MobilityCentral automatically generates recommendations based on data loaded each billing period. The system checks everything from zero total usage lines to pool utilization. Once the analysis is complete, the system ranks the recommendations prioritizing those which could impact the customer's mobility program most. MobilityCentral creates trending charts for specific types of costs and ranks these based on the expected level of interest by the customer.
The Pulse email combines recommendations and trending charts providing a snapshot of the mobility program for the billing period and a task list of items to correct before next billing period - all with the intent of saving the customer money.
Using the Pulse email presents a unique communication opportunity between a managed service provider (MSP) and their customer. The MSP, by customizing the Pulse email content, highlights cost savings and future opportunities to the customer. In some cases, the MSP only manages part of the mobility program; Pulse allows the MSP to guide the customer toward additional cost savings as an added service.
You don't need to do any work! MobilityCentral does all the heavy-lifting for you by generating recommendations and trending. Select and customize relevant recommendations; select the trends you want your customer to see; and send off the email to provide an instantaneous snapshot of the mobility program.
A few use cases exist were this may be to your advantage:
Q: Can I customize the Pulse email?
A: Yes. An administrator can alos customize or create new recommendations, select the trending charts to be displayed in the Pulse email, determine the distribution list, add custom email body text, and add attachments.
Q: Does Pulse go out automatically?
A: MobilityCentral expects the administrator to review the recommendations for relevance before the Pulse email is distributed, therefore the Pulse email is not sent out automatically
Q: Who receives Pulse Emails?
A: Pulse email recipients are defined in the Pulse configuration tab
Q: Can I send a test email?
A: The Pulse configuration section allows you to send test emails to any mail recipient you like
Reports in MobilityCentral are referred to as "views" and are stored in the upper-left corner of each list view throughout the application (e.g. Bill Details, Users, Devices, Plans/Features). These views are made up of columns and rows containing specific sets of data based on filter criteria set up within each view.
Each view starts with locked columns, those which are included in the view no matter what other columns are selected. Locked columns vary based on the selected list view. For example, in the Users section, the locked columns are User Name and Email Address; on the other hand, in the Devices section the locked columns are Entity State and Mobile Number.
Any view can be exported to Excel. In many cases, the data from a view can be emailed without ever leaving MobilityCentral using the Email Report button. In the Users, Devices, and Reconciliation sections the data can also be exported to an import template allowing you to quickly make changes to data in bulk.
Views come in two categories: standard and custom.
Standard views are default views created with every implementation of MobilityCentral. Changing the display options of default views effect all customers and are only done via MobilityCentral software updates.
Custom views are created by an individual customer administrator and can be changed at any time. Custom views are often used to modify the contents of a standard view or generate a report specific to an organizational need.
This is the primary feature of MobilityCentral. Generating and customizing reports is the primary method by which you'll manage a mobility program using MobilityCentral. Here are some use case examples for using standard and custom views, some of which will be explained in more detail in upcoming sections:
What could possibly be more annoying than using 411 in the digital era? Using 411 on a smartphone when so many other options exist for finding information.
You've been there before, the boss needs a report as soon as possible with just the basic information. Mobile Number, Total Charges for the year, cost center, carrier, and billing account number. Use a cutom view to get this report run quickly:
This is a hybrid of the standard and custom view. It's great in cases where a lot of the data in a standard (or other custom) view is good, but fewer/more columns/filters are needed to get you the results you desire.
Alerts are the way MobilityCentral keeps you updated on the results of a particular spend-related view. They're simple to use and make life easy when performing your monthly tasks in MobilityCentral.
Zero usage is the condition of a line of service which indicates unused plans and/or features. MobilityCentral displays lines of service in several zero usage situations (below) and tallys the number of consecutive months a line of service met a zero usage condition.
