Ever since Apple began gaining ground in the enterprise sector, some kind of response was expected of Samsung. There is too much at stake for the manufacturing monster no to respond with some kind of innovation to halt Apple’s advance.
A collaboration with BlackBerry is their answer, “a tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution” is the description. Specifically, the joint venture is between Samsung KNOX and BlackBerry WorkLife and SecuSuite. KNOX is present in Samsung Galaxy devices while WorkLife and SecuSuite are part of BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12.
Work life balance
Users of Samsung Galaxy phones already have access to KNOX which allows users to mix personal and business lives on the same phone. KNOX allows personal use of the phone while at the same time ensuring security. BlackBerry offers something similar, with personal and professional profiles in WorkLife.
WorkLife also adds a personal line for true separation. BlackBerry SecuSuite uses state-of-the-art encryption to keep the entire device as secure as it’s possible to be.
Despite offering these fantastic business-oriented features, BlackBerry has been unable to reclaim its rightful position as a primary business vendor. According to market statistics, 69% of all new activations have been Apple. Despite a price premium and a ringfenced architecture, Apple has been making real gains in the enterprise market.
Samsung had to come up with something and we like the look of their answer. Anything that helps retain BlackBerry in the market and makes use of the best of their ideas is good in our eyes. Despite a failing handset division, the BlackBerry infrastructure and business apps are still top class.
Apple for business
Enterprises are currently using Apple consumer units to provide communications as Apple currently has no pure business offering in the market. The increased uptake in devices has forced the company to improve their support function, but as far as we know, there is no direct enterprise featureset yet available.
To separate work and life, Apple users need to use Divide for iOS. Google bought Divide late last year so it is unlikely to be available for much longer. Divide allows devices to have programmable profiles to separate our two lives which is quite powerful. Yet they cannot compete with BlackBerry’s own offering and certainly not this new joint venture.
Perhaps the collaboration between Apple and IBM will prove a worthy match for this new challenge. With over 100 business-oriented apps in development, maybe they can come up with an answer. In the meantime, Samsung and BlackBerry can claw back some of that lost ground and we as business users get more security and productivity tools as part of the deal.