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Efficiency - Nov 17, 2017

5 things you need to know before choosing a roaming option for your enterprise

Key questions to help you select the right plan, boost employee productivity and avoid “bill shock”

“Our telecom bill has more than $1,000 in overage fees from when someone attended a two-day conference in Asia!”

If you administer your company’s wireless roaming plan, you’ve likely faced this type of shock.

Many enterprise roaming plans don’t make it easy for you to reign in your costs. For example, they often require you to apply roaming plans manually before someone leaves.

But if you don’t know when people are traveling, you can’t plan in advance. Worried they’ll be the reason for a big bill, some employees can be too cautious when roaming—to the detriment of their productivity. Others may use their phone as they normally would at the risk of exorbitant roaming charges and frustrations.

Answer These 5 Questions Before You Invest in an Enterprise Roaming Solution

When employees travel in the U.S. or abroad, you don’t want to worry about overwhelming roaming charges. Nor do you have the time to manually add a roaming plan every time someone leaves the country.

Here are five questions to help you gain control of your roaming expenses – while you provide employees with the coverage and reliability that they need.

1. What are your business needs?

Defining your business needs in advance will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Ask why you need roaming services. What countries do your employees visit the most? Which employees need a roaming plan? Many enterprises don’t know the answers to these questions and end up overpaying for roaming services.

Once you define your needs, look for a plan that best meets them and then negotiate for everything upfront.

2. Does your plan have unexpected costs?

You can minimize bill shock by signing employees up for a pre-defined set of services, such as shared roaming packages with predictable monthly costs. These plans allow employees to share data, voice minutes, and texting. Look for a provider with plans that don’t charge significant fees if employees go over their data limit.

Individual flex roaming plans can also help you gain control of your costs, as your provider will only charge you when someone roams. Choose a flex plan that automatically covers employees when they travel and doesn’t charge your business when then don’t roam.

3. Is the plan easy to administer?

Employees are often busy before a trip and will forget to request a roaming pack. Then, fear of that monstrous bill will inhibit normal productivity while they are on the road.

Look for a package that automatically triggers preferred roaming rates when they need them but has no charges when they don’t travel. This eliminates the administrative burden of manually adding and removing roaming options. You also won’t need to estimate data usage, as you can select a plan that provides them with more than enough data.

4. Is your plan transparent and proactively supported?

Many enterprise roaming plans don’t show you when employees travel and how much their telecom services cost.

Your solution should notify you – in real or near-real time – when an employee roams. It should also automatically apply their preferred rates, so you don’t get bill shock when they return.

If you have an issue, how well will your provider resolve it? Look for someone who offers excellent customer service, is transparent, and will help you understand all of your options.

5. Is the plan flexible?

One size doesn’t fit all—but one plan can.

When some telco administrators choose a wireless plan with domestic and roaming data, they may purchase the same bundle for everyone. Then, heavy travelers routinely go over their limits – which can result in thousands of dollars of overage fees. Meanwhile, occasional travelers rarely use the roaming minutes and data that you pay for each month.

Choose a plan that gives you options, such as tiered pricing that automatically changes based on how much data or how many voice minutes someone uses. This saves having to micromanage plans based upon each employee’s needs and match them to the best roaming option.

Next Steps

Answering these questions will help you avoid unexpected charges.

Also be sure to tell employees about their roaming plans. Let them know where they have coverage and if they receive preferred rates. That way, employees won’t be afraid to use their mobile devices while they are on the road.