CIO Pain points: The reality of mobile flexible working

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Remote and mobile working is becoming central to business, yet many multi-national businesses have yet to realise its true value.

Whilst the demand for mobile flexible working is increasing, a number of recent research studies on mobile working have commonly identified that the majority of multi-nationals currently have limited or no mobile working capabilities in place, with those surveyed concerned about pricing predictability, mobility management, corporate culture and security as key barriers to adoption.

At a basic level, enterprises adopting small-scale mobile flexible working strategies immediately benefit from improvements in the productivity of virtual teams and the limit of the risk misunderstandings when colleagues cannot communicate face-to-face. Using capabilities such as the ability to use presence information to determine a colleague’s availability and the use of fixed mobile communications (FMC) to seamlessly transfer a user between available networks, enterprises are witnessing a number of productivity benefits.

A small local or departmental success using mobile flexible working will have limited competitive advantage. Yet today’s enterprises are global. As an increasing number of employees are involved in mobile flexible working, it is imperative that enterprises take a far more strategic approach to telecommunications management, from developing new processes to supporting staff with services and tools that reflect the challenges of remote operations.

By working closely with over 500 multinational companies, Vodafone Global Enterprise has evolved services and pricing structures that directly answer the business concerns of pricing, mobility management, culture change and security raised in the surveys.

These services include, for example, “per seat” pricing, which provides complete transparency and budgeting predictability across countries and continents. “Device Manager”, which enables the remote management of mobile devices, also ensures corporate security and the ability to upload business applications worldwide.

Fixed and mobile converged solutions allow companies to consolidate their telecommunications management, including IP Centrex systems and a “Master Services Agreement” includes a single signature contract covering 38 countries. This also provides businesses with managed mobility solutions, beneficial pricing bundles, centralised procurement, global portfolios of devices, advantageous roaming packages and consultancy advice for companies considering mobile or “total communications” (fixed and mobile) options.

With the operational benefit of a “total communications” strategy in place, a number of forward- thinking enterprises are now working with Vodafone Global Enterprise to exploit the capabilities of unified communications, machine to machine (m2m), social networks and cloud computing to rapidly deploy tailored services and ‘mashup’ applications, combining data and services from multiple internal and third party sources, to meet the specific information needs of a user, team and enterprise.