Over the past few years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends have shown that an ever-growing number of enterprises are allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related purposes. While businesses have attempted to offer their employees a mobile phone that would only be used for business use, this became impractical and cumbersome for the employee. Who wants to carry around multiple phones for managing different aspects of one’s life?
While the need to address BYOD and COPE (corporate-owned, privately-enabled) devices began several years ago, many new solutions and innovations have evolved more recently. Corporate IT Managers can no longer afford to install a ‘plug-and-play’ solution, but should instead carefully compare the specific capabilities of today’s multiple phone line technologies to ensure best in class service, ease of use, and cost efficiency for their enterprise BYOD programs.
Enterprises are finding that they must be responsible for reimbursing their employees fairly for costs incurred while using personal devices for business purposes. In fact, businesses have become increasingly accepting of reimbursing employees for cell phone usage since August 2014, when the California Court of Appeals decided in Colin Cochran v. Schwan's Home Service, Inc. that if employees must use their cell phone for work-related calls, then the employer must reimburse the employee for a reasonable portion of the cell phone bill. However, while many companies are willing to reimburse employees for business-related charges, the process of submitting monthly expenses and deciphering how much of the mobile bill was actually used for business vs. personal use is a gray area. The process of going through one’s bill each month to determine which calls and emails were business-related is also unproductive and time-consuming.
Currently, a few multiple phone line technology providers are offering solutions that enable you to switch between multiple personas on a single cell phone, including your landline number at home. With the flick of your finger, you can change your profile from business to personal, each with separate contact lists and phone numbers. What’s more, some of these solutions work with the individual’s carrier or service provider to separate the charges on each of these personas. As a result, the business can receive an invoice specifically for the business-related calls and emails that the employer incurred over the past month while the employer receives an invoice only for personal usage on the device. This is what’s known as split-billing capabilities.
Split-billing vendors fall into three categories: EMM providers, telecommunications providers, and split-billing-first providers. While a few vendors claim to offer split-billing capabilities, Movius Corporation is the only one to offer split-billing capabilities to cover all three of the services that carriers include on invoices: calls, text messaging and data usage. As such, the company’s Movius myIdentities has quickly become the industry’s most complete and holistic multiple phone line management solution. Movius myIdentities enhances employee productivity by providing access to enterprise resources on their preferred mobile device/carrier without compromising privacy. And by enabling cellular TDM circuit-switched and/or VoIP calling and messaging, as well as offering split billing for each additional line, users can leverage Movius to get the industry’s highest levels of service and experience. Another benefit of using a service like myIdentities is that it gives end users the flexibility of using their mobile device on any carrier platform, enabling them to keep their devices longer.
While I have focused on the benefits multiple phone line services to enterprises and their employees, there are many benefits that carriers and service providers achieve by using Movius myIdentities. Below, I have briefly outlined the Net Adds for each group:
Carriers - By offering split-billing capabilities as an over-the-top (OTT) offering, carriers can increase subscriber count and grow their average revenue per user (ARPU). The only way to add a line without having the user switch carriers is with an offering that has split billing for voice, messaging and data.
Enterprises – To date, split-billing has been a huge missing component of all corporate BYOD deployments. And while there are solutions available to manage split-billing for calls and messaging, only Movius offers split-billing capabilities that include calls, messaging and data. While industry analysts have not yet determined the anticipated market size for this important feature, EMMs understand that adding split-billing capabilities will create more value for their solutions.
Employees – In addition to easily switching between multiple personas on a single mobile device and differentiating between business and personal usage on invoices through split-billing, users are demanding quality calling services that prevent calls from dropping when they move from one location to another. Movius myIdentities lets users make calls over both traditional wireless voice networks (TDM) as well as over Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which includes cellular data 3G/4G/LTE and Wi-Fi. By offering this flexibility of services, Movius ensures consistently clear communications on any carrier, around the block or around the globe.Additionally, as soon as users step away from their Wi-Fi connection, the phone service instantly and seamlessly switches over to cellular data or cellular TDM (when Wi-Fi or cellular data is not available), allowing the same quality of service to continue for the user no matter where they travel.
“As BYOD and corporate-owned, privately enabled (COPE)trends continue to grow and companies evolve their mobile initiatives and implement new applications, we expect the demand for split-billing solutions to increase,” said Matt Hopkins, Research Associate, Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices at VDC Research. “Enterprises have struggled to catch up to mobile technology and have focused primarily on ensuring the security of their data and finding use cases for the technology both in terms of increasing consumer engagement and improving employee productivity. The issue of paying employees for their mobile phone use has been largely overlooked, with many companies hoping to avoid the conversation altogether. However, with California’s court decision setting a strong precedent, this period of blissful ignorance is quickly drawing to a close.”
With split-billing becoming an increasingly essential component to today’s BYOD/COPE policies, carriers and enterprises looking to invest in mobile device management and multiple phone line services should seek out carrier-agnostic solutions that offer the most flexibility and provide the fullest range of split-billing capabilities for calls, data and messaging services.