Add in the flexibility of communication that smartphones offer and it’s easy to see why mobile devices have become such a crucial part of our lives. But what do you need to consider when it comes to investing in business mobiles?
From keeping in touch with colleagues and customers to ensuring staff have access to critical data wherever they’re located, the smartphone has become an indispensable business tool. But which are the best ones for business users? And what features are essential to ensure that you get maximum benefit from your investment?
If you want to provide an excellent, always-on service to your customers, then you need an equally good, if not better, service from your mobile provider. That means finding a provider which can offer a reliable service and good network coverage.
The whole premise of mobile is the ability to stay in touch no matter where you are, so choosing a provider with a patchy network in your usual locations isn’t ideal. Plus, if your staff are regularly on the move, you can’t always rely on them having access to wifi.
While service is important, you also need to consider cost. The call plan you select needs to reflect your business use.
If you regularly use voice over IP (VoIP) services, then the cost of calling is less critical; however, this means you are likely to use more mobile data, so the cost of a data plan needs to be considered.
Support needs to be a key consideration when choosing a mobile device. Having devices that use different operating systems is only likely to create a headache for your IT department. To keep things simple, you may decide that only devices that use iOS or Android should be used. Alternatively, you may determine other alternatives such as Windows Phone and BlackBerry, which offer more business-focused features, particularly concerning security. Find out how MDM can help you overcome these challenges.
Part of the decision as to which operating system (OS) to use also comes down to which apps you’re going to utilise and whether they’re available on the platform. The operating systems with which your staff are familiar with, need to be considered too.
If you intend to go down the BYOD (bring your own device) route, you may find yourself having to support a wide range of hardware and OS choices. You’ll need to make arrangements to connect them to mail servers, but you’ll also want to keep them secure. That will almost certainly mean insisting that a particular antivirus solution is used as well as a mobile device management (MDM) solution. The latter gives you control over your business data and ensures that a device can be securely wiped in the event that it’s lost or stolen.
There is a vast choice of smartphones on the market, from familiar premium products from the likes of Apple and Samsung to more devices launched by unfamiliar brands. When choosing the best smartphones for your staff, you need to look at how they are going to be used. Do you need a rugged device that will stand up to a few knocks? Will users be editing documents on their phone, in which case you need to consider screen size and typing arrangements? And of course, don’t forget voice quality.
When it comes to choosing a mobile provider, it’s useful to look at how its customers rate the service provider on online review platforms such as Trustpilot; this offers an insight into the standard of service provided and the call quality level.
Determining the best smartphones for business users will vary from company to company, so it’s vital that you find handsets and a subsequent service provider that meet YOUR unique needs.