BARCELONA, Spain — The availability of enterprise-class features, tools and security is a pervasive concern for virtually ever IT decision maker. While the major smart phone operating systems are adding some of these to their arsenal, there are many others that are being left out of the mix. While some device manufacturers are largely leaving this task to the OS providers, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is introducing a suite of new enterprise features to their forthcoming Galaxy S II and other Android OS devices coming down the line. “Up to 30% of smart phone usage today already occurs in the enterprise space and that trend is growing fast,” said Eric Moon, director of Samsung’s enterprise solutions.
“We truly believe it’s a turning point for us,” Moon added here at Mobile World Congress. Despite Android’s tremendous success in the consumer space, it’s been tough for many corporate IT managers to embrace the platform for various reasons. The needs of IT are not short on demand. Mobility managers want better security, more support for device management tools, the ability to implement IT policies and greater compatibility with existing business tools that range from messaging to collaboration and meeting tools. The enterprise-grade security features that Samsung is rolling out include on-device encryption and SSL VPN (secure sockets layer virtual private network). With AES (advanced encryption standard) 256-bit security on board, Moon said: “We believe the Galaxy S II is the first device with on-device encryption.” Samsung is also confident that it has the first implementation of Cisco Systems Inc.’s AnyConnect SSL VPN on an Android product. Samsung has tapped Microsoft Corp., Sybase Inc., Citrix Systems Inc., SAP AG and Cisco — each the respective leader in their service category — to bring more business features to their devices. “We’re working with the industry leaders to bring these business capabilities to our corporate customers,” Moon said. “We’ll follow this up with many other IT solution providers in the industry.” Samsung has provided each of the companies with their platform APIs and access to hardware components to help differentiate the offerings on Samsung gear. For example, Sybase’s Afaria mobile device management tool that is already in the Android Market supports well less than a quarter of the 85 IT policies that Samsung devices will support, Moon said. Not only does Samsung want to attract new enterprise customers, it also would love to have some of the business that Research In Motion Ltd. enjoys because of its long history with enterprise. “This is only the beginning,” Moon said. “These are some of the building blocks.”