When Microsoft – the company synonymous since the mid-’70s with “software” – unveiled a new strategy in 2013 focused on devices and services over software, you just knew (as Dorothy would say) “we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.”

VMware is doing it too. In January, they coughed up $1.54 billion for AirWatch – an enterprise mobile management (EMM) vendor whose mobile solution allows VMware to address the entire market from data center to endpoint.

And it’s not just traditional companies taking a plunge into the world of mobility; it’s also mobile companies reconfiguring themselves to meet what the marketplace really needs. (Take Citrix, for example, with its new focus on end-user devices).

In a case of what some might call “stating the obvious,” Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 (announced at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013 last October) put Mobile Device Diversity and Management at the top of the list. Mobile Apps and Applications came a close second.

As the marketplace and the world of business grow ever more mobile, tech companies are doing everything they can to keep pace. And integration is going to win the day.

Integration or bust

With mobility in business comes big opportunities…and big challenges. The costs of mobile computing. Mobility sprawl. Security. The complexities of managing “bring your own device” (BYOD) mobile computing.

Amid the excitement and the confusion, the buzzword of the day is “alignment” – the rallying cry of companies vying to win the race to offer the most comprehensive set of solutions as they relate to a mobile workforce.

Businesses today need far more than a bulk discount on BlackBerries and flexible data plans. At the very least, they need a seamless transition from device to desktop. They need ways to deploy services, manage devices and applications, and contend with vast volumes of data. They need security in a scary world. Above all, they need user experiences that pose no impediments to productivity and flexibility.

The reality for these companies is that there is no “one size fits all” mobility solution. Heck – there isn’t even a “one size fits two” solution. Every organization is unique in its mobility makeup and its business needs. Which means it’s not just about integration.

It’s about strategic integration.

The Five Pillars of Mobility

A well considered, intelligently crafted Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy (with highly capable services to back it up) has five requisite dimensions:

»    Procurement, Provisioning & Device Lifecycle Management

Look for a vendor who can support, administer, procure, provision and deploy your mobile computing devices and carrier services and who provides a specialized mobile computing portal to support all of your organization’s standards and requirements, devices, accessories, services and roaming needs.

»    Operational/Technical Support (Tiers 1–4 or scalable)

This is the crucial support you require for a positive – and productive – end user experience. It should include device, end user and carrier services support; troubleshooting and problem resolution; warranty, DOA and spare pool support; and sage advice for end user efficiency.

»    Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management (MDM/MAM)

From a competent vendor, you’ll get secure endpoints, asset management, monitoring, application management and deployment and collaboration content.

»    Cellular Telecom Expense Management (cTEM)

Do you have time to administer carrier services, control and optimize contracts, monitor usage trends and report on mobile spend? Your vendor should.

»    Professional Services & Consulting

A truly capable vendor doesn’t just go wide. They go deep. They’re skillful with MDM implementations and deployments (on premise, hosted or hybrid), BYOD strategy and implementation, current state assessments, RFP criteria and requirements, mobile strategy/roadmap, mobile systems integration/deployments and more.

OnDemand Mobility 2014

Our integrated “all under one roof” mobile management approach sets Long View’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) services apart from more traditional approaches. By supplying only the services you need, cutting those you don’t and eliminating costly infrastructure, our MDM service means significant cost savings for your business. Our BYOD strategy gives your employees the freedom and convenience of using their own mobile devices. And our dedicated team of IT experts is available any time from anywhere to ensure your mobile computing system is performing to your needs and expectations.