Vodafone’s Device Lifecycle Management Service Simplifies Device Logistics for MNCs

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Global companies need to flexibly source the right set of mobile devices, with cost-effective payment options. They need to deal with repairs, returns, replacement, and end-of-life for devices and ensure that every device is fully configured and preloaded with applications in line with security policies – in multiple countries and with multiple contracts.
  • Vodafone has introduced a one-stop shop and scalable solution to deal with all of these thorny problems with a single service and supporting portal that provides everything from staging, kitting, configuration, and provisioning to repairs, replacement, and swaps, along with helpdesk support and visibility and management of customer assets.

Vodafone’s device lifecycle management (DLM) service was launched in 2017 with a catchy advertising and promotional initiative that used humor at the heart of a multichannel digital campaign centering on content designed to appeal to four target segments: specialist mobility professionals, IT decision-makers, finance, and procurement professionals.

The DLM service portfolio includes:

  • Device procurement (with options from Apple and Samsung) and device accessories, with combinations kitted especially for the customer, along with staging and configuration services (include pre-configured software for device management, security, or other applications).
  • Flexible commercial options including device leasing (OpEx) and device purchasing (CapEx) models.
  • Managed services, including repair and replacement, ‘leavers service’ (for employees leaving the company), dedicated customer stock swap, asset reporting, quarterly reviews, and helpdesk-to-helpdesk support.

The logistics service is provided by Vodafone partner Ingram Micro, but the customer only has direct contact with Vodafone, which provides helpdesk support and has designed the commercial and service package, the branding, and the customer administration portal. The Vodafone portal allows administrators to order devices (based on a set of design builds determined jointly by Vodafone and the customer) as well as place requests for repairs and replacements due to damaged, lost, or stolen devices. It also provides granular visibility into devices owned or leased as well as repair and replacement orders and their execution. The customer has the choice of different contract periods for the devices (12, 24, 30, or 36 months). DLM is positioned as a one-stop shop and a scalable solution with a single monthly fee per device and a monthly managed service fee per device based on the OpEx model.

Vodafone makes DLM processes as convenient as possible, as replacement devices are delivered to the customer’s doorstep. Repair requests are flexible, as they can be accommodated even if damage is minor or caused by employee carelessness. The aim is to minimize turnaround time to replace faulty, damaged, lost, or stolen devices and accommodate the complex environments in which the operator’s 1,400 MNCs do business, which may mean different devices used in different countries, all with different contract periods. Vodafone notes that 80% of its customers have chosen its device leasing option because they see it as more cost-effective and as easier to upgrade and support. Vodafone has a TCO calculator it uses to show customers the benefits of leasing and estimates that customers can save up to 15% via the OpEx model. DLM may be bundled with Vodafone’s mobile device management service, although some of the customers already have their own MDM platform purchased directly from vendors such as MobileIron, IBM, VMware, and BlackBerry.

Vodafone performs quarterly reviews with the customer (IT/administrator) to go over all service level objectives (SLOs), which include portal availability, incident resolution, and order delivery (including target delivery time by country). It notes how many devices have been delivered, replaced, and shipped and how many service requests were made during the period. It granularly shows faulty vs. broken vs. lost vs. stolen devices. Vodafone logs all requests that were made on behalf of each end user.

Vodafone offers a simple pricing structure for customers:

  • If the device is leased, the charge is based on a monthly rental fee per device.
  • If the device is bought, there is a one-time charge per device.
  • There is a monthly managed service fee per device. This includes repair, staging, configuration or kitting, shipping, etc., amortized across the customer’s device volume commitment and their contract term.

Roadmap

  • Vodafone offered customers the ability to order devices using Apple’s Device Enrollment Program from day one and has recently launched a similar capability for Samsung Knox Mobile Enrollment.
  • Vodafone has plans to expand into the APAC markets, following the launch in Europe and U.S. Vodafone is essentially following its MNC customers’ footprint.
  • Device choices will evolve to add support for ruggedized/specialized devices (e.g., for chemical/oil and gas segments).
  • Vodafone will also add laptops. It views this as an untapped market. Laptops will be pre-loaded with device management software and configured/kitted in line with customers’ requirements.
  • Vodafone plans to expand its DLM portfolio with Vodafone’s IoT services. Early DLM customer use cases include a healthcare provider with 30,000 leased iPads in 21 countries monitoring patients after pacemaker surgery and a retailer with a new service to allow customers to collect and return parcels from store partners in 15 countries using kitted, pre-configured devices.

Throughout the development, launch, and ongoing management of the DLM service, Vodafone has added functionality, responded to customers’ requests, and made the program increasingly convenient and cost-effective. It is an example of a thoughtfully developed service designed to alleviate pain points of its customer base and add to the high value-added services that are important for service provider differentiation in a competitive market.

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