Rogers getting deeper into mobile device management

Rogers Communications is preparing for an all-out assault on the enterprise mobile managed telecom services market.

Ken Gouveia, director of the carrier’s managed services division, said Tuesday that it is now offering a full suite of offerings including handling procurement, expense management, help desk and mobile device management.

“Most customers are struggling with the fact that technology is changing at a really fast pace,” he said in an interview. “There’s a lot of tools available and they’re struggling with how to put them all together and what processes and policies to apply.”

Rogers has been offering some of these services since last fall after partnering with Tangoe Inc., a communications lifecyle management software supplier of on-premise and cloud services to carriers. However, most of the services were offered on an individual deal basis.

Recently, Gouveia said, Rogers signed a more detailed contract with Tangoe allowing it to bring more of the software in-house and to offer a more formal MDM service.

As a result, he said, in September Rogers will make a big marketing push to enterprises for business.

Competitors Bell Canada and Telus Corp. already offer mobile device management for enterprises, and an increasing number of other companies offer it as well. It is particularly appealing to companies with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies because there are more platforms to manage.

The deal with Tangoe means Rogers can scale its service up for many customers and standardize its pricing, Gouveia said.

Customers can take all of its MDM services or pick and choose, he said. For example, one organization is a large multinational whose IT department was fighting with other divisions over who was responsible for high roaming costs totaled up by staff. The IT was losing the battle because didn’t have enough information.

A solution was crafted where users are sent alerts when they are near their data limit –and its not merely an SMS message. The warning can interupt a video playing on the device. Users have to acknowledge the message, and may be asked to confirm a video or download is a legitimate business use. The IT department also is notified that the message has been confirmed by the user, which works as evidence if the cost is disputed.

The cost of that service alone ranges from $4 to $7 per device a month (or less if there are a lot of devices), Gouveia said depending on whether the customers oversees the management through a portal or if Rogers [TSX: RCI.A]handles most of the work.

Another customer with over 1,000 BlackBerry handsets was allowing a number of executives to move to Applie iPhones and iPads hired Rogers to manage the entire mobile fleet including level one support.

That could run $8 to $18 a month per device, Gouveia said, depending on the number of devices or features selected.

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