During our Mobile Management Month series, we noted that a number mobile management vendors have established strategic partnerships with consulting firms, telecom agents, and mobile carriers. According to a study, these kinds or partnerships are paying off for everyone involved – carriers, vendors, and business customers.
The research was a joint venture between technology industry associations CompTIA and Channel Partners. The results were discussed during CompTIA’s annual Breakaway conference, which is running this week in Las Vegas, where many attendees offered experience that backed up the initial study.
According the study, the partnerships between telecom agents, carriers, and IT consulting firms are generating significant business for both the telecoms and their partners. In fact, some technology and mobile consulting firms are now generating up to three-quarters of their income from these partnerships.
The study revealed that 43 percent of IT firms garnered between 50 and 74 percent of their total sales in the last 12 months from partnerships with telecom agents. Another 25 percent of IT firms reaped between 25 and 49 percent.
Among telecom agents, one-fourth said partnerships with IT firms accounted for 25-49 percent of revenue in the last 12 months, while about one in five telecom agents said they generated more than 50 percent of revenue from partnerships.
What does this mean for businesses looking to develop an effective mobile strategy?
First, and probably most significant, is that a consulting firm, vendor, or telecom agent with a carrier partnership is likely to be able to offer better advice on cost management, calling and data service plans, and carrier-specific features. It also means that they will be able to act as an intermediary in terms of expanding or reconfiguring existing accounts as well as in resolving issues that are carrier-related. There may even be the potential for discounts and other incentives to go with a carrier-recommended firm. An extensive partnership across the board can even streamline troubleshooting and/or developing custom solutions.
A tightly integrated team of professionals from a range of partners can make quick work of developing an initiative for internal iPhone/iPad apps as well as for planning the best ways to support iOS-toting mobile employees both in the office and on the road.
Is this ultimately a good thing? By and large, it is. However, that doesn’t mean you should exclude companies with minimal partnerships from consideration. As in choosing any kind of vendor or contractor, you should ask about experience and ask for references – and follow-up on them.