For many enterprises, a mobility strategy means fine-tuning customer-facing apps. Other companies, however, aim to take their in-house mobility management to the next level. Rollins, an Atlanta-based company that provides pest control services through 10 subsidiaries, including Orkin, recently selected a service provider to provide end-to-end mobile device management.
The partnership with Bethesda, Md.-based Digital Management Inc. (DMI), announced in October, goes beyond traditional management approaches that focus mainly on tracking devices. Bryan Larrieu, managing director of IT customer service at Rollins, says the company previously employed a mobile device management provider, but the nature of the service has changed in recent years. Rollins went back into the market for device management to tap into a broader set of services. DMI offers enterprise mobility services to commercial and government entities.
"If you talked about mobile device management three years ago, it was all about being able to locate a device and … disable [it] should it get away," Larrieu says. "Today, from a managed services standpoint, it's a lot more feature-rich."
The current service menu includes mobile application development and distribution as well as device logistics, which includes staging, imaging and provisioning devices.
The scope of DMI's arrangement with Rollins covers more than 5,000 company-owned devices, many of which are in the hands of service technicians. A critical aspect of the device management pact is the ability to resupply those technicians when they lose a device or experience a defective unit. Technicians use mobile apps that help them conduct business, so keeping them equipped with functioning devices lets them continue to create "billable moments," Larrieu says.
The DMI relationship gets replacement devices to the field the day after a mishap occurs – provided DMI receives the request by midafternoon. "We can turn these devices around pretty quickly," he says.
DMI also provides device configuration services. Sam Ganga, executive vice president for DMI's Commercial Division, says the company makes as many changes as possible over the air, to minimize business disruption. A significant change to the base image that runs on Rollins' mobile devices will require the units to come into DMI's facility for an upgrade.
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Larrieu said other enterprises looking to enter a device management deal with an external provider should have a basic understanding of what services they will need to solve their problems. At the same time, however, a buyer choosing an enterprise mobility management tool should be open to the vendor's ideas.
The nascent market makes it difficult to know with any certainty the precise services that will be needed over time. "There's a lot of learning in partnership with customers," Ganga said. "This isn't an established field."
Adds Larrieu: "We can't say enough that this market is still growing. It's still on the front end of what it's going to be. The market is still being defined."