Cisco Jasper is hoping to leverage its Internet of Things (IoT) platform to help mobile operators automate and manage their enterprise customers’ mobile device portfolios. The company’s first customer for the new platform is Canadian operator Telus.
Cisco Jasper’s platform, called Control Center for Mobile Enterprise, will manage and monitor device connectivity and data usage. It will provide real-time visibility into usage so enterprises can have more predictable telecom bills.
According to Pallavi Vanacharia, head of product marketing, enterprise mobility at Cisco Jasper, enterprises are looking for a more automated approach to managing their mobile devices and aren’t currently getting that type of service from operators. For example, many enterprises want to be able to add on a travel plan, track devices, or allocate costs to the right cost center and can’t currently do that in an automated way.
“Companies are spending thousands on telecom and they want to move away from the manual approach,” Vanacharia said. “We want to empower enterprises to be able to deal with thousands of lines at once – and make changes easily and in bulk.”
Telus may be the first operator to sign up for Cisco Jasper’s new service, but the company plans to market it to the other 50-plus service provider customers that currently use its IoT platform.
The Control Center product does require a separate integration from the IoT platform even though many of the capabilities are the same. Vanacharia said, for example, the Control Center for Mobile Enterprise does not use the same rating and billing system as the IoT platform. “We did build this from the ground up to address the unique needs of this market,’ he said.
While Cisco Jasper’s Control Center does offer automation and self-service functions, it is uncertain whether big operators like AT&T, which already has a large number of enterprise customers and its own processes in place for dealing with enterprise devices, will be willing to make a switch. GlobalData Research Director Kitty Wheldon noted that operators will still have to do the physical logistics for the devices, which is quite a bit of work. “Maybe it would work better for a telco that doesn’t already have a large enterprise mobility base,” she said. “Also some of the functionality sounds like it might overlap with TEM [telecom expense management] services that the telcos are trying to up-sell to their customers,” she added.
Inroads With Enterprises
Cisco Jasper is making big inroads with enterprises. Earlier this year Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of Cisco’s IoT and Applications Business, told investors the Cisco Jasper business was ‘on fire” and said that it had grown from 3,500 enterprise customers in February 2016 when Cisco acquired Jasper for $1.4 billion, to 9,000 customers. He also said that 95 percent of the business was from recurring revenue.