From laptops and smartphones to scanners, ATMs, and IoT sensors, mobile devices are the foundation of business across every industry. The logistics of supporting so many devices, however, can be stifling. A study recently published by Oxford Economics found that the average organization issuing smartphones to 250 employees requires just over one full-time equivalent staff for mobile device management at an annual cost of about $115K. Some quick math shows how easily these costs can climb for a large enterprise as the ratio of IT staff to end-users grows, and just how much more at risk they are in terms of business continuity and lost revenue should connectivity be lost.
Vanson Bourne research digs deeper into these risks and pain points of mobile device support:
- Mobile devices consume 34% of the IT organization’s time
- 70+% of IT teams struggle to manage the corporate fleet inventory and source new devices
- 61% of them say their mobile help desk services need improvement
How do you handle a distributed workforce needing fast support for their mobile devices to stay productive and on course? Many companies find that outsourcing to a mobile help desk service provider changes the game by augmenting their efforts and placing key resources where they’re needed most to streamline and enhance support as well as overall mobile device lifecycle management.
Oxford Economics’ study shows that 53% of businesses have fully outsourced their mobile management (including help desk support), compared to only 13% that handle all aspects of mobile management internally. This blog will walk you through different types of mobile help desks, their benefits, and how to select the right option for your business.
What Is a Mobile Help Desk?
A mobile help desk is a support service designed specifically to provide technical assistance and troubleshooting for mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, scanners, and other wireless devices used in a corporate or public-sector setting.
The purpose of a mobile help desk is to resolve issues and provide assistance to employees quickly and efficiently, allowing them to get back to work with minimal downtime. A typical help desk includes tools and resources such as knowledge bases, live chat support, and remote assistance. Companies generally take one of two routes for providing mobile device support: building an in-house support team or partnering with a third-party mobile help desk provider.
Should Our Company Provide Mobile Help Desk Services Ourselves or Find a Provider?
An in-house team is great for providing dedicated and personalized support but, as evidenced, can be a cumbersome and expensive endeavor. You’ll need to invest significantly in the necessary resources to train employees on all devices and applications across each provider, carrier, and location. Global corporations will also require staff to offer on-demand assistance across multiple time zones and languages, driving additional costs.
Regardless of which method is right for your business, an effective mobile help desk allows you to provide personalized and effective support to employees regardless of where they are located. It should speed up issue resolution, whether by offering self-service options, chatbots or knowledgeable, device-agnostic support teams, so employees can get back to doing what they do best: supporting the business.
What are the Challenges of Mobile Device Support?
Research from Vanson and Bourne found that 61% of companies struggle with mobile help desk support for several reasons. Here are two to consider…
Staying on Top of So Many Device Types, Systems, and Software
In a sea of different devices, operating systems, and software versions, many IT employees feel like they’re barely staying above water. Any relevant services and applications need to work with all applicable devices, making compatibility issues, platform-specific support needs, and varying carriers and plans just a few of the complexities teams face when devices run the gamut. This unfortunately prolongs issue resolution and pushes out wait times for employees seeking assistance with their devices.
Outsourcing mobile help desk support enables you to leverage the expertise of a third-party provider who can offer the necessary support and ensure your devices work seamlessly, allowing employees to always stay on, connected, and productive.
What’s more? Mobile help desk providers may also have insider intelligence about network carrier services and highly competitive wireless data pricing plans, enabling you to renegotiate your mobile carrier contract(s) and get reliable mobile phone and data services at the best market price.
Mobile Data Security
Striking a balance between enabling productivity and addressing the inherent vulnerability of portable, constantly connected mobile devices is exceptionally tricky, especially considering how many devices are personally owned by employees.
Third-party support providers can offer a comprehensive suite of mobile security services such as unified endpoint security (UEM), secure mobile device management, data encryption, and mobile threat detection, ensuring every device is in step with the latest security updates and requirements. You’ll immediately get access to a deep well of knowledge about different types of devices and device policies to bridge the gap between personal and business devices, ensuring your business gets the service it needs.
Why Should We Outsource Mobile Help Desk Support?
If your organization is part of the majority struggling with mobile help desk support, you’ll immediately start benefiting from the advantages of working with an outsourced provider. Your employees will gain access to real-time expert support, regardless of their physical location, resulting in quicker response times and more effective knowledge sharing, collaboration, and assistance. Here are some other ways a mobile help desk service provider can help your business.
For many companies, leveraging the expertise and support of a provider is the most effective way for their IT team to focus on the business at hand while knowing their mobile devices are well managed and expertly supported. Beyond the time saved with establishing and managing a mobile help desk, third-party providers like Tangoe can provide access to specialized skills and experience that may not be available in-house. For example, the ability to resolve issues faster and more effectively than an in-house team.
