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The California Split

01 Dec, 2014 | Roger Ordman, Director of Product Marketing

Why are dual-persona mobile device offerings gaining traction?  Recent legislation in California is one explanation.  A recent court ruling by the California Court of Appeal (Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service) stated, “We hold that when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls, Labor Code section 2802 requires the employer to reimburse them.”

This is a major shift regarding how Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are being implemented. To date, many companies have taken advantage of their employees already owning a cell phone to ask/expect that they use it for work related activities. While the California legislation only covers mobile phone calls, personal data and apps, as well as home WiFi use for work-related activities, may be soon to follow. According to a recent ABI Research blog on the ruling by analyst, Dan Shey, “The best tools will make it easy to separate personal voice and data services usage from business voice and data services usage.”

What are CIOs’ options? In addressing this issue, CIOs will have three options to consider:

Payroll stipend:
Some employers offer workers a flat stipend as compensation for using their personal mobile device for work purposes. A stipend is one way to address the reimbursement issue. However, with a set stipend, one or both of the parties may feel they are getting the short end of the stick – either the employer feels that they are spending too much or the employee feels that they are not being fully reimbursed.

Expense report:
Completing an expense report is common business practice. However, reviewing call and data usage records to decipher between personal and business use is tedious and leaves room for errors causing frustration both for the employer and employee.

Split billing:
Earlier this year SK Telecom in South Korea announced a service called T-Persona Premium which is based on a dual persona LG G Pro 2 smartphone. This smartphone is actually two phones in one – two independent Android operating systems and two separate telephone numbers. Even more recently – last week - Coolpad, the third largest mobile OEM in China, announced a new flagship device, the dual persona Bodum (9971) that also runs two separate operating systems.  It is a dual-SIM device for completely different cell and data plans, even from different mobile operators.

These dual-persona offerings are the best types of solutions for both the employer and the employee. Both operating systems can be managed and used independently of one another and both have a separate cell and data plan for easy payment by the appropriate party.

As this trend continues to mature, organizations will need to evolve their mobile enterprise management strategies beyond traditional mobile device management solutions (MDM) to a solution that is flexible enough to address new regulations governing BYOD policies without compromising on the user experience or causing frustrations.

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