From The Editor | March 26, 2014

Have You Considered A Hands-Off Approach To Mobility?

Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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It’s tough to keep up in the extraordinarily fastpaced world of technology we live in today. For companies deploying mobile solutions, the game has changed a lot from what it was even two or three years ago. Cloud has become the de facto software, mobile device life cycles have drastically shortened, BYOD scenarios are increasing, and security is a constant concern. I’m getting a headache just writing about it! For those of you who simply don’t want to get bogged down in the fast pace and complexities, you’re in luck — the emergence of MMS (mobility managed services) means you don’t have to.

Here’s how Gartner defines MMS: “MMS encompasses the IT and process management services required by a company to acquire, provision, and support smartphones, tablets, and ruggedized field force devices with integrated cellular and/or wireless connectivity. Although the current market for such services is largely focused on corporate liable devices, MMS engagements also provide a level of control to companies supporting individual liable devices, or bring your own device, accessing corporate resources and information.”

Weighing The Pros And Cons Of MMS
Let’s consider some of the benefits and potential challenges with MMS. The pros:

  • Avoid many of the headaches associated with today’s enterprise mobility planning and support
  • Spread the cost of mobility out in a monthly subscription-based fee (the most common approach with MMS) versus a larger up-front investment
  • Consolidate whom you have to interact with related to mobility. Instead of hardware, software, MDM, etc., MMS can provide one point of contact
  • Spend your time and energy focused on your company’s core competency, instead of trying to become an expert in mobility (and even more time-consuming, stay an expert in mobility) That said, MMS isn’t without its challenges. Here are a few to consider:
  • In its MMS Magic Quadrant, released last fall, Gartner warns that MMS are still fairly young and providers vary considerably
  • Choosing your provider wisely is crucial. Gartner states, “In the market, users will find sufficient skills and expertise related to enterprise mobility. However, users will be challenged to find organizations that deliver all of the IT and process services they require globally within a single ESP [external service provider], which necessitates vendor management of multiple providers or the use of third-party program management (such as multisourcing service integration).” Finding a one-stop shop is what really alleviates your mobility headaches, so take your time and find the right one
  • For you control freaks out there, MMS requires the ability to let go of some control. While you’ll ultimately still have all of the say, you won’t be involved in all of the logistics. (Try to see how that can be a good thing!)

To read more of Gartner’s coverage of MMS, visit