Use MMS provider service desks to boost your enterprise mobility and BYOD initiatives

Photo by Marjan Grabowski on Unsplash

Service desks play an intricate role in a company on a day-to-day basis. Providing your employees with the best help desk services from your managed mobility services (MMS) provider can lessen internal issues and improve employee productivity.

Here are some considerations for your mobility provider’s service desk:

Solution provider service desks and your employees

TechTarget notes that because of their mobility expertise, your users can come to your provider’s service desk for a full range of support services, including mobile device acquisition, provisioning and end-of-life services for smartphones, tablets and ruggedized devices.

Your provider will escalate user issues and requests as necessary to the appropriate service tier, such as the following:

  • Tier 0 for self-service web portals
  • Tier 1 with a 24/7, 365-day service desk for how to questions and issue resolution
  • Tier 2 with escalated support beyond the skills and expertise of Tier 1
  • Tier 3 acting as an escalation point for Tier 2 issues

The help desk should provide your company with weekly or monthly reporting about help desk issues, resolutions and trends. Such reporting is one way to ensure your MMS provider is meeting your service-level agreement. Like with any other managed services provider, details of the reporting and SLA are standard parts of the contract negotiations. The help desk can also play an integral role in the development and management of your BYOD policies, so don’t forget to invite team members to your corporate BYOD initiative.

Enterprise mobility — let alone mobile security — is challenging to track for many people. Your provider’s help desk can serve as a direct liaison between your mobile carrier and your users. The VAR Guy notes your provider can assist with the billing issues that can occur when your company is running a growing number of devices that suck down data and minutes, not to mention roaming. MMS provider expertise also extends to putting in the tools and processes to manage your mobile expenses to reduce billing issues.

Benefits of MMS provider help desk services

The following are some benefits of using an MMS provider:

  • Access to mobile security expertise the average company can’t bring in-house because of fluctuating workloads, budget constraints or the tight market for mobile security expertise
  • Insights into enterprise mobility and BYOD best practices
  • Wireless network troubleshooting
  • Hardware troubleshooting and lost or stolen device assistance
  • Knowledge base of help content often available through a self-service portal for users
  • Incident support coordination with enterprise mobility management and other security providers
  • Automation of mobile operating system and app updates

Ultimately, the MMS provider service desk plays a major role in enterprise mobility and BYOD because it’s on the front line, serving users through all facets of the enterprise mobility life.

This post originally appeared on Mobile Business Insights on August 30, 2017. The site is no longer in publication.

My name is Will Kelly. I’m a technical writer and content strategist based in the Washington, DC area. I’ve written for corporations and technology publications about such topics as cloud computing, DevOps, and enterprise mobility. Follow me on Twitter: @willkelly

Government technology: Mobile transformation for the federal government

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

Mobility is becoming the backbone of enterprise technology. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about mobility in government technology. Yet the federal government could benefit from more efficient management through mobile transformation.

Imagine government agencies with mobile-enabled workers accessing real-time data from devices to better serve taxpayers. A mobile government means a better emergency response due to better access to real-time data. It also means improved continuity of operations during winter storms and power outages, when federal workers would have difficulty getting into their offices.

Mobile transformation at the speed of government

It helps to look at each federal government agency as an independent institution with its own mission. Civilian agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are prime candidates for going mobile because they have large field workforces and regional offices. Since they both have enforcement arms, access to real-time data and applications can help agents make better enforcement decisions in the field.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is home to mobility initiatives inside the Pentagon, according to Federal News Radio. The Defense Information Systems Agency — the DoD’s IT department — has an enterprise app store that serves as a hub for DoD mobile apps. There’s also information about the Defense Mobility Unclassified Capability, which provides commercial-grade mobile devices with secure business tools for the department’s servicepeople and civilian employees.

Service branches such as the US Army are developing mobile training apps for soldiers’ devices. According to Interference Technology, the Navy is using a suite of eSailor apps to train sailors. These apps can reach prospective recruits who grew up as part of the smartphone generation, and they can reinforce what service people have learned in class while they’re deployed.

Government technology acquisition cycles run much longer than commercial procurements, and they can’t keep pace with the evolving mobility market. However, it’s safe to expect procurement changes: Agencies are experimenting with outcome-based procurements from 18F, an organization charged with improving the government experience. After the procurement changes, agile development and DevOps will likely grow, and custom mobile apps will become standard as agencies deliver apps as quickly as consumer developers.

The future of mobile government

The White House’s Cybersecurity Executive Order could help increase the pace of mobile transformation. The order mandates strengthening federal cybersecurity through cloud-based services and infrastructure. The strengthened cybersecurity measures should result in updated security tools, including two-factor authentication and derived credentials.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a bright spot in the government’s mobile transformation thanks to its mobile security work. According to GCN, the agency has made a significant investment in app security and released an important study about mobile device security. DHS efforts could bolster the case for more government agencies to go mobile.

Another factor in the government going mobile is employee telework. The General Services Administration has approved over 90 percent of its roles for telework, according to GovTechWorks. Unscheduled telework is a frequent message on radio and TV around the Washington, DC, area when it snows, raising even an infrequent need for mobile device access.

While the federal government is currently behind the times, its mobile transformation will continue as the cloud becomes even more of an IT standard across government agencies.

This post originally appeared on Mobile Business Insights on November 14, 2017. The site is no longer in publication.

My name is Will Kelly. I’m a technical writer and content strategist based in the Washington, DC area. I’ve written for corporations and technology publications about such topics as cloud computing, DevOps, and enterprise mobility. Follow me on Twitter: @willkelly

Is Android for Work making an impact in the mobile enterprise?

Image by davide ragusa via

Android for Work, in my opinion, is long overdue to power Android into the enterprise. While Android for Work acts as an extension of an enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform, it adds another layer of management to Android in the enterprise.

Android has long been an employee want for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) but deemed a security risk. Now with Android for Work, an enterprise can deploy secure versions of mobile apps that employees can run as part of a work profile on their favorite mobile device. A user can maintain a non-work profile on the same device.

Android for Work is a secure container solution. Google acquired Divide, a mobile security startup a few years ago in the run up to Android for Work. There’s also integration with Samsung KNOX, a mobile security solution that has a bit of a troubled past in my opinion. Samsung KNOX marketing launched well before the solution leading me to believe at some points that KNOX was a mobile industry myth. When I wrote about mobility on a more frequent basis, I used to get PR pitches about KNOX from a Samsung partner that at first glance read like they came from Samsung. Whether Samsung had signed off on that or not, the messaging served to turn me off from KNOX over time. I can’t speak for other writers, but this partner messaging only fed my confusion further about Samsung KNOX.

There’s a free Android for Work mobile app available for download from the Google Play Store. The store entry is quick to note that the app is only compatible with Android for Work partner solutions. IT admininstrators manage the Android for Work app through partner management solutions including

  • Policy enforcement
  • Control over app distribution
  • Remote wiping

App development & deployment

In order for Android apps to be compliant with Android for Work, developers have to add certain protections into the apps. The same rules apply to Google Play apps and internal apps

Enterprises that go with Android for Work now deploy mobile apps through Google Play for Work.

Work apps are deployed through Google Play for Work. IT can prevent installation of apps from unknown sources and apply app configurations.

Personal data protection

Personal data protection has been one of the greatest fears around BYOD initiatives. Android for Work includes personal data protection, and I didn’t come across much of anything new about this feature during my research.

EMM vendor partnerships

You still need an EMM or mobile device management (MDM) platform to do anything with Android for Work. Google does have all the right partners, but the EMM/MDM market remains ever changing and still ripe for consolidation. Google has the checkbook, brand name, and operating system that warrants pretty tight and inclusive partnerships that I would imagine would make this a non-issue.

