Curbing prohibitive roaming costs
International roaming costs are another concern that keeps the CIOs awake at night. Although many service providers have been active in forging alliances and seeking cost-effective roaming arrangements internationally, roaming costs for both voice and data are still too prohibitive for most. CIOs would be able to manage the cost more efficiently through customised models and roaming packages with a mobility partner who has an extensive regional network.
Growing interest in integration and device management
A big trend in mobile communications today is unified communications, which is about integrating mobile telephony with a company's PBX system, also known as fixed mobile convergence. Global enterprises are looking into such convergence solutions to boost productivity and cost savings. For example, to eliminate the costly investment and management of on-premise PBX infrastructure, global enterprises are opting for virtual PBX hosted on operator network. This ensures effective unified communication with a single enterprise voice network, having flexible options of single number reach and parallel ringing across fixed and mobile phones, etc.
Beyond this, further integration with presence-based messaging, and conferencing and collaboration applications can provide a true unified communications experience with mobility at the core.
The MNCs in Asia are looking for a communications partner who can provide services that are consistent, standardised and replicable, whether device management, price plans or supporting processes such as ordering and supply. A managed mobility solution should provide clear and transparent reporting capabilities across a single platform via single contractual service level agreements across Asia. Such requirements may sound daunting, but they are simply the starting point to help businesses gain real value from their communications partner. It will improve operational efficiencies and drive up success rates for the enterprises, benefitting the business, its customers and its staff. The key to success is a communication service that can proactively drive innovation, growth and a better service for employees, thereby achieving competitive advantage.
Stevan Hoyle is president, Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa, Vodafone Global Enterprise.
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