Improved Flexibility & Scalability
Third-party support teams offer additional flexibility and scalability as your company grows. For example, if you have team members working across different regions or time zones, they may need support outside your traditional office hours. An in-house team may not have someone immediately available to help whereas the right outsourced partner will be able to provide the 24/7 support your people need. For example, Tangoe offers support in 9+ languages with offices around the globe helping employees at all hours of the day and night.
One of the greatest benefits of outsourcing mobile help desk support is the potential cost savings your business can realize. Using Oxford Economics’ formula of 1:600, a large global enterprise with 10,000 employees could expect to have a help desk team of 16-17 full-time employees – equating to a cost of nearly $2M annually.
Whether you choose to fully outsource or have a mix of in-house and outsourced support, alleviating some of the burden off of your own resources will allow you to stay focused on other important areas of the business. You won’t have to worry so much about the costs associated with training, hiring, retaining, and scaling qualified personnel.
Customized, Expert Support
Outsourcing mobile help desk support opens the floodgates to expert knowledge, tailored support that matches your mobility strategy and device policy (regardless of your approach to device ownership), and improved level of service to end users. With this level of support, you can be confident that any issues with your mobile devices will be quickly resolved and you’ll receive solutions that are customized to your specific needs.
6 Steps to Finding the Perfect Mobile Help Desk for Your Business
Choosing the right partner to outsource your mobile help desk is an important decision that requires careful consideration. When reviewing options, consider the value a mobile help desk can bring to your business, whether that’s offering end-user support, simplifying and automating workflows, or managing and optimizing resources.
Here are some key steps you should take when looking for the best fit for your business.
- Assess Your Needs and Research Your Options
Identify your business’ needs and requirements for mobile device support. Determine the number and types of mobile devices that need support as well as the volume and types of support requests. Do you only need a specific type of device managed or do you need access to a wide range of support? Are you looking to streamline your mobile workflows, or do you need a complete mobile refresh? Answering these questions and better understanding your needs will help you determine the most important elements of your solution.
From here, research different mobile help desk options and compare their features and pricing. Look for help desks that offer the specific features you need such as remote support, self-help resources, and reporting capabilities. Consider the level of customization each help desk platform provides, as well as the pricing options available. Choose a help desk that provides features and pricing that align with your business’ requirements and budget. Don’t forget to consider Device as a Service offerings, which when paired with help desk services can help create predictable monthly costs for growing corporate fleets.
Services can be tricky to navigate, and mobile market pricing intelligence is available from Tangoe’s team of mobile cost consultants. Learn more about spending trends and savings recommendations in our 2024 trends report.
- Compare Platform Capabilities and Consider Certified Repairs
Consider the level of support and service each help desk provider offers. Look for a provider that offers fast response times, 24/7 support, and a dedicated support team. Review the types of support offered, such as email, phone, and chat (smart chatbots are game-changing for help desk support in that they can automate device ordering, shipping, carrier changes, and disconnects while providing round-the-clock support via chatbots and AI-powered ticketing systems).
You also should look for a help desk provider that offers results-driven service-level agreements to ensure that you receive the level of support you need. For example, consider whether your provider can offer repairs certified by the device manufacturer. Should a device be broken, the quality of repair can make a difference in ensuring issues are resolved the first time and do not continue.
- Evaluate the Global User Experience
Evaluate the ease of use, global services, and user experience of each help desk platform. Look for a platform that’s intuitive and easy to navigate, with clear and concise instructions for employees. Ask about self-service resources such as smart walkthroughs or chatbots that can help employees with common issues. Review options for automation to streamline workflows and reduce response times.
- Look for Integrations
Look for a help desk provider that offers customizable solutions and integrations with your existing tools and systems. You’ll want a provider that offers APIs and other integrations that can connect with your IT service applications and IT ticketing platforms, plus customization options to tailor the help desk platform to your business’ specific needs.
- Analyze Data Security
Look for a help desk provider that takes security seriously and has measures in place to protect employee data. Some may offer unified endpoint security, or Mobile Device Management solutions, enabling security protections and monitoring for the entire fleet.
- Consider Services to Support Devices from Start to Finish
From procuring devices to preparing them for deployment, repairing them, recycling them, and mobile buyback programs that offer cash back on your aging tech, there’s a lot more to mobility than just technical support. A help desk provider offering a complete menu of lifecycle of services means you can offload more of mobile management as your relationship and trust matures. Start with help desk but consider a provider who offers more, as this protects you from outgrowing your solution.
Mobility is transformative in the efficiency and productivity it brings to the table, but it also brings a unique set of challenges to IT organizations. As more businesses adopt mobile technologies, the need for mobile help desk support will only continue to grow. Finding the right partner means you can relax and let go-to experts help whenever someone has questions or issues.