Enterprise Mobile Solutions: Samsung Opens New Front in War against Apple
March 18, 2013
By Steve Anderson
, Contributing TMCnet Writer
Samsung (News - Alert) and Apple have been slugging it out for supremacy like two giant rubbery monsters in a sixties horror movie for some time now. From the courtroom to the court of public opinion to the shelves of stores around the world, Samsung and Apple (News - Alert) have been in a fray for years. But now, Samsung is out to open up a whole new front in its ongoing battle with Apple: the enterprise users.
Samsung's push to get a hold of the business user market has been going on for some time now; starting back in January, Samsung announced Samsung For Enterprise (SAFE), a program that brought out a series of products specifically geared toward providing solutions for business users. The program is more than just a fancy name, of course, as it offers four key items in its overall package: a corporate-grade e-mail solution complete with Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange ActiveSync; built-in encryption; virtual private network (VPN) service; and support for mobile device management systems.
That's a pretty impressive slate of offerings, and back during the recently-concluded Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) 2013 show, Samsung brought out KNOX, a powerful Android-based security solution that adds extra security to mobile device through to the application layer, establishing a kind of wall between personal and business data. This makes Samsung an extremely worthwhile competitor in the enterprise field, not only offering valuable tools for the enterprise user, but also offering the level of security necessary to make its offerings viable.
This is where things could get interesting. While businesses have been throwing over BlackBerry (News - Alert) for Apple devices for some time, this has mostly been a result of Apple's increased functionality over BlackBerry. But Apple hasn't been specifically courting the enterprise users, meaning that Samsung has a real opportunity to get business users to throw over their Apple devices in favor of Samsung hardware that's been specifically tricked out for business users.
A recent report from Sophos – the "Security Threat 2013" report – shows that the move from the standard Windows environment to a multitude of different operating systems has opened up some serious possibilities for malware users, and that means big trouble for enterprises. Microsoft is opening up the Windows floodgates by offering tablets and phone platforms using a variant of Windows. BlackBerry, meanwhile, is staging something of a comeback, but is still considered weak. Android is considered, in many IT circles, "a fragmented operating system that lacks security,” and Apple has only recently made some small tweaks in the direction of security.
Samsung visibly augmenting its systems not only in the direction of security but also in the direction of enterprise value makes for a much better overall package, and the kind of thing that should make the enterprise sit up and take notice.
With some reports indicating that Samsung's KNOX may get expanded to other operating systems like Windows and Tizen, this has the potential to further impact Apple's enterprise sales by sheer virtue of more operating systems becoming more viable in business applications. Only time will tell what the ultimate effect of KNOX and Samsung's expansion efforts are, but it should be something to see all the same.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo