Cellular/VoWLAN Vendors: Repair Disconnect Between Benefits Promoted and Benefits Perceived

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When it comes to pitching the benefits of emerging dual-mode Cellular/VoWLAN solutions, vendors may be focusing on the wrong messages with U.S. prospects.

When it comes to pitching the benefits of emerging dual-mode Cellular/VoWLAN solutions, vendors may be focusing on the wrong messages with U.S. prospects.

According to a new mobile communications study issued by InfoTech, Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions: Enterprise Preferences and Plans, half of its respondent companies are already hearing about converged Cellular/VoWLAN technology from multiple parties – especially IP-PBX manufacturers. However, a disconnect exists between what the prospect views as this solution’s strongest benefits and what the prospect is hearing as the vendors’ key selling messages.

“We asked our panel to rate eight potential Cellular/VoWLAN benefits. Enterprises’ top-tier reasons for deploying a converged device currently focus, first, on increasing mobile worker productivity and, second, on saving money by requiring fewer communications devices,” stated Jeanine Sterling, senior program director of InfoTech’s “InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility” research and intelligence program. “Their third strongest benefit is the expectation that the hybrid Cellular/VoWLAN arrangement will provide better on-premises call coverage than the company’s current cellular service alone.”

Unfortunately, according to InfoTech’s interviewees, while the vendors’ #1 marketing message – Increased Employee Productivity – matches the prospects’ #1 perceived benefit, the two other strongest benefits in the customers’ eyes are being relegated to the back-end of the Dual-Mode sales pitch.

“Vendors want to talk about how much the customers will save by avoiding cellular usage costs, but U.S. enterprises aren’t impressed,” added Sterling. “They’re taking a shorter view on that than their EMEA counterparts. The lower strength rating given to this benefit probably reflects the fact that many enterprises are locked into cellular contracts. No matter how many call minutes the Dual-Mode user initially moves off of the cellular network, real expense won’t decrease until the cellular contract is renegotiated.”

“Vendors are also strongly marketing the enterprise telephony features that could be available to mobile workers on a dual-mode phone. But, again, that’s just not as important to decision-makers when it comes to justifying a deployment.”

According to InfoTech, vendors and channels will better capture customer interest if they initially focus on the customer’s top three priorities:

  •     Increasing employee productivity – by making mobile workers more reachable.
  •     Saving money – with one dual-mode device replacing the need to purchase and manage multiple devices.
  •     Providing mobile workers better on-premises call coverage – ending the struggle to obtain decent cellular signals in buildings.

About InfoTech

InfoTech, part of The Telecom Intelligence Group, publishes a series of 10 reports per year on enterprise mobile communications as part of its InfoTrack for Enterprise Mobility program. Its just-released report, Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions: Enterprise Preferences and Plans, examines current enterprise thinking around emerging cellular/VoWLAN communications solutions. It also analyzes resulting impacts on the single-mode WLAN-only phone as its dual-mode counterpart enters the market.

For more information on the IEM program and the Dual-Mode Cellular/VoWLAN Solutions report, please visit http://www.telecomweb.com/marketresearch/enterprisemobility/ or contact Craig Born, (973) 602-0123.

About The Telecom Intelligence Group

The Telecom Intelligence Group includes market intelligence provider InfoTech; TelecomWeb and TelecomWeb news break; newsletters Wireless Business Forecast, Broadband Business Forecast, Telecom Policy Report and Inside Digital TV; tariff consultancy Tarifica; and the Web-based business telephony product database TelecomTactics. For more information, please visit http://www.TelecomWeb.com.


Sharon Valencik, research director, 1-800-610-3109

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