Feature Article

May 17, 2012

Are You Ready to Get Rid of Zombie Phones? Amtel Can Help

When it comes to costs incurred by companies – from paying for on-premise infrastructure to forking over salaries every week to keeping the office kitchen cabinets stocked with Keuring pods – the bills can be astronomical, often only made worse by hidden expenses that get glossed over each month.

Many of those hidden expenses come from corporate-issued phones or mobile devices supplied by employers to employees. Whether it’s an employee who forgets to turn off his international roaming data plan when he travels abroad for business or an employee who calls 411 frequently as opposed to 1-800-411, which is free, employees are racking up the costs for their employers thanks to their mobile phone use – and it is largely going undetected. Until now, that is.

One company that is setting out to help you uncover those buried costs is Amtel, a global mobile device management and telecom expense management vendor that addresses the challenges companies face in managing mobile devices. And one of the main businesses Amtel is in is killing zombies. Yes, zombies.

“Amtel kills zombies,” CMO Richard Bliss told MobilityTechzone with a laugh at Interop 2012. “It’s what we do, and it’s very efficient. We have discovered through our audits that any organization of significant size has about five to 10 percent of their mobile devices that are zombie phones.”

According to Amtel, a zombie phone describes a corporate issued phone that remains with employees, even as they move onto new jobs. The result of that move is that there’s a disconnect between “your company and the carrier that is charging you for that phone.”

“Oftentimes, about five to 10 percent of the time, that phone does not get transferred over because it’s up to the ex-employee to accept financial responsibility,” Bliss said. “The carrier will keep billing you and oftentimes companies simply keep paying it.”

In addition to zombie phones, companies may also find themselves with phones that are “buried alive,” or phones that ex-employees hand back to employers that are then tossed in drawers. Even though the employer might have told HR or IT to kill the device, it is still draining the company’s budgets because the carrier hasn’t turned it off.

Need proof that this is costing you? If your company has 2,000 devices and 100 of those are zombie phones, you are spending about $100 on each phone or $100,000 a year on unused phones.

In addition to killing zombie phones, Amtel also helps companies enjoy cost savings on 411 calls as the company allows an employer to automatically redirect 411 calls to 1-800-411, which is free. Moreover, Amtel offers roaming features so that IT can disable an international roaming data plan before an employee boards a plane.

For more on Amtel or other companies in the mobile device management sector, click here to view more MobilityTechzone Interop 2012 videos.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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