Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bring Your Own Devices Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Brown

It has long been thought of a cost-saving measure to allow employees to use their own smartphones or other devices at work.  Makes sense, right?  The company does not have to buy the devices or pay for the cellular plan.  The new law coupled with a recent California Court of Appeal decision makes the bring your own device policy more costly for employers.

First, the law requires all smartphones sold in California to have a "kill switch" allowing someone to remotely disable lost or stolen phones.  Second, the California Court of Appeal ruled that employers need to reimburse employees who use their personal phones for work-related calls (and presumably, e-mails).  Analysts believe that these laws may become the standard across the nation, not just limited to California in the near future. 

I know, you are wondering how these laws make it more costly for companies.  Well, companies need to purchase and maintain software to manage and secure their employees' devices.  The employer would definitely want to ensure that its trade secrets and other confidential/proprietary information could not be obtained by third parties by hacking into an unprotected/lost/stolen device owned by the employee.  It also requires much more IT support than originally anticipated. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cal State Universities Using Branding to Get Funding

The California State University campuses are turning to slogans, acronyms, and other branding techniques in an effort to raise their ability to market each campus.  The campuses wish to maintain the benefits of being a part of the 23-campus system, while still forging an identity that sets their campus apart.  A few early examples of rebranding, include San Jose State, Sonoma State, and San Diego State.  All of these campuses dropped the "California State University, [enter city name here]" moniker for the easier to remember and shorter "[City Name] State" brand.  Now, it appears that CSU Long Beach wishes to follow suit.  CSU Long Beach is now working to brand itself as Long Beach State and "Beach" for sporting events.  Cal State Northridge adopted the serendipitous acronym "CSUN" for its "new" brand.  "Sea-sun" is so much easier than California State University, Northridge, don't you think? 

One of the main impetuses for this focus on branding was the continued funding cuts by the State.  Those cuts forced these campuses to turn to other ways to raise funds.  One way, would be to create these "new" brands in a way to distinguish themselves from other campuses and schools.  For example, CSU Los Angeles constantly fights confusion with its neighbor, UCLA. 

Hopefully, these CSU campuses will learn from the rebranding effort of UC Berkeley which was a miserable failure.