Box of Broken Phones

By , ITworld.com |  Mobile & Wireless

This isn't a question whether you have a box of broken phones and PDAs. You know you do. The question is whether that box is three boxes or an entire closet.

No telling how network administrators got stuck with handling cell phones and PDAs after users break them or wear them out, but that's the drill in most companies. And according to Bruce Friedman, not a single network person volunteered for the job.

Friedman is CEO of Movero Technology, Inc., and offers outsourcing services to take those boxes of broken phones and PDAs off your hands. The marketing spin is nicer than "fix broken phones" and says things like "managed wireless services company" and "deploy and operate mobility for companies."

Some telco carriers try and help with cell phones and some PDAs have warranty programs, but no one I've found really offers a complete outsourced service like this. Movero has connections with all the major carriers, hardware suppliers, and vendors, and can take a huge load off your mind and to-do list.

This is a big network problem, and Friedman says they usually need about 1,000 lines to manage within a company to make it worthwhile. But many companies have many thousands of cell phones, PDAs, and various other wireless devices under contract. That's assuming you know how many lines you have, which is startlingly rare information.

"In one audit, we found a company had over 500 broken cell phones that were still on the books and being paid for every month," says Friedman. Think that doesn't happen in your company to at least a few lines? OK, then quickly tell me who's in charge of stopping payments and renegotiating with another vendor to replace your cell phone if it broke?

Replacements take time and hassle as well. Friedman says most mobile devices get replaced within 18 months in the US, but only about 12 months in Europe. You want that job?

Movero also offers technical support and training, a huge gap in most companies. Think your salespeople really know how to use their PDAs that tie into the CRM system? Friedman says most users need 15 to 20 hours of training to leverage their PDA's to maximum benefit. How much training do your employees get?

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