Are Multiple Carriers Better Than One for Mobile Expense Management Solutions?

Posted on: May 9, 2019

Is less truly more? Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) is complicated, causing some mobile expense management solutions to seek simplicity in the form of a single-carrier solution. Is this the best move, or is it more beneficial to rely on more than one wireless provider?

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Single-Carrier Billing

Pros – Single-carrier mobile expense management solutions offer easy billing and more efficient enterprise processes. Because wireless carrier invoices are sent at the same time each month from the same company, complexities and confusion are minimized. End users also experience a universal billing cycle start and end date, making it simpler for ETM managers to track spend.

Con – There is, however, a lack of carrier accountability after locking an entire ETM program into contract due to the absence of competition.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Multi-Carrier Billing

Pros – Accountability isn’t a problem when using multiple carriers. There’s ongoing competition for a mobile expense management solution’s lines, so plan and feature pricing as well as asset procurement costs are driven down, increasing overall savings.

Cons – Billing and expense management can become difficult when using more than one carrier, however, as multiple monthly invoices and varied billing cycle dates muddy the ETM picture.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Single-Carrier Plans/Features

Pros – Single-carrier mobile expense management solutions make plan and feature choices much more understandable because there’s only one set to consider. They also provide greater potential for plan/ feature customization and discounts during negotiations because a carrier is more likely to make adjustments when guaranteed program exclusivity.

Con – It’s important to realize that limited or inadequate plan and feature options have the potential to negatively impact mobile expense management solutions because there isn’t another carrier choice for end users.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Multi-Carrier Plans/Features

Pros – Multi-carrier mobile expense management solutions’ expansive offerings, on the other hand, can make choosing employee plans and features overwhelming. Once each carrier’s plans and features are understood, however, a wider range of services has the potential to more effectively optimize end-user line spend.

Con – This alternative also delivers less carrier plan/feature flexibility and discount potential during contract negotiations because an entire ETM program’s line count isn’t being managed by a single provider.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Single-Carrier Coverage

Pro – Single-carrier mobile expense management solutions prevent asset compatibility issues from arising, as phones or tablets can’t be procured from one carrier and used on another’s network.

Cons – These mobile expense management solutions offer no alternatives for employees whose network connectivity needs cannot be met domestically or internationally, making it impossible to manage and maintain a largescale ETM effort. Should they occur, network outages also have the potential to impact an entire workforce rather than a smaller segment of it.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Multi-Carrier Coverage

Pros – Alternatively, multi-carrier mobile expense management solutions guarantee some level of network connectivity, as an entire ETM program is never reliant on just one domestic or international network. End users also have a wide array of coverage options to ensure each line of service has reliable coverage and connectivity, as well as multiple plan and feature options to satisfy their unique needs.

Con – Device compatibility issues become a reality, as end users can procure assets from one carrier and experience problems after transferring its coverage to a different network operator.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Single-Carrier Program Management

Pros – With mobile expense management solutions limited to one carrier, line and asset inventory management is simplified because there is a single source of record that’s updated and maintained. These solutions also prevent a large percentage of early termination fees that are incurred when employees change carrier mid-contract.

Cons – Single-carrier mobile expense management solutions offer less overall program flexibility once contracts have been signed, however, as there is little incentive for providers to make drastic changes after an enterprise’s entire line count has been secured. A limited mobile device selection is also more likely to harm end-user efficiency and productivity. Additionally, a lack of carrier integration capabilities could leave these ETM programs lacking visibility and centralization unless additional expenses or software purchases are made.

Mobile Expense Management Solutions and Multi-Carrier Program Management

Pros – Multi-carrier mobile expense management solutions typically provide the highest rate of success when it comes to providing ETM program expertise. Realistically estimating the impact of a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) software implementation or the effects of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) migration is much more likely with more than one expert’s perspective.

Cons – Line and asset inventory management is more complex and convoluted due to maintaining multiple sources of record. There’s also an increased likelihood of early termination fee incursion due to employees changing carriers before their contract expires.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic number when it comes to carriers. Your mobile expense management solution’s billing complexities, carrier relationships and ETM challenges are unique. An expert Managed Mobility Services (MMS) partner like Tangoe can help you make the most effective and impactful decision possible. Talk to one of our global experts to find out why.

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