Mobile Market Challenges
Posted on January 2, 2013
2013 will see a series of threats to the traditional mobile dealer, according to Mark Curtis-Wood, Head of Networks at Nimans.
Increased collaboration and strength from the network providers, BYOD security issues and a reduction in hardware expenditure will all become prevalent this year.
Mark explained: “Some serious challenges lie ahead because any customer that’s connected to a network carries the obvious threat - for a reseller - of losing that relationship or passing the opportunity across. You’ve only got to look at the amalgamation of some of the biggest industry names, the merger of Orange and T-Mobile into Everything Everywhere for example, to see the networks becoming stronger and collaborating together. This will inevitably have an impact on the traditional dealer market where there’s an increased risk of ‘ownership’ of the customer’s other services passing to the networks.”
Mark highlighted: “With two year contracts dealers can become more distant from customer relationships. If the networks are keeping customers happy then you would expect some will look to use them for other associated services as well such as broadband, data and even hosted services.
“Looking at alternative ways to conduct business is the obvious solution, particularly about how dealers can capitalise on Bring Your Own Device BYOD trends. Without a doubt BYOD is going to have a massive impact in 2013 from both sides of mobile distribution. From a hardware perspective you will have less people buying mobile hardware because they will be using the same device. Anyone relying on hardware purchases will see an impact towards the back end of this year. The key challenge is how to overcome that. One of the key shifts I see is Mobile Device Management or MDM. This type of solution is critical in the deployment of BYOD and is one reason why you will see IT resellers and Data VARS taking advantage of some of that space because they are currently better positioned than some of the traditional mobile dealers. They will be talking about the security implications of having a mobile workforce. What’s going to happen when a member of staff is using his phone or tablet? Is he on the VPN and what information is he accessing? How ready is that access and is he bypassing firewalls? These are some of the many considerations. That conversation tends to sit in the IT space at the moment where resellers are already engaged at that level. This is a further threat to the mobile dealer market.
“They need to embrace MDM and BYOD and look at working with a provider that can give the right advice around these. These are areas we will be focusing on this year as they fit in nicely with our existing wholesale mobile proposition.”
As an official Joined Up Communications wholesale channel partner with O2, Nimans offers a range of compelling solutions from connections to hardware, as Mark continued: “Wholesale Mobile offers a host of opportunities for resellers both from a customer retention and cross-sell position and to increase business value. But it’s not for everyone. Our team will help you identify whether Wholesale Mobile is right for your business and guide you through the pros and cons it represents.
“The reality for resellers is that many of the mobile networks have moved into other arenas such as fixed line, broadband and data. Potentially a reseller risks customer erosion and losing margins. Wholesale gives them complete control so they can bill under their own name using their existing billing platform or using Nimans’ bureau services.”
He concluded: “It’s not just about providing hardware but providing the right levels of connectivity and service - and getting the price package and support right.”