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Media Advisory: Tangoe Provides Clear Guidance Regarding Corporate Liable vs. Individual Liable Mobile Assets

Release date: 7/28/2009

CEO, Al Subbloie, offers best enterprise mobility management practices for maximum long-term savings, security, and accountability of wireless devicesORANGE, Conn., July 28, 2009 – As adoption of smartphones with converged voice and data mobile services continues to rise and becomes an essential tool for the enterprise work force, IT departments are often tasked with managing and supporting thousands of mobile devices. However, with the economic downturn, businesses have been pressured to make quick decisions regarding communications budgets. Many of these businesses adopted individual liable (IL) programs to cut mobile costs and avoid the tax compliance tracking requirements associated with corporate liable (CL) mobile devices. While this option garners some immediate short term savings, it can be unwise and potentially crippling in the long run. As the industry leader with a long track record in helping businesses manage both fixed and wireless telecom expenses, Tangoe, has evaluated how the switch from a corporate liable to individual liable approach can negatively impact business operations and the bottom line. To help enterprises navigate the fine line between corporate mobility and liability management, Tangoe offers best practices and recommendations:

  • Don’t pay consumer rates for corporate spend: That’s essentially what you’re doing with an individual liable program; there are no discounts for usage other than those offered as a standard rate plan to the consumer. If employees are being reimbursed for mobile device expenses, enterprises will actually see an increase in costs. Corporate liable programs enable enterprises to take advantage of corporate volume discounts, as well as rate plans geared specifically towards the enterprise use, i.e. pooled plans.
  • Don’t be sidetracked by tax issues: Transitioning to an individual liable mobile policy might absolve the organization of any taxes for personal use of employer paid devices, but the time, resources, and IT budget an organization spends attempting to manage, secure, and track personal devices far outweighs the savings on tax compliance. Smartphones are an extension of the corporate network with more access points and proprietary data that belongs to the organization. As a result, enterprises that adopt an IL policy expose themselves to security, support, and data loss vulnerabilities.
  • When possible, strive for a homogenous environment of corporate liable devices: Having the greatest amount of control over all devices is the best way to ensure the protection of sensitive company data and avoid security issues. A corporate liable environment is the best way to align mobile device management technology with mobile policies, allowing IT to distribute applications, track invoicing, and handle security issues seamlessly and efficiently. A homogenous environment also reduces costs and complexities of managing and supporting the corporation’s smart device infrastructure. With consistent operating systems and hardware configurations the ability to remotely deploy applications and provide user service can be greatly enhanced, thereby lowering costs and maximizing service capabilities.
  • Hybrid mobile environments only work with more effort: While a hybrid mobile enterprise comprised of a mix of corporate and individual liable devices can create an incredibly complex environment for any business to manage, it is possible for enterprises to mitigate these complexities, but only with adequate mobile device management software and policies. Businesses taking this route must ensure that they are closely monitoring and tracking non-corporate devices in order to manage data access and security compliance, as well as application and invoice tracking, alongside the organization’s corporate issued devices.
  • Educate employees on mobile security policies and deploy technologies to assist with policy compliance: Whether a business is managing a fully corporate or hybrid mobile environment, it’s important to align mobile polices with mobile device management strategy. With access to data and pass codes, employees need to understand that if lost or stolen, devices used for corporate activity will be wiped by a business’ central mobile management system. It’s also imperative that all workers—no matter what device they are using—are aware of and have access to the mobile device management tools that allow them to self-manage devices or engage IT when troubleshooting is required.
  • Foster a closer relationship between IT & finance: Whether it’s tracking personal vs. corporate calls or ensuring that applications are downloaded, billed (if necessary), and tracked properly, IT and finance need to be aligned so that a mobile billing policy is tightly connected to a corporation’s mobile usage policy. If corporations have the right mix of process, technology, and departmental collaboration, the chances of saving costs in the long run are increased. In addition, aligning appropriate policies and capabilities between finance and IT can mitigate or eliminate the huge risks and cost exposure of lost or stolen corporate data.

For more information on managing mobile environments and the importance of not straying from an environment of corporate liable devices, please go to to view Tangoe’s free webinar, “Key Considerations for Corporate Liable and Individual Liable Mobile Policies.”

About Tangoe
Tangoe, Inc., the global leader in communications lifecycle management solutions, provides software, consulting, and technology-enabled managed services that help global organizations procure, manage, and control their fixed and mobile communications assets and their associated costs. Tangoe’s award-winning solutions enable dramatic cost reductions and productivity improvements that significantly contribute to enterprise profitability. Consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the United States, Tangoe has operational centers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. Tangoe provides solutions in North America through direct and partner sales channels, and internationally through a global network of certified business partners.

Additional information about Tangoe, its CommCare services, patented technologies, and business partners can be found at, or requested via e-mail at, or by calling 1.203.859.9300.

Tangoe is a registered trademark and CommCare is a trademark of Tangoe, Inc.