With the increasing use of smartphones and smart devices as productivity tools, companies had to deal with cases of exorbitant roaming charges after employees travel overseas for business reasons. In some instances, the shock comes from undetermined charges brought by unmonitored data usage.
Maintaining employee connection across the ocean while avoiding a buildup of telecom expenses may seem unavoidable but there are solutions to this costly dilemma. Controlling data usage while optimizing employee productivity is possible through a telecom expense management program.
Companies looking for a way to manage expenditures should seek a solution that offers a perfect balance. These three solutions to overseas business roaming charges should be part of that expense management program.
One cost saving solution is to go into the root of the problem by identifying what causes these additional roaming fees. While this involves monitoring user behavior and site trends, great care should be taken to avoid encroaching into employee privacy. Management programs have achieved this balance by looking at user behavior trends. Apps and sites which are proven to be high-risk are immediately flagged and identified. Collated information from all company-issued tablets and smart devices could also help provide a broader perspective on data roaming user trends and expenses.
Data Usage Cap
To avoid curtailing employee productivity and performance, access to data must not be completely restricted but managed. One way of doing this is to set up a usage cap to restrict data consumption to a certain number of gigabytes per billing cycle. When that particular usage level has been reached, notifications are sent out to inform management and to remind the employee to slow down consumption.
Another solution is to block access to data intensive and high-risk URLs or domains from any company smart device. This fulfills two purposes. Aside from preventing unnecessary fees from being charged to the corporate account, this block function proactively prevents a host of issues from occurring. Through this feature, an intrusive cyber threat can be identified before causing real damage.
Data compression provides another solution to address questionable roaming charges. This feature automatically reduces data volume by a certain percentage when activated. Through compression, a high definition video or a high-resolution photo are converted in real time into a mobile optimal format before streaming.
Enforcing a strict compliance policy on smartphone use provides another level of assurance to management. It is important to ensure employees with company smartphones or tablets are aware of the protocols covering usage while on business travel. A feature alerting employees of a new device policy as well as a potential compliance breach should be considered when choosing the right management program. From the administrator’s end, the program should also afford that flexibility to update settings when enforcing a new company policy. Moreover, it should allow administrators to switch settings to fit a specific device or geographic location.
A 2014 report from Juniper Research provided a valuation of revenues earned by telecom operators from overseas roaming. According to the firm, global figures could reach nearly $90 billion by the year 2018, representing a significant jump from actual figures of $57 billion in 2014. Growth in data consumption will drive the increase in revenue numbers, the research noted.
In any data-driven business, overseas roaming charges could potentially pile up with unmonitored use. However, a telecom management solution could help curtail these expenses without compromising employee performance, mobility, and work efficiency.