Mobile workforce management (MWM) is a category of software and related services used to manage employees working outside the company premises; the term is often used in reference to field teams.
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MWM can include the procurement, deployment and management of mobile devices, mobile apps and PC software. Related support services may include tracking, productivity management, logging, dispatch and other types of communications.
MWM companies typically have experience supporting different types of companies, each of which may have different requirements for the particular devices, services and software required. Some providers specialize in a given industry, such as the electric grid or a particular utility. That experience and specialization makes it possible to provide companies with functional apps for their purposes and get them up to speed quickly.
The increasing prevalence of mobile devices, secured wireless networks, mobile apps and virtual desktops has provided new mobile workforce opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) as well as the enterprise. However, a mobile workforce requires tighter controls around acceptable use, security and support, and a strong mobile workforce management strategy.
MWM is often confused with the somewhat similar MMS (managed mobility services) and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, MWM services generally provide the devices as well as software and services and the focus is more on field-based work for utilities such as power and gas companies. MMS, on the other hand, focuses on enterprises, connecting mobile out-of-office workers to servers, databases, management and other employees.