While iOS and Blackberry are quite secure as mobile platforms, the same cannot be said for Android, and its many versions. In January 2012, Float predicted that “the Samsung SAFE initiative… may be just what IT needed in order to bring the platform into the fold. Expect more businesses to allow the devices on their network, and enterprise buying of these devices to pick up.” Since the third quarter of 2011, Samsung has become the No. 1 smartphone maker in the world, a fact that can be attributed to attractive design, great features and improved security.
It’s a tough, competitive world out there. BlackBerry failed miserably to compete with iOS and Android mobile devices in both phones and tablets. But, BlackBerry has held on to much of their corporate market because their phones have the security features that corporations and governments want.
Now this part of the market for both BlackBerry and Apple is under attack from the “Samsung Approved For Enterprise” (SAFE) program. According to Stephanie Blanchard, assistant editor of the Mobile Enterprise blog, Samsung “is aggressively going after business with a worldwide brand campaign for specific verticals.” The initial verticals chosen for this campaign are retail, healthcare, education and hospitality. And, as part of its strategy, Samsung doesn’t even mention Android in most of its ads for SAFE.
The latest enhancement of the SAFE program is a feature called Samsung Knox, which allows users to divide the use of their phone in half: one half for personal and one half for work. By making the latest versions of Android much more secure, and adding features that appeal to business users, Samsung is hoping to have enterprise buyers take a serious look at their brand of mobile devices. The SAFE program includes an impressive list of features, making the platform far more MAM- and MDM-friendly. Download a PDF of the full set of SAFE features, or notice a few of our favorites:
- Silently Push/Remove Applications
- Control Application Store Access
- Blacklisting and Whitelisting Control for Applications
- Voice Recording
- Screen Capture
- Desktop Sync
- Blacklisting and Whitelisting Management for SSID and Bluetooth devices and profiles
- Device Info and Network Info for asset tracking
- Turn On/Off GPS
- Remote Lock and Full/Selective Wipe
- On-Device/SD Card Encryption
In an earlier article in CITE World (Jan. 17, 2013), Ryan Faas commented that “in many ways, the SAFE program is a blend of the approaches that RIM and Apple have taken towards business sector.” And, it seems to be working. In early May 2013, both the BlackBerry 10 smartphones and Samsung Knox equipped Galaxy S4 smartphones were approved for use on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) network. iOS approval is said to be imminent.
Who will win this competition for the mobile business professional? Now that the field seems to be properly set… Let the battles begin.
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