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mobile lifecycle mangagement, MLM

What Is Mobile Lifecycle Management (MLM)?

Whether you're running a small business or a mega-corporation, mobile devices (Android and iOS smartphones, laptops, and tablets) are indispensable tools for operational efficiency. Their ever-increasing capabilities, usage, and relevance as crucial components in a business's information systems have become more evident in the current business environment. Unlike before the pandemic, the remote work model has become an acceptable and preferred model among most small businesses and big corporations. More telecommuting equals more mobile device adoption.

One core challenge of remote settings is the lack of visibility and control over mobile devices. This can pose a severe security risk for your business from financial and corporate perspectives. Adequate mobile lifecycle management is one approach that guarantees security and operational efficiency among employees and employers. Mobile lifecycle management (MLM) allows your company's IT department total control over managing your business' mobile ecosystem through its lifecycle, from procurement to retirement.

Mobile device lifecycle management helps your IT manager adopt and configure the right devices, update software and applications, and monitor, track, and ensure overall device security. Therefore, it is a critical hurdle your organization's IT departments must overcome to ensure efficient workflow and keep you above board in the modern business environment.

If you're wondering what mobile device lifecycle management means, how it works, and how it benefits your business, our guide will answer these questions and more. Meanwhile, as the most advanced processing solution for resellers of used devices, the Phonecheck Certification suite is an all-in-one integrated solution to certify lock, carrier and financial checks, 20+ diagnostic checks within seconds, along with fast and sure erasure and an automated 80-pt check for up to 10 devices simultaneously.

What is mobile lifecycle management?

Mobile lifecycle management (MLM) is an integrated solution that allows organizations and IT departments to effectively manage all elements of their mobile environment throughout their entire lifecycle, from procurement to end-of-life. These elements range from mobile devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, IoT components, etc.) to proprietary software and other hardware components. MLM is geared toward getting requisite devices with appropriate configuration and application into your employees' hands when needed, regardless of location.

Depending on your business' information systems and operations framework, an MLM solution covers processes, tools, policies, and necessary background procedures like technical support, device management, logistics shipping, and warehousing. Furthermore, it encompasses real-timefunctionality testing, troubleshooting, and repair services. These services are essential, especially when you're managing a remote team.

Usually, the mobile device lifecycle management encompasses the following activities:

Ultimately, deploying a mobile lifecycle management solution will turbocharge your team's efficiency, increase productivity, and maximize profit.

How is mobile lifecycle management different from MDM?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a solution that allows an organization to manage all its mobile devices from a single integrated platform. These solutions target device operations and optimization, from device configuration to software updates, location tracking, monitoring, and overall security. MDMs deal with mobile devices and their underlying framework.

MDMs come into play only after you've procured your mobile devices and configured them according to your company style, mobile policies, and information system. They focus on end-userendpoint protection and data security without covering other crucial services like shipping, warehousing, repairs, and retirement.

MLMs, on the other hand, provide a fully integrated end-to-end solution that helps companies manage their devices from the initial phase of procurement and deployment to recovery and retirement. MDM only covers a fraction of the process involved in a device's entire lifecycle. Therefore, MDM is just one of the many tools or steps in the MLMs process.

What is the importance of mobile lifecycle management?

One lasting legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming our approach to work. During the pandemic, the transition to remote work was necessary for many businesses to maintain operations. Subsequently, corporate executives realized that such a transition didn't negatively impact productivity. It then means that working on-site full-time isn't a prerequisite for producing excellent results. Therefore, most businesses have now adopted the hybrid work model for the long haul.

The hybrid model combines remote and on-site approaches. Remote work offers employees flexibility and is key to retaining talent. FlexJob's 10th Annual Survey shows that 97% of workers desire some form of remote work. Given this paradigm shift, companies need a practical approach to maintain their remote workforce's continued sustainability and productivity. Mobile lifecycle management is one approach that guarantees your firm’s sustainability.

Deploying MLM solutions eliminate traditional issues that impact remote workforce productivity. These issues include limited IT assets, misconfigurations, incorrect access privileges, and missing applications. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about extended downtime or employee dissatisfaction arising from device performance issues and bad end-user experience. This is primarily related to remote users who don't have direct access to IT assets and services.

The increased oversight enables you to proactively remedy most issues that can impede functionality and performance, even before the user is impacted. Additionally, such oversight prevents unauthorized access to sensitive company data by rogue employees or cyber actors, thereby keeping your company’s information secured and protected.