Various types of zero usage metrics and reports are available in MobilityCentral. Metrics displayed on the dashboards, and the default list views, consider only the most current billing period.
|Type||Location||No Usage Categories|
|Zero Total usage||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Total Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Zero Total Usage
• Push to Talk (PTT)
• Messaging (SMS/MMS)
|Zero Voice Usage||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Voice Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Zero Voice Usage
|• Voice (where a voice allowance exists)|
|Zero Data Usage||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Data Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Zero Data Usage
|• Data (where a data allowance exists - plan or feature)|
|Messaging Allowance with Zero Usage||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Msg Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Messaging Allowance with Zero Usage
|• Monthly recurring charge (MRC) is greater than $0 and the total messages used is zero|
|Zero Int'l Voice Usage Lines||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Int'l Voice Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Zero Int'l Voice Usage
|• Has a feature which allows discounted international voice rates but went unused|
|Zero Int'l Data Usage Lines||• Spend Dashboard
• Zero Int'l Data Usage Lines
• Bill Details view
• Zero Int'l Data Usage
|• Has a feature which allows discounted international data rates but went unused|
The benefits of identifying zero usage conditions relate to the amount of money spent, each month, on keeping the plan/features active for a line of service as they go unused each month. The zero usage conditions are one of the fastest, and easiest, methods of saving money quickly in a mobility program.
To take advantage of these savings, consider the following:
Q: How do I exclude lines from showing up as Zero Total Usage Lines?
A: By default, lines of service marked as emergency, loaner, disconnected, suspended, or new are automatically removed from all zero usage metrics. If you want to exclude a line from the zero usage reports, change the service state to suspended, disconnected, loaner, or emergency.
Q: How do I run the zero usage views for more than one month?
A: You don't have to! The zero usage views automatically calculate the number of consecutive months of zero usage for you. If you must, though, just change the billing period drop-down box at the top of the page.
Most things on a carrier invoice fall into the Monthly Recurring Charges (MRC) category. This means the line of service subscribed to the plan and/or feature and the cost billed to the service is expected and recurring each month. Some charges which show up on the bill, however, are non-recurring charges (NRC) or are unexpected. Charges accrued when a user dials 411, for example, are unexpected NRC. A charge resulting from downloading the NFL Mobile app and billing the monthly subscription service to the carrier is an unexpected MRC. In each situation, these costs can often be mitigated by adding/removing features to avoid these costs in the future.
Overages are NRCs resulting from exceeding allowances (e.g. sending 1,100 text messages when the feature allows 1,000 and being charged $4.00). Here are some examples of overage types which are located on the Plans/Features Spend dashboard.
|Additional Voice Charges||Exceeding the Domestic Anytime Minutes Allowed bucket for a carrier||Typically domestic anytime minutes are registered between 7am - 7/9pm Monday - Friday, or some variation thereof||Move users into a pooled, or unlimited individual, voice plan|
|Long Distance||Making calls to a location outside of a home calling area.||A call made from the caller's home in Wisconsin USA to a number in Florida USA when the caller does not have a nationwide calling plan/feature.
International Long Distance: A call made from the caller's home in Wisconsin USA to a number in London England.
|Ensure subscribers plan includes domestic nationwide calling or an international long-distance feature.|
|Roaming Voice||Making calls while outside of a home calling area||Domestic Roaming: Placing a call to the caller's home in Wisconsin USA while visting Florida USA and the caller does not have a nationwide calling plan/feature.||• Ensure primary plans include domestic nationwide roaming
• Add features for discounted international roaming
• Subscribe to services such as SkyRoam to dramatically reduce international roaming costs
|International roaming is making a call to the caller's home in Wisconsin USA while visiting London England|
|International Roaming and Long Distance||Placing a call while outside the caller's home calling area, to a destination outside the caller's home calling area||Making a call to Berlin Germany while travelling in London England||See fixes for Long Distance and Roaming overages|
|411||Dialing directory assistance billed to the mobile number.||411, (NPA) 555-1212||• Some carriers provide directory assistance blocking features
• Encourage subscribers to use internet search or free 411 services
|Addt'l Data||Exceeding the allowance of domestic data||Using 3GB on a feature with 2GB allowance||Increase domestic data allowances|
|Addt'l Int'l Msg||Exceeding the allowance of international text/picture messaging||• Sending any text message internationally without an international feature
• Sending 150 international text messages with a 100 international text feature
|• Add international text messaging features
• Encourage subscribers to stop sending international text messages
|Addt'l Domestic Msg||Exceeding the allowance of text/picture messages||• Sending 1,500 text messages with a 250 text message feature
• Sending any text message without a text messaging feature
• Sending picture messages on text only plans/features
|Add/update text messaging features where Addt'l Domestic Msg Charges exceed $5|
|Roaming/Int'l Roaming Data||•&nbnbsp;Exceeding plan/feature allowances for international data roaming
• Using domestic data without a nationwide domestic roaming feature
|• Using an aircard while roaming in Germany without an international data feature
• Exceeding 100MB of international roaming usage
|• Add/update plans/features to allow discounted international data roaming
• Encourage users to use a solution such as SkyRoam to mitigate international roaming data costs.
