Mobilizing the Channel

You may have heard me say it before, but the mobility message bears repeating. There is no greater untapped opportunity that exists for partners than that of mobilizing enterprises. This is practically a greenfield opportunity very few enterprises have mastered it and those that have probably didnt do it on their own accord or even with the guidance of a mobile operator. The complexity of this task spanning geographies, operating systems and devices has been slow to be automated by the technocrats in the industry and requires the involvement of a third party a partner if you will that will bring together all the pieces of a mobile ecosystem.

You will have noticed by now that the Channel Partners Conference & Expo and its host, PHONE+ magazine, are beating the wireless drum at every turn. A third of the shows educational sessions are focused on exploring the opportunity. While we teased your inner geek a bit yesterday with the cool gadgets preview, I hope you visited some of the practical sessions on the revenue opportunities possible from selling wireless and, more importantly, why mobility matters so much to todays businesses.

Two founders of one of the early wireless dealers to pioneer enterprise-wide mobility shared with me some of the secrets of this endeavor. Their story is on the cover of this months PHONE+ magazine. At the close of the interview, I told alwaysBEthere CEO Doug Carey and President Sara Christensen that they would be an inspiration to other wannabe next-generation wireless dealers.

Carey said without hesitation, The opportunity is significantly larger than any entitys ability to service it. Thats what these people that have been in telecom so long need to know. This is not as crowded as having several landline players in a single town or a single region. This is enormous and its vast; its society changing. I think there is enough for everybody.

alwaysBEthere with its macro-WAN mantra, methodologies and processes honed during five years of trailblazing may represent the ideal in a wireless dealer. In some ways, mobile operators really havent caught up to its model and havent changed their channel programs to support its brand of knowledge agent. But they are beginning to value it and respond. Meanwhile, partners have a great opportunity to help their existing customers get their arms around whatever wireless services they presently have and the inevitable transition to a corporate-liable system wherein they can better manage wireless usage/costs and devices (and the intellectual property they carry). Dealers can partner with a telecom expense management

company to aid with usage/expense allocation and plan-usage reconciliation as well as device tracking, management and fulfillment. These services are procured independently of the network services and can be offered standalone or in concert with an agents multicarrier portfolio.

Since few corporations can be served by one network provider and none offers such management for their competitors services and devices, corporations must take on this role themselves or, more likely, turn to a trusted adviser.

Why not make sure its your company?

Khali Henderson

Group Editor, PHONE+, xchange, New Telephony

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