If you’ve read part 1, Unlock hidden savings with pooled data plans, then you’re undoubtedly aware that switching to pooled data plans can save your enterprise hundreds of thousands of dollars – and that’s not even counting what you’ll avoid in overage charges.
But could the switch be more hassle than it’s worth? Could you even end up paying more by moving to the new plans?
Wireless Analytics has already helped a number of our clients migrate to pooled data plans, as part of our enterprise mobility managed services. We’ve developed a methodology rolling out shared data plans that is practically seamless, and rarely has any direct effect on the user experience, if it’s done properly.
Before migrating an organization to pooled data plans, we evaluate their contract, analyze their data needs and conduct testing. Other enterprises can follow the same process to maximize pooled data savings.
How to do it right:
First – Evaluate your contract. Usually pooled data lives up to the hype, but some enterprises might find switching to pooled plans ends up costing more than what they’re paying now. Organizations at risk are those that have negotiated custom data plans with their carriers. A pooled plan priced at $30 a month makes little difference if your negotiated rate is $20 a month for the same amount of data, or includes specific discounts to further lower the standard data plan’s cost.
But even in these calculations, you need to take into consideration average overage charges and tethering use.
If your users incur frequent data overage charges, or you have many users provisioned with tethering or personal hotspot features (which are usually an extra charge, but are included in pooled data plans), it still may make sense to switch to the pooled plan – even though the base cost of the plan is higher, the amount you save from eliminating charges for personal hotspot features or data overages may make switching worthwhile.
Then – Analyze your data needs. Several plans sizes are available, and you’ll want to optimize the mix of plans so users aren’t incurring overages, but the organization isn’t paying for more data than it needs. You can always scale when necessary by provisioning a limited number of users with larger data plans, and reallocating the charges to even out the pool.
Be sure to include smartphone mobile hotspot usage in your calculations. Users who did not have the feature previously may choose to take advantage of it, since it’s included in the pooled plans, and this could increase their overall data consumption substantially.
Conduct testing. You’re almost there. Before you roll out pooled data plans to the entire organization we highly recommend testing the plans first, using test cases and a small pilot group. Though our clients have had success migrating to these plans and the process has mostly been smooth, as with any new feature, you may run into unforeseen issues.
For example, we discovered some users who had been moved to AT&T pooled plans were running into problems with their mobile hotspot. Since only a pilot group had transitioned to the plans, the effect was not widespread. We only migrated the rest of the users once we were certain the issue had been resolved.
You might run into other issues that require high-level troubleshooting at the carrier level to resolve. Our advice is to work with someone who knows how the plans work in congruence with the various devices in use at your company to ensure transitioning to the plans is seamless.
Communicate. When your organization’s data plans are switched to pooled data plans, end users shouldn’t notice anything different about their service. Email and other corporate data will still synchronize as it had before, apps will still function, and users will still be able to access mobile sites on smartphones. Nevertheless, some communication is warranted when switching to pooled data plans.
Letting end users know about a plan change (you don’t need to go into complete detail) is a great opportunity to reiterate corporate policies related to mobility, remind users of data limits in place, and set expectations regarding usage and overages. You may remind users, for example, that even though their smartphone hotspot is now enabled, it’s still a bad idea to connect their tablet to it and stream hours’ worth of Netflix; or that their data plan does not cover international usage.
We’re here to help.
Need help evaluating pooled plans, or transitioning your organization’s accounts?
Wireless Analytics has already helped many of our customers save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and avoid pitfalls during the transition to pooled data plans.
While carriers are aggressively pushing conversion to the pooled plans, we know the switch might not be right for every organization. We’ll work with you to analyze your enterprise’s needs and help determine the best solution for your bottom line.
If your organization has already switched to pooled data plans, what’s your take on the transition?