Monthly recurring charges (MRCs) can be considered unexpected charges when a company may not realize it's paying for the feature each month.
Examples include things like downloads charged to the carrier invoice, ringback tones, insurance, roadside assistance, navigation software, and caller ID features. Totals for these features are found in the Plans/Features Spend section of MobilityCentral, while itemized feature listings are located in the Plans/Features Summary section.
Use these sections of MobilityCentral to identify unexpected charges and have them removed from subscribers where appropriate.
Quickly identifying areas of mobility spend waste saves you time, and the customer money.
To mitigate overage spend simply change the plans and features on a line of service to provide additional allowances for voice, data, text, and international usage.
To save money on unexpected MRCs request blocks be put in place to stop downloads billed to the customer account; remove insurance, roadside assistance, and navigation features to minimize add-on costs each month
In almost every case, you can just email the reports from MobilityCentral to the appropriate customer contact, or carrier representative, to have them take action on the records in the report, saving you time and effort.
Simply put, Bill Summary is a section of MobilityCentral which provides summary-level and trending details across all facets of the mobility program. Examples of the contents of Bill Summary are:
Graphical representations of cost trends are a powerful way to demonstrate the impact of changes, or lack thereof, within a wireless environment. Consider, for example, exporting charts and tables of data displaying the impact your efforts in optimizing voice pools. Bill Summary makes that possible with very little work.
Q: What are the differences between the Bill Summary and Bill Summary - Adjusted views?
A: There is really only one difference between these two types of views - and they pertain to both the invoice-style and trending Bill Summaries. Adjusted views consider the impact of charges not applied directly to a mobile number; these are called Account Level Charges. Adjusted Bill Summary views distribute the account level charges so as to account for all costs at the mobile number level. A video on this concept is available here:
Pooling refers to the carrier provided ability of lines of service to share minutes. Think of it like a giant family plan.
Ben Fox at TechCaliber.com describes wireless usage pooling as, "...the concept of a company's users sharing (or "pooling”) their usage allowances, so that users who exceed their individual allowance are allocated another user's unused allowance." (Wireless Pooling)
Consider two lines of service, each with a 450 voice minute plan. Line 1 uses 451 minutes, while Line 2 uses 449 minutes. The carrier doesn't apply voice overage charges to Line 1 because an extra minute was available in the pool thanks to Line 2.
Wireless usage pools provide a company additional flexibility in preventing overage for voice and data usage over standard individual rate plans. There are, however, times where individual rate plans are preferred to pooled plans.
In this use case, we'll assume a 450 voice minute pooled plan costs $50. Line 1 uses 2,250 minutes in the billing period which amounts to five-450 minute plans. At $50 each, that's $250 each month and relies on 4 other lines in the pool to have zero usage.
What's wrong with this? A couple of things. First, we always want to avoid lines of service with Zero Usage, as discussed in the previous section - why pay for something which isn't being used? Second, carriers often offer individual unlimited voice plans for less than $250/month. If I cancel the four zero usage voice plans and move Line 1 to an individual unlimited plan, I may save money each month.
Ease of reporting and auto-analysis are the two major benefits of the MobilityCentral pooling sections. The Pooling Spend dashboard provides a quick summary of the health of the customer's voice and data pools. The Bill Summary> Voice Pool Summary and Bill Summary> Data Pool Summary provide the same level of detail, pool-by-pool. The Bill Details Voice and Data Pool Usage views give you line by line data to help you make decisions on how to manage a voice pool.
Plans and features are the components which make up the capabilities on a line of service. A plan is the primary driver of voice/data access for the device activated on a carrier network and is required for all lines of service. A feature is an additional optional component on the line of service, such as text messaging, insurance, or a data bucket attached to a voice line. Features can be turned on and off at will, while a plan can only be changed from one to another. Cancelling a plan requires cancelling the subscriber's line of service.