Android for Work’s dependency on EMM vendor partnerships also raises a philosophical question in my mind with Android for Work. Who’s running the strategy? While Google can afford to hire and pay the best and the brightest, they are involved in so may technology niches these days. Where’s the line drawn between Google and their EMM partners? What if I’m a chief information officer (CIO) of a mid to large-size enterprise, where do I take my needs for the product roadmap? More importantly, who do I hold responsible for any issues that occur? Based on my research, the EMM partners are going to be carrying the customer contact and support of the Android for Work partnership.

Android for Work in the enterprise

While I like what I’m reading about Android for Work, I’m just not seeing the customer wins and case studies that I’d expect to come out from such a high profile initiative at this time. There’s also the question is Android for Work too little, too late for enterprises that have made their mind up about Android in their enterprise already?

In the end, will it be Android for Work impacting the enterprise? Or, will it be the EMM vendor making the impact in the enterprise? From my perspective, while Google has the brand, it’s the EMM vendor shouldering the real workload right now.

Are you using Android for Work inside your enterprise? Share your experience in the comments.

Will Kelly is a technical writer and analyst based in the Washington, DC area. He has worked with commercial, federal, higher education, and publishing clients to develop technical and thought leadership content. His technology articles have been published by CNET TechRepublic, Government Computer News, Federal Computer Week,, and others. Follow Will on Twitter:@willkelly.

Disruptive mobile technologies enter the future

I recently spoke with Fay Arjomandi, global lead of Vodafone xone, a business unit that focuses on finding and cultivating startups that produce disruptive mobile solutions in Vodafone Europe, Middle East, Asia (EMEA) markets. She foresees some disruptive (and quite interesting) mobile technologies in our business and personal futures.

Welcome to the “Internet of Me”
When it comes to disruptive mobile technologies for the consumer, Arjomandi opens with, “Everybody is trying to define their role in the next wave.” She also credits cellular communications as personalizing telephony for consumers as the number of subscribers has exploded. (There are 6.8 billion mobile customers worldwide, and there is one smartphone for every five people, according to some recent numbers she came across.)

One disruptive mobile consumer technology she sees in the future is the “Internet of Me.” She explains it as a system responding to a mobile user’s needs in a very dynamic and autonomic way.

“It’s about getting my music when I need it, content when I need it,” Arjomandi explains. The “Internet of Me” transcends content and device ecosystems as it pushes content to a mobile user. It provides freedom of access to anything the users need.

She also sees self-optimized networks (SON) — she uses the term self-optimized system (SOS) — in the future. SOS is a system that is so intelligent, and in which everything is interconnected so thoroughly, that it knows the user well enough to evolve with the user through the day. Arjomandi gave the example of the technology knowing that after a full day of work you are tired, so it sends your calls to voice mail, except those from people you specify. The SOS even starts the dinner you placed in the microwave that morning.

Run your business and your personal life from one device “The border between consumer and enterprise is getting blurrier every day,” says Arjomandi. She predicts the further rise of “prosumer” mobile technologies as mobile workers continue to shift between personal and business tasks on their mobile device throughout the business day.

In her predicted rise of “prosumer” technologies, Arjomandi sees more mobile solutions in 2014 and beyond that enable users to run and manage business tasks, whether one is discovering sales results, website engagement statistics, IT system performance, or staff attendance and time tracking.

Signs of this prediction are already appearing as startups and major enterprise app vendors alike are adopting mobile first strategies and as more intelligent mobile and cloud technologies launch, offering more highly mobile options for business users to interact with backend systems.

Toward a future of mobile disruption Arjomandi points to a future where enterprise mobile users will have even greater convergence over personal and business tasks on their mobile devices. There are consumer, smart home, and even enterprise mobile technologies taking shape that are feeding into Arjomandi’s predictions about the future of disruptive mobile technologies.

What disruptive mobile technologies do you predict in your professional and personal future?

Image by nokhoog_buchachon courtesy of

Will Kelly is a technical writer and analyst based in the Washington, DC area. His writing experience also includes writing technology articles for CNET TechRepublic and other sites. Will’s technology interests include collaboration platforms, enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), project management applications, and big data. Follow him on Twitter: @willkelly.