In the wake of the recent California appeals court ruling that said companies have to reimburse workers for work-related cell phone use, Good Technology is acquiring a company that can help businesses track and pay for work-related mobile device use.
Good announced this morning that it acquired Macheen, a company with technology that can let businesses pay only for cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity used by specified business apps.
For instance, a business can give all sales people unlimited connectivity to email, Salesforce.com, Office 365, Concur, and the corporate travel booking service. Sales people could also get a budget, say $25, to spend on connectivity for other reasons that they choose each month.
Field repair people could get unlimited access to their repair app and Google Maps, as well as $10 to spend as needed on access to other apps and services.
Those workers can use their own devices and still access other services that they pay for on their own monthly bill.
The technology can handle payments to Wi-Fi and cellular service providers.
The acquisition comes at a time when some businesses are reevaluating their BYOD plans. Many companies have discovered that managing BYOD can get expensive.
If a business wants to only pay for work-related connectivity, there aren't a ton of tools out there. Some services, like from Cass, directly issue a set payment to carriers on behalf of workers, if the employer reimburses the worker a set amount each month. But workers may be using more or less connectivity for work than the set stipend covers. Other products can help businesses track spending.
For businesses that want to cover the cost only of work-related connectivity, Good can now offer them services that can help.
Macheen's Web site indicates that the company is primarily focused on tablets and laptops so Good may have some work to do tweaking the technology for phones. Good has traditionally focused on mobile phone products and services.
In August, a California court ruled in favor of a class of workers who argued that their employer should shoulder the cost of their use of cell phones, since they were required to use their phones to do their jobs. The judge decided that the employer should reimburse "a reasonable percentage" of the workers' cell phone bills.
The ruling only applies to California and could only impact other businesses if their employees similarly sue. But it raised alarm bells across the country because of the possibility that similar rulings could happen elsewhere.
Good didn't disclose terms of the deal.
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