows to join iOS and Blackberry as mobile platforms the decision making process for your next mobile solution will likely have changed. So what's new?
As little as 10 years ago, smartphones as we now know them didn’t even exist. Nowadays smartphones are effectively mini computers, providing a tool with which you can access almost everything you would ever need for business. We can access our emails, our server documents, make changes to proposals and presentations and even sign and approve documents on move. That's before we even consider that we can print, take high-res photos and even film in 4K definition on them. Oh yeah, and make a call from time to time..
Although most modern smartphones can offer these basic functions, there are a few traps to avoid and a few important decisions to make early on in the process regarding platform, hardware and network. Here we will cover off a few of the factors which will help narrow these down.
BUSINESS CRITICAL APPs – although most business apps are available across all platforms, the windows mobile store is still lagging behind the apple and google play stores and if there are any business critical apps you require its worth checking the availability of those apps across all platforms as this may help you decide which platform you can rule out.
OFFICE COMPUTER PLATFORM – are you apple or PC users? Have you migrated to office365 or are you gmail users? Although these factors don’t rule out which operating system to use these days, it is important to factor in the added functionality each brings to the table.
SECURITY AND DEVICE MANAGEMENT – what level of access do you want to give to your employees, and how do you manage this across your mobile fleet? Blackberry has ‘Pentagon-level’ security and provides absolute control over your mobile fleet as standard with BES 12 however the functionality of iOS, Android and Windows 10 may mean that these platforms may also provide you all the functionality you require. If you require a full management solution, then looking at adding an mobile device management service to your contract may help you keep control of this and we can advise on this.
Once you have decided on the platform to use, then the next decision will likely be network. O2 are the only network provider to commit to providing 4G coverage to 97% of the population by 2017 and have an aggressive rollout plan which is seeing £1m a day spent on their mobile network infrastructure. There is the added benefit of their partnership with Vodafone to ‘mast share’ across the country. To see what network will cover your area best check out the new service from OfCom - http://www.ofcom.org.uk/mobile-coverage
The great news is that we are the only wholesale provider to all 3 networks meaning we can mix and match networks on the same contract, with a single bill and 1 point of contact so just pick which is best for you!
Last but certainly not least is hardware. This often comes down to personal preference and budget but speak to your 9dots contact to determine the best solution for you.
Written by Martin Kershaw 04/11/2015