Making Money on Mobile Device Management

By Matt Coffy

The consumerization” of the enterprise IT is particularly evident with mobile devices a scenario that creates a growing opportunity for channel partners. In this installment of our continuing series on opportunities for channel partners in the wireless market, we’ll take a look at mobile device management.

In the past, most IT departments have had a parent-child relationship with the end-user mobile devices, basically dictating what devices were supported. If the end user had another device, he was out of luck. Today it is increasingly the reverse. It is a child-parent scenario where employees have their own devices iPhones or Droids, etc. and are asking IT how to get corporate email. And this has caused a whole host of issues in managing and securing mobile devices that can only grow more complicated as tablets and other new consumer devices invade the corporate space.

What Is MDM?

Mobile device management (MDM) describes solutions for managing mobile devices (smartphones, tablet PCs, etc.) as well as a range of operating systems (BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, AppleiOS and Android) and their respective applications.

Most MDM solutions rely on server-side software, which acts as a central hub for mobile device communication with other services within the corporate network.

There are a number of MDM software vendors (see list). There are several different variables that set the MDM vendors apart, but in my experience, the same vendors are chosen nine times out of 10. These include AirWatch, BoxTone, Good Technology, MobileIron and Zenprise. Incidently, these players also have the strongest channel programs.

What’s In It for You?

Depending on which party will hold the paper, partners either work in conjunction with the vendor to do the installation and are paid by the vendor directly for the sale or they white label the solution and mark up a discounted price. The vendor usually will coordinate with a consultant for integration and training, which can add to the partner revenue stream.

  • How much can partners make? Let’s do the math assuming a perpetual license model:
  • 500 devices @ $75 retail license per line = $37,500
  • – 500 devices @ $60 wholesale license per line = $30,000
  • Margin/commission = $7,500
  • + 15-30 percent commission on consulting fees $3,000 =  $500-1,000

In this example, the partner made about $8,000.

MDM is a great way to take advantage of the smartphone and tablet revolution. Working with your clients on a smart mobile strategy and addressing issues such as device and application management, and security is one of the best ways to open doors. It also has an attractive payout and, for the time being, very little competition.

Matt Coffy is president of

Slash Wireless

. The company provides expert wireless analysis, optimization methodologies and consulting services for both direct customers and channel partner clients. His previous experience includes working in leadership roles at a TEM company and a wireless carrier. Coffy has been involved with the channel for more than 20 years. He can be reached at


Join Matt Coffy for the session, “Making Money From Mobile Device Management,” at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 26-29 in Las Vegas.

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