This month our mystery caller is interested in securing the mobile devices in his company. People are accessing important information from a range of devices and he feels he hasn’t really got a handle on who is accessing what. He wants to introduce some simple security procedures and software that will enable his staff to get on with their jobs but will keep their devices safe and if one goes missing it won’t put the company at risk. He has been browsing the app store and isn’t sure if he should just download apps on all the devices from a reputable company like Norton or if he needs to go through a mobile provider to get something more specialist. Either way he needs some advice.
After unsuccessfully wrestling with the automated menu a few times, I am sure the robotic voice was mocking me, I managed to get through to the right department where I was handed over to Richard. Finally, someone that knew exactly what I was after! Richard, with his friendly tone, explained to me that many companies go through similar issues and they can provide a management solution to solve our problems.
Richard asked me a few questions regarding the current setup and where we were located in the country, he also mentioned that he always prefers to use Vodafone as they have a good service and they provide the device manager. The solution would cover all our security needs which we could manage from one place via the web. We would be able to use features that enable us to lock devices or even remote wipe them.
Richard said they had three levels of service with different set up fees ranging from £300 to £1200 but we would probably need the more advanced package. From then on we would pay about £2.35 per device per month. Only there was one problem, we would all need to be on Vodafone contracts. Richard said it would probably be better to furnish the staff with new contracts and devices rather than trying to use the solution with people’s personal devices.
Richard took my details and said it may be cheaper to buy everyone out of their current contracts but he would need to know which networks everyone was on and when their contract dates ended etc. He took some details from and sent me an email with the information I needed to collect for him to complete a quote.
Highlights: Friendly, knowledgeable, clear,
Lowlights: Automated menu
Helpfulness – 4/5
Manner – 4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Understanding – 4/5
Sales Technique – 3/5
Total 23/30 Good call: Richard was the first person to give me any real clarity around mobile security I think he did a pretty good job. However I’m not entirely sure about the pricing he suggested… seems a bit steep for “advanced” features like remote wiping, especially when you can get it off the app store for a few quid.
I did a bit of research on Maintel before I rang in with my request and was quite impressed by their website. Quite clearly they provided mobile solutions and following paragraph made me content enough that they would have a stance on mobile security:
“Our mobile experts will translate your priorities into a single plan, managed on a best practice, best price basis. We can converge your mobile and fixed infrastructures for optimum management, control and cost-effectiveness, all built on proven technologies from our leading vendor partners.”
This paragraph was accompanied by a nice picture of a smartphone and a padlock… surely I was in the right place?! After making my way through the simple automated menu I got through to John who listened to my request. He didn’t know if that was something they did but said he would go and check. After a brief moment where he was clearly just shouting across an office he came back to me and said they didn’t do that sort of thing and he didn’t really know where I should go…
So I tried again thinking I must be talking to a newbie and any moment the penny would drop. John said he would ask again! Moments later he came back and said that everyone was just telling him apps that I could go and get from the app store for a few quid. This wasn’t really the response I was after, this conversation clearly wasn’t going anywhere so rather than torturing the man with more questions he couldn’t answer there was nothing left but to call it a day.
Highlights: errrrrrm… my rich tea biscuit which awaited me after the call!
Lowlights: Everything up to the biscuit!
Helpfulness – 1/5
Manner – 3/5
Knowledge – 0/5
Understanding – 0/5
Sales Technique – 0/5
Total 4/30 Flummoxed, something was amiss here. The website i looked at and the person I spoke to almost sounded like they weren’t related in any way. However, John’s colleagues did suggest some iOS apps I might like to try so I have to give him a 1 for helpfulness.
This was a far more difficult than I had thought it would be when I started this article. Mobile security is becoming an important area for businesses to ensure they are protected and their critical data is safe. I was surprised by the lack of knowledge over the companies I rang. Qualitel was the only company which offered me any real substance or information which is why you see a gulf between the scorers. Maintel are just sending out mixed messages as far as I am concerned. Why present yourself as a mobile specialist and allude to the fact you provide security when you don’t?? This may have been a case of operator brain malfunction or they just got their messaging slightly wrong on their website…who knows! I was surprised to hear that quite a few resellers were just recommending downloading a security apps directly from the various security providers. A lot of these apps do basic things like remote wiping and have anti-theft features (see last month’s issue). It makes me wonder if resellers don’t see the value in security because most businesses only require the basics which they can do themselves or if perhaps the mobile security opportunity isn’t as big as I thought.