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Watching The Herd

Employee Usage Monitoring

Based on our experience, the majority of excess usage charges are unintentional, either caused by an uninformed user stumbling into new terrain on their smartphone, or a misguided assumption all services are free of charge. Typically, since employees who are assigned corporate owned devices are not financially responsible for their service they’re also unaware of the residual effects of their usage, often drawing incorrect conclusions about what usage may or may not incur charges.

Studies have shown just the threat management is overseeing monthly usage activity will spark more conscientious usage awareness by employees. Even more effective than just oversight is a monthly review of usage by direct management. MobilSentry™ usage monitoring capability flags and generates alerts related to defined usage policy violations. For a busy manager, the information is much more likely to be viewed if presented in a way that filters out all the noise on a wireless carrier invoice.

Employee Usage Monitoring

Whether you wish to classify some usage as personal, closely monitor for abuse or just keep your invoice at a minimum, the topics below represent the most interesting areas to track. Some of these represent painful financial excesses and others, such as downloads, often elicit a more emotional response.

Fraudulent/Excessive Usage – every company is influenced by fluctuations in the economy, company evolution and internal organizational changes which over time can contribute to a variety of short-term priorities like cost cutting or downsizing initiatives, all of which can produce variations in mobility management priorities. The ability to synchronize mobility strategies with enterprise priorities is imperative and why it is important to use an effective Mobility Management Solution, like MobilSentry™ which includes variance reporting that flags statistically significant growth in any usage area including voice, data and messaging.

International Usage – just because an employee is vacationing abroad where device service continues does not imply the company condones its usage or agrees to pay international charges. These types of charges can be the most painful and likely the most easily identified because of the large noticeable expense entries on an invoice. Often these expenses are accumulating at pay-as-you-go rates without the moderating effect of international features. We suggest, as part of corporate policy, to include a statement that full reimbursement by the employee is expected for international usage charges accrued while on vacation.

Downloads – the magnitude of download charges rarely reach the levels of international overage but perhaps are more irritating when the download is not business specific indicating the employee is distracted during work hours. Not all carriers make the download package description explicit but those that do provide illuminating insight into the distractions your employees may be participating in throughout the day.

Directory Assistants Charges – wireless carriers seem to enjoy raising 411 prices frequently by adding services to attract more usage. If an employee’s job puts them constantly on the road then this may be an expected efficiency needed for these users. However, for others it simply represents unneeded charges when other means are just as available such as today’s free apps making phone numbers as easily available as dialing 411.

Corporate 1-800 and Toll Numbers – toll free service lines intended for clients creates duplicate charges when employees dial these numbers from their mobile device. Automation can assist in tracking monthly calls against specifically identified numbers.

The above categories highlight areas of unneeded business charges that with oversight will increase the overall health of your mobility management program.