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Service Tracks Wireless Plans, Devices

Like it or not, your company is teeming with wireless devices, from cell phones to smart phones, PDAs to BlackBerrys, and plenty of wireless laptops.

As mobile devices proliferate, often without much control, enterprises face an increasing challenge in tracking the devices and employees’ diverse voice and data service plans.

Many employees choose their own devices and service plans, pay for them monthly, then expense their employers, making costs difficult to track and control. That’s coupled with the extreme complexity of most wireless service plans.

Companies trying to control the costs of mobile service plans are “doomed for failure in the way services are bought today,” according to Gartner analyst Philip Redman. “It’s the only industry in the world where the more you use, the more you pay.”

Now Traq has introduced Mobile Source to help companies manage mobile devices and plans through a procurement and asset management portal that automates the transactions involved in purchasing a mobile device and service plan. Companies can track what devices and service plans each employee has, and can evaluate and control spending.

Employees log into the Traq procurement portal, which functions as an ASP, from the intranet. From there, they can choose carrier plans approved by their company, along with devices, accessories, upgrades and purchase options. Administrators can track procurement through the portal, including service discontinuation and disposal of devices in a secure manner.

By adding provisioning to its services, Redman says, Traq helps address a growing need in companies overwhelmed by managing many different carriers and billing plans for wired and wireless services. With so many different systems, Redman says, mobile plans are “definitely a huge headache” for companies.

According to Traq marketing VP Jeff Fugitt, the company maintains a proprietary database of thousands of rate plans and calling areas across the U.S., which enables it to help companies select the most cost-effective plan for any employee or location.

Another Traq service, Mobile Director, works with Mobile Source to manage other aspects of wireless tracking. That product tracks assets, analyzes expenditures and reviews carriers to help make sure employees are on the best plan.

About the Author

Linda Briggs is a freelance writer based in San Diego, Calif. She can be reached at lbriggs@lindabriggs.com.

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