August 31, 2015
BYOD is a great approach to doing business, but that California court decision a year ago regarding employees' reimbursements for their mobile phone use has definitely muddied the waters.
What started out as a way to reduce costs and let employees use a mobile device they were comfortable with has lost a bit of the cost-saving luster as a result of that court ruling.
Just to refresh your memory, the court said that employees had to be reimbursed for using their personal mobile phones for business. That seems only fair, but the court went on to add that even if those employees were on flat-rate plans – and the additional usage for their employer wasn't costing them anything – they still had to be reimbursed.
At least according to a brief recent news item, the fallout from that court ruling has contributed to a lot of uncertainty about reimbursements and pushed costs up for many companies, often making corporate mobile plans the less expensive alternative. There are still arguments to be made for letting employees use their favored device, but the cost-saving advantage has been diluted.
This is where the Tango Networks ability to divide a mobile phone into two distinct identities, one for business and the other personal, can cut through the confusion. As part of our Enterprise Mobility solutions, our unique approach to dual identities leaves no doubt as to how much phone usage was for business purposes.
By putting these two identities on the phone, all business calls and texts are tied to a corporate number. The IT department sets up all the policies – which can't be circumvented, by the way – regarding the business identity. All communications related to the business number can be tracked and logged, while the employee has control of the personal identity.
The beauty of this approach is that there is no doubt about what calls have been made for business. There is no gray area when it comes to questions about usage. So when it comes to calculating reimbursement, all the data is right at the company's fingertips.
Yes, there is still the consideration of how much to reimburse an employee simply for making the phone available to the company, or for "wear and tear" on the device due to business usage. But when a company can point to its unfailingly accurate records regarding usage on the business identity side, it has the data it needs to develop a reimbursement regime that is not only fair, but free of confusion.