Mobility: According to Plan

It?s not unusual for an enterprise to rely on more than one cellular service provider. In many cases, different devices and services demand a multipartner approach. Of course, it?s crucial to negotiate contracts with different providers.

As Chris Delong, director of open systems and infrastructure at Safelite AutoGlass, explains, ?Negotiating with vendors is somewhat of an art. You try to get the best deal you can based on your bargaining position.?

Volume counts, to be sure. But there?s also the issue of ensuring that employees are on the right plans, that they?re not blasting past data limits and paying higher rates, and that they?re using the best available network. In some cases, such as with laptops and netbooks, Bill Clark, research vice president at Gartner, says that it?s easy for employees to rack up daily Wi-Fi charges through providers like T-Mobile and Boingo, when a cellular modem could cut costs. Too often, he says, organizations set up systems and then neglect to re-examine them or make needed changes.

Online sites such as and Validas analyze bills and find inconsistencies and waste. They charge modest fees or take a cut of the savings, but many organizations find it worthwhile.

In addition, experts advise organizations to make sure that employees don?t have phones they don?t need and features they don?t use. For example, not every worker requires an unlimited dialing plan or a multimedia messaging service (MMS).

Finally, try to consolidate accounts to a single carrier, if possible. Volume typically translates into lower costs, and it?s increasingly possible to pool minutes.