Service Management

By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2008-09-15 Print this article Print


Service Management

I tend to think of mobile service management as financial oversight, or more specifically, paying the least buck for the bang. Each mobile user will have different requirements from-and differing comfort levels with-his or her device. Consequently, the usage totals for both voice and data can vary wildly from user to user. However, organizations will often provision the devices with identical pools of minutes or data plans, so one heavily used device generates a flood of overage charges while the other device sits unused in a desk 29 days a month.

The mobile operators offer some assistance to companies looking to track their usage across their organizations, providing per-user-or perhaps per-group-assessments of costs and usage. However, helping customers efficiently distribute and use their voice minutes and data plans is not really in the operator's best financial interest. The information operators provide, therefore, may be lacking detailed trending information, or it could be delivered in a form that requires some serious Excel magic before the data becomes useful. 

There's room for an external vendor then to partner with the carriers for access to this kind of usage data and then turn around and sell management solutions to help companies make their mobile plans more efficient. Companies such as Visage Mobile (with its MobilityCentral platform) aim to bridge this gap, providing corporations with the right mix of data and tools to make these accounting decisions.

MobilityCentral is a hosted solution that examines data from the corporation's enterprise directory and mobile device fleet, and then correlates it with account data from the relevant carriers. This data can help organizations easily spot devices that are being overused when compared with their allocated plans, and see to which user the device is assigned so proper notifications or actions can be taken to avoid the problem in the future. Such action might be a warning against overuse or an increase in available resources to meet the needs of the job.


Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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