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Managing Editor, Network World Fusion

Managing wireless costs

Jul 17, 20032 mins
Cellular NetworksData Center

* With the right planning, you can save a lot bringing cell phone costs under one umbrella

It’s the same concept that moves us to shop at giant warehouse stores -– buying in bulk saves money. It’s true for common goods such as paper towels and especially true for higher-priced, high-tech services like wireless phones.

This week’s Management Strategies story in Network World examines how you can save your company a bundle by reining in disparate wireless contracts and services in your organization. Chances are cell phone contracts popped up willy-nilly in your company. Early adopters bought in a long time ago and before you knew it many employees had cell phones paid for by the company.

Now you’re probably overpaying for cell services if employees negotiated contracts individually and a central companywide purchase was not made. Cell phone usage sprang up so fast few companies had a chance to document guidelines for determining who got a phone, not to mention negotiating a large discount from a carrier.

One of the first moves experts advise is developing a policy covering who gets company-paid cell phone services, how the service should be expensed and what type of security users should employ – especially when it comes to wireless data. This can take a lot of work, especially if wireless is deeply entrenched in your organization. However, it will establish a common baseline so no one can argue their being denied a phone unfairly.

“Enterprises with consistent and documented policies, coordinated service adoption and stringent management of wireless services will save 15% to 35%,” says Philip Redman, research vice president for Gartner Group.

The next step to saving big bucks is conducting a wireless telecom audit of all your users. This will allow you to get a handle on wireless usage and service needs before heading into negotiations with carriers. After all, you’re trying to save money by refraining from buying what you don’t need.

Check out this week’s Management Strategies story in its entirety for many other good suggestions for coordinating wireless services and saving your company money: