Smartphones Make Old Ideas Seeem New: Managing User App Purchases

Who would have thought a flashlight could be so cool? Well, as long as it is an app that runs on a smart phone, the flashlight all of a sudden becomes current again.  This seems to be the case with so many smart phone apps, that when looked at carefully, really just accomplish some traditional function using your phone.

This phenomenon also presents challenges for companies trying to control their users’ wireless expenses.  Until recently, people responsible for telecommunications expense management in an organization didn’t have to worry about their users being seduced by apps that do everything from turn your phone into a flashlight, to a construction level.

But at the end of the day, that guy in sales probably doesn’t need, nor ever will need, his smart phone to double as a flashlight – unless he works in a cave.  But this doesn’t’ mean he won’t download – and potentially pay – for the app anyway.

One of the common functions we perform at Valicom as part of a comprehensive TEM project, is to help our clients manage these errant app purchases. We can provide the monitoring so that the problem users are identified more quickly, before they get out of hand.  And when possible, we can make sure that the appropriate controls are in place to prevent the purchasing of these apps in the first place.

So while it may make sense for a sales person to purchase an app that helps him track new leads, it probably doesn’t make sense for him to purchase an app that can tell him if the note he is humming is in tune or not.