How is MMS different from Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)?

The Telecom Expense Management industry tosses around acronyms like candy. Truncated references are useful in certain situations, but they also can create confusion. This blog clarifies the differences among three common abbreviated terms – WEM, EMM, and MMS – that crop up when administering mobile environments.

From Basic to Advanced

Wireless Expense Management (WEM)

Overseeing a wireless program starts with expense management – hence, Wireless Expense Management (WEM). Like its older sibling TEM, or Telecom Expense Management, WEM focuses on streamlining and correcting costs, albeit for mobile, rather than landline, services. The most effective WEM initiatives tend to be administered through vendors, although some organizations use software and processes they have created.

WEM is important. It serves as the foundation of any fruitful mobility management initiative. An organization must have an accurate view of its mobility spending so it can know when something is amiss, and subsequently correct or improve matters. Much of this happens thanks to optimization.

Optimization, a key component of WEM, looks for opportunities to add or remove plan features to best meet users’ needs and consumption patterns. When optimization occurs on a regular basis, an enterprise’s mobility program provides financial and efficiency benefits.

In addition, a diligent WEM program that relies on both software and people reviews invoices against contracted rates. Disparities then can be checked and an organization can recover money it likely should not have had to pay in the first place.

To reiterate, WEM provides important checks and balances. Organizations can implement only WEM but they can gain more advantages when focusing beyond this small piece of a bigger puzzle.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

“EMM” stands for Enterprise Mobility Management. This broad term encompasses a range of activities, and WEM counts as one of those functions.

EMM is more than software. A popular, and misleading, definition of EMM contends the practice solely consists of using specially developed platforms. However, true EMM combines technology with people and processes. Rarely is software on its own enough to track, change, report upon and decommission all that goes into an organization’s mobility strategy. Holistic EMM incorporates all aspects of mobility and manages them through software, human expertise and proven operations.

In many instances, organizations perform their own EMM functions in-house, relying on internal mobility management professionals to deliver EMM to end-user customers. Businesses that do not have such experts, though, or that want to steer their high-value full-time staff toward revenue-generating projects, can lean on outsourcers that provide fully managed mobility services. These firms act as supplements to their clients, not as replacements.

Managed Mobility Services (MMS)

When provisioned by an outside specialist, EMM becomes MMS. The two practices are the same, differentiated only by who is handling them. Again, MMS also includes WEM, as MMS by its nature is comprehensive. Therefore, MMS should account for all facets of wireless services, including:

• Procurement
• Contract negotiation
• Auditing
• Optimization
• Inventory
• Invoice reconciliation
• Expense management
• Mobile device management
• Mobile application management
• Mobile content management
• Identity management
• Moves/adds/changes/disconnects
• Security
• Reporting and alerts
• Help desk
• Decommissioning

MMS and Real-Life Examples of ROI

While drawn to the idea of having someone else take care of their mobility needs, enterprises often fear the anticipated cost. They assume outsourcing their MMS functions will prove more expensive than trying to do it themselves. Rarely does that turn out to be the case.

Take, for example, the outcomes from a firm with about 3,800 mobile devices. One Source provided its MMS with WEM+ services; these comprised an up-front audit, then ongoing management and optimization. Over 25 months, the client reaped 153 percent of aggregate ROI after One Source fees. Those are just the hard-dollar savings, which in some months reached almost $70,000. The benefits of MMS extend to soft-dollar savings as well. This customer in particular saved 4,047 hours for which it would have needed 2.3 full-time equivalents to manage orders, validations, optimizations, troubleshooting, and bill disputes.

The Importance of MMS

Mobility has grown so complicated that, most of the time, WEM by itself is insufficient for managing all that wireless entails. Mobility requires much more than expense management and bill payment to bring about strategic results. EMM works for some enterprises, especially large ones with resources. But MMS offers an even more desirable way to achieve business outcomes by taking pressure off overworked staff and providing a path to return on investment that organizations will have greater difficulty attaining on their own.

One Source’s Managed Mobility Services Solution Overview