A helping hand in mobility planning

Need help formulating a mobile device strategy? Sprint says its new consulting service can help, but experts explain why the offering is somewhat unusual.

Mobility can help or hinder a company's productiveness and profitability, which is why some companies seek advice when planning and implementing mobile device technology.

To that end, Sprint Corp. has announced its Mobile Business Assessment, a consultative service to help businesses better understand how mobility can be used to achieve business objectives.

"From talking to our customers, we discovered many of them don't have a road map developed specific to their company," said Kenny Wyatt, Sprint's vice president of customer solutions. "We help them figure out which technologies to deploy and why they need to deploy it."

Scott Boehmer, general manager for the Overland Park, Kan-based telecommunication vendor, said the assessment combines a business process review with an analysis of existing mobile technology. That way, an organization can capitalize on current assets while leveraging new approaches to mobile productivity and connectivity.

The assessment, a four- to eight-week process, consists of three consultative stages:

  • Data collection -- employee interviews, second- and third-party research.
  • Mobility analysis -- equipment and software audits, access and policy evaluations.
  • Strategy development -- produces an actionable road map of mobility initiatives.

    Ellen Daley, analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said mobile business assessments, such as Sprint's, have been a key focus for large companies this year.

    Daley said, "We have seen a marked tidal shift to move away from 'one-off' acceptance of mobile applications and for large companies to start managing them strategically."

    For more information

    Check out our white paper on the top 10 mobility myths.

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    Sprint's approach, according to Daley, is somewhat unusual for a carrier but it does mirror a "consultant-like" service to meet a growing demand in the market.

    Roger Entner, analyst with Boston-based Ovum Inc. technology research firm, said this is the first such service offered by a carrier and competes against system integrators such as Accenture Ltd. and Deloitte & Touche LLP.

    While this offering gives Sprint a foot in the door as the preferred supplier when companies are selecting mobile data plans, Entner said these types of services cure an itch for enterprises grappling with the challenges of implementing and managing mobility.

    Entner added, "Companies are struggling with all the issues around wireless project planning and implementation and desperately need good advice."

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