Plans and features are stored in MobilityCentral as inventory. What makes this really useful to you is the ability to filter plans and features quickly, across carriers, without much work at all. The Plans/Features Summary dashboard uses filters to let you narrow down the type, category, calling area, and carrier you wish to see of any plan or feature. If, for example, you want to know how many instances of "Text Messaging Unlimited" are deployed across carriers, you can filter the features on the dashboard and see. From there, you can drill down on the total number of lines to see each individual line with this feature.
The inventory dashboard, reached by clicking the Inventory option on the left-navigation bar, holds summarized detail for all devices, SIM cards, and Mobile numbers in MobilityCentral.
There are two ways to keep this inventory updated: manually through the user interface, or using the carrier equipment reports (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint). Most customers use the automated inventory updates, and the system is set up to do this by default. This option can be changed in the Settings section of MobilityCentral.
Keeping track of which assets are "live" in a mobility program has become top-of-mind for many security officers within a company. Devices with company data floating around un-tracked are risky to say the least. The Inventory dashboard gives you one place to see every entity (described below) of a company's mobility program.
With summarized details so easy to access, activities such as inventory cleanup, mass inventory upgrades for specific make/model, and device recycling/destruction programs become even easier to manage.
Inventory entities are the individual components of a working line of service, and include the device, SIM, and mobile number. Each entity is tracked separately in MobilityCentral facilitating Move, Add, Change, Delete (MACD) transactions.
Consider, for example, a subscriber whose device gets upgraded. The mobile number stays the same, the SIM may not need to be changed, but the device does. If, after you upgrade this user's device, you intend on keeping the old device as a spare, having it in MobilityCentral and available to swap out is of benefit to you.
Here's a simple guide to deleting the unnecessary inventory entities from your instance of MobilityCentral. This process assumes old device and SIM entities are not re-deployed as replacements for broken equipment or deployed to new employees.
Don't worry too much about deleting inventory. All inventory transactions are stored in the Device History and if a mobile number is deleted in error it will show up in MobilityCentral when the next bill is loaded.
Service states are just MobilityCentral's way of tracking what's happening with a line of service. Service states are attached to the mobile# entity only. Access service states for a mobile number by opening the device profile (i.e. clicking on a mobile number). Click the Edit button in the mobile number entity state section to make changes to the service state.
Examples of service states include: suspended, emergency, loaner, and disconnected. As previously mentioned, mobile numbers with a service state of loaner, for example, are excluded from zero usage reports. Here are some reasons to use each service state:
Service level notes are exactly what they sound like, notes applied to the service level (or mobile number). These notes are used in two ways: first, to track actions taken on a mobile number (such as a device upgrade); and second, to set reminders for upcoming events (such as cancelling an international feature).
Set a service level note by entering the device profile, and clicking the edit button in the service level notes seciton. Click the add button to add a new note, edit an existing note, or delete a note.
If you set a date with the note, the system will notify the specified recipients of a service level activity due, via email, as configured in the Settings>Email Configurations section.
Standard views for all service level activities and notes are stored in the Devices section.
Each device make and model combination is stored in a device catalog allowing you to make rapid changes to many inventory records without touching records individually. The catalog stores images as well as other relevant attributes for each make/model combination such as operating system (OS); version; manufacturer information, pricing, and more.
Leveraging the device catalog to keep inventory attributes updated ensures the most accurate reporting with the least amount of work. Post-publication, check out the device catalog for entries in an Unassigned device type. Re-categorize them in the catalog and the changes propagate throughout MobilityCentral without any more work on your part.
Q: What is the difference between Pending and Approved?
A: There is no functional difference between these statuses in the device catalog - they simply reflect whether the Visage team has reviewed the specific make/model combination listed and authenticated its legitimacy. For example, an entry such as Blackberry iPhone 5c (which we've seen) would remain in a pending status
Q: Can I delete catalog entries?
A: Sure! Only catalog entries to which no inventory is allocated can be deleted, but the system makes sure of that for you.
Can't see the video below? Try this link: Manage Device Catalog