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How to stop overspending on mobile data

In our last post, we discussed four factors to consider before renewing your enterprise cell phone contract. Now we are delving deeper into one of those factors – data – to explore why it is such a major component of mobile spend and what can be done to minimize data costs.

You don’t need Nicki Minaj or Ariana Grande to tell you it’s all about the data.

According to Cisco, the annual Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will triple between 2014 and 2019, hitting a record of 2 zettabytes in 2019. That is 2 billion terabytes (or 2 trillion gigabytes).

What’s driving this upsurge in data usage? Consumers and enterprise employees that want to, need to and expect to connect from anywhere, at any time. And while business leaders understand that mobile devices and apps boost productivity, collaboration and customer service, all of that data usage can come at a tremendous cost.

Within our client base, average data usage is growing at a rate of 40% each year. That’s why we are working closely with each client to minimize data spend through contract negotiation and ongoing monitoring.

Analyze usage and find the best plan Most businesses are simply too busy to spend the time and effort to thoroughly analyze mobile usage and understand where cost-cutting opportunities exist. Providers know this, and therefore offer enterprise customers what can look like a discounted plan because they know they will recover the discount (and more) in other areas (such as international roaming).

Many of our clients don't realize how much their data consumption has grown. In office or home environments, employees are typically using Wi-Fi, so data usage is not an issue. However, when they travel, especially internationally, data usage is primarily cellular and the cost soars.

Analyzing a full year of usage data makes it easier to pinpoint potential areas of cost reduction and tighter control, which is exactly what we did in one recent project. Through analysis, comparison and planning, we identified the client’s priorities of:

• Improved data plan • North American voice pools • North American long distance • Consolidation of existing mobile plans with one vendor

Using the mobile provider consolidation as leverage, we were able to negotiate a plan with larger data and voice pools (at a minimal increase in the monthly plan cost). The larger pools safeguard the client from exorbitant overage fees, reducing data costs by more than 50%!

Usage before negotiations Usage after new contract Cost reduction Data 152% of pool 75% of pool 52% Voice 83% of pool 75% of pool 13%

Monitor usage and adjust your plan accordingly If data overages are wrecking your budget, you are not alone. Even if you’ve negotiated a great contract with more data than you’ve had in the past, there will come a time when a user will blow up your data plan. With active monitoring and management, you can address the situation before billing. By analyzing the usage and comparing options (increasing data plan vs. paying for the overages), you can take action before your bill arrives (when you will have few, if any, options to reduce the costs). Even if the overages are a result of a transient event, having the calculations and options available as a result of monitoring can help you make temporary adjustments or avoid similar situations in the future.

Ongoing monitoring and alerts can also help address the situation before overages occur. If your mobile policy limits data usage, you can configure alerts to be sent directly to the employee (and admin) when he approaches the limit (e.g., he is at 90% of the monthly data limit). In some cases of corporate-owned devices, you can also turn off cellular data on a specific device until the next billing period begins.

On occasion, it will make sense to reduce your data plan to avoid paying for unused data. Whether you have short-term projects that take your employees out of the office or seasonal employees who only need devices and data during certain times of the year, adjustments to your plan can help save you money on your monthly bill.

Do you want to find out how you can optimize your data plan and cut costs? Contact us at info@valadian for a no cost, 20-minute assessment of your current contract and savings opportunities.

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