Sprint Unveils Workplace-as-a-Service Business Communications Packages

Sprint's latest offering will provide a myriad of business-critical wireless and wired communications services to business workers under a monthly all-in-one fee per user.

Sprint, enterprises, workplaces, mobile

Sprint is launching a new Workplace-as-a-Service plan to give business employees all the wireless and wired communications services they require in their workplaces for one monthly fee per employee.

The idea is to take over design, management and maintenance of wired and wireless services for businesses so that they can have predictable expenses and focus on their core business operations, according to a March 16 announcement by Sprint.

Included in Workplace-as-a-Service will be services such as wide area network (WAN) connectivity, enterprise-grade managed WiFi, enterprise-grade voice services, local and domestic long-distance voice services, audio/video conferencing, online collaboration services, instant messaging and presence notifications. The services will also include mobile device management across all mobile carriers, plus bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support for laptops, tablets and smartphones. In addition, Sprint will include Sprint wireless plans for smartphones and tablets, if desired, according to the company.

As part of the services, Sprint will design and fully manage all core communications and productivity tools for businesses, while also providing site-by-site integration and implementation as well as service-level agreements and a single source for support.

"We believe our Workplace-as-a-Service offering will become the new standard for how communications and connectivity solutions are provided and purchased," Mike Fitz, the vice president of business solutions commercialization for Sprint Business, said in a statement. "We see it as a platform for our customers to expand to other services."

As part of the service, Sprint will integrate high-speed Internet services with enterprise WiFi for businesses to ensure a seamless connection with cloud services, while also implementing mobile device management capabilities to secure and integrate communications for participating enterprise users. The employees will be able to use their own laptops, tablets and mobile devices under any carrier through the Workplace-as-a-Service program.

By using the new offering, businesses will be able to avoid spending money on upfront capital expenditures for hardware or software so they can focus on their businesses and customers, according to Sprint. The services target businesses with 100 to 10,000 employees across multiple sites.

Pricing for the Workplace-as-a-Service offering has not yet been announced.

Sprint's new enterprise services come as the company, the third-largest mobile carrier in the United States behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T, had mixed financial news in February. Sprint added some 967,000 new wireless customers in the third quarter of 2014, but the company's net operating revenue was down 1.8 percent and its net loss more than doubled to $2.4 billion, from a net loss of $1.04 billion for the same period one year prior. Sprint's net operating revenue for the quarter was $8.97 billion, down 1.8 percent from the $9.14 billion that was received for the same quarter one year prior.

Sprint has been adding new customers due to continuing efforts it has made in the mobile marketplace, including its December 2014 "Cut Your Bill in Half" promotion, which cut the mobile bills of existing Verizon or AT&T customers if they moved their service over to Sprint's network.

In early August 2014, Sprint dropped its plans to buy T-Mobile after the move was opposed by regulators, according to reports at the time. Sprint had been rumored for months to be seeking a merger with T-Mobile so that the two struggling companies could join together and fight harder to compete with mobile powers Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Neither company ever commented publicly on those rumors until Sprint finally said in August that it was giving up its plans. Following the aborted merger attempt, Sprint then shook up its executive ranks by replacing its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Marcelo Claure, the founder and CEO of Brightstar, a subsidiary of Softbank, Sprint's parent company.