Mobile data usage is continuing to grow at unprecedented levels, due to increasing number of smart devices, demand for mobile video and continued growth of 4G networks. An article by CNET in June 2015 detailed that "each month, the average smartphone in North America consumes 2.4 gigabytes, or the equivalent of about 10 hours of streaming video. By 2020, that usage could rise nearly sixfold to 14 GB a month".
The graph below from the Cisco white paper "Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2015–2020 White Paper" shows global mobile data growing at a compound rate of 53, as the number of devices increases to 11.6B (8% CAGR) from 2015 to 2016. Note that Asia Pacific is estimated to account for 45% of global mobile traffic.
As usage surges, so do the financial costs for organisations. For users with company supplied devices, they are often unaware of costs from domestic overages and roaming charges. Users are increasingly facing mobile data 'bill shock' from mobile applications which increasingly transmit audio and video.
Proactive Mobile Expense Management
To address this, MaaS360 provides an integrated mobile device and expense management solution to track data usage across multiple service plans. This feature is called Mobile Expense Management (MEM).
Mobile Expense Management is included in the (entry) MaaS360 Essentials Suite.
Further details on all the MaaS360 suites are detailed here. MaaS360 MEM provides the following key capabilities:
Real-time data usage information
Configurable thresholds and notifications to the user and management
Manage multiple plans and policies
Visualise usage trending reports
Set in-network vs. roaming policies
With MaaS360 MEM, end users can be notified of approaching data usage thresholds, roaming status changes. Educated users are far less likely to incur costly charges for the company. The following show the Data Usage report users can see on their device, along with example (customisable) alerts:
So if your client needs to use another solution for what ever reason, MaaS360 MEM can still provide mobile data usage information.
The following sections detail how to enable this service as part of your MaaS360 account.
Setting up Mobile Expense Management
1) From the MaaS360 Portal Home page, select Expense - Plans.
2) Click Create New Plan. The Create Plan window is displayed. Provide the following details about the plan as per the following example:
3) Click Save & Publish, and then deploy the plan to users. The plan is in draft status until you publish the plan. You cannot use the plan until you publish the plan.
4) If you only decide to have one plan for all of your devices, then select Actions - Set Default. Otherwise, you can link this plan to either a user or device group as shown:
It can take up to 24 hours for information to be populated in the portal from your devices. The following shows the data usage you can obtain for both a device and some of the example MEM portal reports.
Device Mobile Data Usage
Mobile data usage is available for each device by selecting Mobile Data Usage as shown:
Data Usage is available for all devices, by clicking on Reports - Mobile Expense Management.
Expense Monitoring Rules
With MaaS360, you can apply compliance rules on your managed mobile devices. Compliance rules sets are conditions that are checked on devices on a real-time basis. If a device is not in compliance with the defined rule sets or conditions, appropriate enforcement actions are taken on the device. Compliance rules can include Enforcement Rules, Geo-Fencing, Monitoring, Groups and of course Data Usage. See the following video which explains Compliance Rules in more detail.
Data Usage rules can be defined for both In-Network and Roaming mobile data. Using the following as an example, the user would be alerted on the device (plus email) if they exceed 50% of their roaming quota. Administrators can also be notified by email as well.
The policy of the device can also be changed as an enforcement action. For example to restrict access to corporate resources or disable particular device services.
Controlling Data Usage
Depending on the mobile operating system, mobile data settings can be configured or disabled. The following chart shows the types of data options that can be currently configured for each mobile operating system.
As you can see, MEM is easy to setup and provides immediate return for organisations of all sizes. It's another integrated capability, along with mobile threat management. If you would like to try out MaaS360, you can register for a free 30-day trial by going to www.maas360.com/trial.
If you would like further information, please ask a question on the MaaS360 forum or contact me directly via my blog contact page.