Traq Tool Gives Mobile Employees Freedom of Choice

Traq's Mobile Source Web portal allows employees to order their own devices and services based on parameters set in advance by IT administrators.

Traq-Wireless Inc., best known for its product that helps enterprises optimize their wireless rate plans, has added another tool to its belt to help ease enterprise procurement and deployment of mobile devices and services.

Traqs Mobile Source Web portal allows employees to order their own devices and services based on parameters set in advance by IT administrators. Traq works with a business in advance to define approval and payment structures and policies. The portal also helps automate processes such as device upgrades, service plan changes and number porting.

All of that data is tracked and fed into Traqs Mobile Director engine, which helps enterprises ensure that users are on the best rate plan for their needs.

"The enterprise wants a complete management solution," said Traq spokesman Jeff Fugitt, in San Francisco. "Theyve got to mitigate the risks of a mobile enterprise and make sure theyre aligning the best mobile IT assets with the needs of the business and that they have visibility and control into who has what devices and that theyre enforcing corporate policies."

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Enterprise users say the tools have helped increase efficiencies and cut costs.

"It allows wireless handheld users the ability to see their usage, manage their usage, any time and anywhere, and it provides us the flexibility to optimize our plans," said Jeff Robles, sourcing manager for Best Buy, in Richfield, Minn.

Best Buy, like many large enterprises, manages multiple devices and multiple carriers to meet its varied business requirements.

"What weve seen since using this process is that users love the access. It is just a godsend. It gives us the ability to be on the phone with a department manager, who says, I need to know how many people I have on a particular plan or under a specific carrier, or Whats my spend? and I can call it up in less than half a minute because I have it right in front of me, and I can export it and let them slice and dice it anyway they want or, in a very short period of time, teach them how to call up the information themselves," said Robles.

"For the average users, people not used to navigating in applications, we brought them through a simple training with Traq, and in just a heartbeat they can see they can get information they had to call someone for in the past," said Robles.

Other existing Traq customers saw value in the new Mobile Source tool, but didnt view it as an urgent priority.

"We looked at it, and we think it has a lot of value, but our top priority for the remainder of this year is telecom management to help us with the wide area network and voice networks," said Peter DeNatale, vice president of information technology for The Mentor Network, which provides home and community-based services for people with disabilities.

The Mentor Network currently uses Traqs Mobile Director tool, which has allowed it to reduce rate plan costs from about 15 cents per minute to 10 cents per minute, said DeNatale.

Further, Traq has helped the company ease other processes, such as porting.

"Theyve helped us with porting phones from one vendor to another, which if you dont have the expertise to do it you can really struggle through it," said DeNatale.

"Traq has some extraordinary logic around identifying calling patterns and recommending plans," said DeNatale. "But theyve taken it beyond just technology; theyve wrapped it with services that they bolt into your contract. So instead of you having to make contacts with wireless companies, they do it for you."

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