Top tips for simplifying your mobile device roll-out

When an organisation goes about a device refresh project, it will normally run an extensive evaluation process, heavily influenced by IT and users requesting specific features and apps. Any evaluation will also include a plan for a handful of different user profiles to evaluate potential devices. Setting up the test devices at this stage is relatively easy, and usually done manually.

But what many organisations are failing to plan for is the question of once you’ve made your device decisions, how do you enforce them across thousands of devices?

With your employees using more and more diverse devices, ensuring that each one is customised and configured to your company’s specifications can be extremely time consuming.

But it is key to get this initial set-up right – in this blog I look at how a potential cause of excessive mobile data usage can often be attributed to poor initial device set-up.

But it doesn’t end there – SIMs and phone cases need to be installed, mobile device management software loaded, email configured, devices encrypted, security policies enabled, applications downloaded and customised configurations applied.

Because of this complexity it’s no longer about self-configuration and businesses are no longer doing this in-house. Increasingly organisations ae looking to specialists to stage devices on their behalf, or using tools that allow them to tailor devices and enforce settings over-the-air. Both the Apple Device Enrolment Program and Samsung Knox Custom Configurator are useful examples of configuration tools that can help organisations in these circumstances.

These tools suit large-scale deployments and are seamless for IT (as long as everyone has the same device operating system!). You can automate account settings, apps, and access to IT services over the air.

Once you’ve registered, the devices are tied to the enterprise. Mandatory MDM enrolment is then enforced and the server deploys the profiles you’ve created. So instead of changing multiple settings and functions for each device in your enterprise, you set these options up once and then remotely deploy them across all of your devices. These profiles include device settings, home screen configurations, and apps that you want to push. There’s no need for staging services, and no need for IT to physically access each device to complete the setup.

The morale of this story, kind reader, is to begin with the aspect which is usually examined last. Not the touch screen, processor power or camera – rather look at how easy it is to configure these devices for deployment and in-life. Alternatively, turn to a managed service provider who will fully configure the devices in accordance with your management, security and application policy before the device is shipped to the end-user.