What are the benefits of mobile device lifecycle management?

Now that you understand the importance and relevance of deploying MLMs as a tech solution, let's take a quick look at how it'll benefit your business in the short and long run.

Simplifies device management

MLM helps organizations simplify device management by bringing all crucial activities together in a single integrated system that employees can access anywhere. Operations ranging from procurements to logistics, security, shipping, insurance, and e-wasting are all streamlined into a single efficient process. This saves time and fosters collaboration among team members. The effect is improved productivity due to increased team efficiency.

Streamline your accounting and cost planning

When you deploy lifecycle management solutions in your business, your accounting and cost planning operations will become more efficient and effective. MLMs provide a baseline reference that makes hardware and software purchasing and warehouse costing easy to predict. Furthermore, through real-time and comprehensive oversight or visibility of your company's mobile devices, you can make more informed procurement planning and even more effective budgeting.

Improves employee onboarding experience

During onboarding, setting up new employees and integrating them into your company's mobile workspace using company-issued mobile devices may involve installing requisite software or applications relevant to the employee's role. Subsequently, the new employees must also be granted access to essential software tools to perform their roles efficiently. The entire process can be time-consuming and might divert IT teams from their core roles.

However, deploying MLM means standard devices issued to new employees are automatically configured with all the corporate settings and application software that they need. Your new employees can assimilate seamlessly into your company workspace when you deliver employee-personalized devices preloaded with suitable system configurations. With standby mobile programs and environments in place, new hires can integrate and begin work as soon as they are in the system regardless of location. This makes for a unique onboarding experience.

Environmentally sustainable

By minimizing the purchase of new devices through repair and efficient use of old devices, you reduce the quantity of e-waste that ends up in landfills and pollutes the natural order.

Additionally, you're indirectly contributing to reducing environmental degradation that arises when mining rare Earth elements used in making critical device components.

Furthermore, you also contribute positively to chip shortages and supply chain issues. Overall, your company will become more environmentally responsible and sustainable.

What are the steps in mobile lifecycle management?

From device procurement and allocation at the beginning of the MLM to device retirement at the end of the device lifecycle, the MLM solution involves eight chronological steps, namely:

  1. Device allocation. In this step, your IT manager activates new devices and proceeds to register them.
  2. Carrier provisioning. In carrier provisioning, you allocate network carriers to the devices and register SIMs. It also encompasses the management of re-contracts and upgrades.
  3. Staging. Here, you create end-user profiles for configured and enrolled company devices, and subsequently deploy relevant apps and content across your organization.
  4. Nationwide distribution. In this stage, your core duty is to ensure that the company devices are safely and timely delivered to every end user regardless of location. You can leverage appropriate transit insurance to guarantee protection.
  5. End-user services. This has to do with preparing welcome kits and providing peripheral connectivity support and necessary training for new users.
  6. Repairs and upgrades. Here, you identify, manage, and fix faulty devices. The MLM solution must be able to troubleshoot and deploy automatic fixes to secure system vulnerabilities.
  7. Secure wipe and redeployment. In this step, you wipe out corporate data from old devices and repurpose the old service level contracts for renewed use by new end users.
  8. Decommissioning and disposal. This final step in the cycle requires you to wipe the end-of-life devices and dispose of them in an environment-friendly manner.

Securely wipe mobile devices with Phonecheck data erasure solution

Mobile device lifecycle management is one approach that guarantees the security and protection of a company's sensitive data from malicious actors. Unfortunately, many companies lack the relevant expertise, knowledge, scale, and automated tools to effectively manage the lifecycle of devices from procurement and configuration to retirement.

What if you have access to low-cost software that equally guarantees the security of your personal or company mobile devices? That's where Phonecheck comes in. Our industry-standard enterprise data erasure component guarantees that sensitive company data is securely wiped before retiring corporate devices or listing them in the open market for resale. Furthermore, our robust and highly efficient diagnostic solution lets you carry out a constructive diagnosis of secondhand mobile devices before purchase when buying from the open market.

The full certification suite provides you with a device history report indicating that all  device software and hardware components are in perfect work conditions. As an IT manager, such certificates give you the confidence to purchase a used device without worrying about being cheated or issues like blocked devices. Our software solutions prioritize your peace of mind while in the used phone market.

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