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Cell Phones -- without "data" plan ?

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Last Modified: 2012-03-24
I currently have 80+ AT&T smart phones
with data plans for employees to check their
Microsoft Outlook/Exchange email and want
reduce costs, but still allow employees
to check email if needed.

What options do you recommend so
I can cancel the "data" plans ?

Possible Options
 1. setup "email to text message" like http://www.craigharris.org/2011/03/06/access-important-email-on-cell-phone-without-a-data-plan/

 2. have employees connect to their home WIFI like http://www.christopherkois.com/?page_id=339

 3. do something like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDVxz206mKk

 4. etc
Comment
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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2011
Commented:
Are you not able to use the 80 devices as a bargaining tool to call your current provider and tell them you will switch provider unless they give you a better deal?  Talk to the retention department - they can usually offer much better deals than you would usually get and I would have thought the loss of 80 users would be sufficient encouragement to lower their prices.

There is not much you can do technology-wise that I can think of - if you ditch the data plan, that won't stop your users using data, but it may mean you end up with a hefty bill for any data that they do use.
There is no good "non-data-consuming" email alternatives. Back in the day I toyed around with "email to SMS", and it is terrible. A toy at best and certainly not a good productivity tool.

I agree with alanhardisty - negotiating a better deal with your provider, and ensuring you are not overpaying in extra charges (per-minute charges, long distance, etc.) is the most effective way to save money here. If you have already invested in an Exchange server and smartphones for your employees it is a tremendous waste of your investment if you don't give your employees the a plan that lets them take advantage of that technology.

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