Multinational corporations (MNCs) in Asia-Pacific are increasingly looking at managed mobility services as a potential solution to the problems of managing the growing cost and complexity of mobility on an international scale.
Ovum recently asked 110 MNCs worldwide about the importance of various mobility issues. Cost management was rated by over 95% of the companies as either as either important or extremely important.
"Given the difficulties multinationals have in coping with the various aspects of mobility, it is no surprise that interest in managed mobility services is growing," says Claudio Castelli, Senior Analyst.
Such services help MNCs handle relationships with mobile service providers, manage the device fleet, roll out and manage secure data applications, analyse invoices, and allocate costs back to departments or users.
"Enterprises will consider providers that help them control expenses by offering centralised contracts and providing tools that improve the visibility and management of costs," says Castelli.
Some providers are recognising these customers' demands and a growing number of them are offering elements of managed mobility.
"MNCs recognise providers with strong presence in major markets or with significant regional presence as their main international service providers for mobility services, but those which combine both characteristics have the broadest combination of strengths and score highest," adds Castelli.
With a significant presence in major Asia-Pacific markets and a regional approach to MNCs in Asia-Pacific, among which it has a significant number of customers, and a relatively mature managed mobility offering, Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE) is the current market leader. It is followed closely by SingTel, which has significant mobile assets in the region and has recently introduced a set of managed mobility services and also figures as a market leader in the Ovum market positioning.
The study also includes the global and regional challengers, and some national giants. The regional challengers (Telstra and Bharti Airtel), are providers with a strong regional footprint but whose mobility portfolio for MNCs is still under development. Ovum recommends that enterprises consider them for shortlisting based on their specific requirements.
The global challengers should also be considered depending on the scope of services required. These are global service providers with sophisticated mobility offerings but limited or no mobile network assets in the region and a limited regional customer base for these specific services.
"These players can offer mobility services in the region as part of a global deal or for businesses with requirements where mobility is combined with other fixed services (e.g. managed WAN or unified communication) in a more holistic approach to telecommunication and ICT services," advised Castelli, who is based in Melbourne. BT Global Services and Orange Business Services are the best examples, but others are likely to join this group in the near future.
In the last group are the national giants (China Mobile and China Unicom), whose presence in the scorecard is mainly because of the growing importance of the Chinese market for MNCs and the fact that most MNCs are still procuring their mobility services nationally. These players have the potential to leverage the expansion plans of the Chinese MNCs to expand services internationally, but they will need to invest significantly in geographical coverage and partnerships to complement their services portfolio.
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