How Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry are fighting to win the enterprise

Samsung partners with BlackBerry to improve security and Apple expands program to ease roll out of its devices

Samsung Electronics' deal with BlackBerry and Apple's efforts to make it easier to configure and deploy massive numbers of iPhones highlight how the smartphone makers are battling for supremacy among enterprise users.

As the smartphone market becomes saturated in the U.S. and Europe, enterprise users will be big winners. To continue to grow, manufacturers are courting CIOs more aggressively by making products more secure and easier to manage.

"The big benefit we are seeing is that costs are coming down for managing these devices," said Leif-Olof Wallin, research vice president at Gartner.

Samsung has been trying to replicate its consumer success in the enterprise, but has so far struggled to make much headway. The company is hoping to change that by joining forces with BlackBerry to integrate BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) 12 with Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The devices will still be protected using Samsung's Knox technology, but BlackBerry will add its network infrastructure and management capabilities, the company said in an announcement Thursday.

On paper, the deal plays to their respective strengths; Samsung is better at developing smartphones people want to buy while BlackBerry is still the gold standard for mobile security and management. But they still have to prove the integrated solution is as secure BlackBerry's existing products.

"Just because you take something that's proven and certified doesn't mean the new platform is as secure," Wallin said.

It is important for both companies for the partnership to succeed. For BlackBerry, the deal comes just over a year after John Chen took over as CEO, with the goal of saving the struggling vendor by turning it into a more software-centric company with products for Android and iOS, as well as its own OSes.

Samsung, on the other hand, needs enterprise revenue to help make up for less-than-stellar smartphone sales. During the third quarter, Samsung smartphone market share dropped by over 10 percentage points year-over-year.

BES12 is expected to start shipping on Samsung's Galaxy devices early next year. As part of the partnership, Samsung will resell BES12 to joint customers and BlackBerry will offer Knox support as part of the Gold category of BES12 subscriptions. Pricing will be announced upon availability, according to BlackBerry.

But even if the partnership looks like a step in the right direction, success is far from certain as Apple continues to accelerate to compete in the enterprise market on multiple fronts. The company's partnership with IBM is a statement of intent, showing that it is going after enterprises more actively.

This week, Apple expanded its DEP (Device Enrollment Program) to 25 additional countries and regions, as well as to authorized resellers and carriers. Previously it has only been available in the U.S., which now has been joined by the likes of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K.

The program eases the initial setup of iPhones, iPads and Macs by automating mobile device management enrollment, letting the IT department configure the devices without touching them. To further simplify the process, some Setup Assistant screens can be skipped so employees can start using their devices right out of the box, Apple said.

For Apple, the increased number of countries is a step in the right direction, but DEP needs to be expanded further to let enterprises buy compatible devices from more sources than just Apple, authorized resellers or carriers, according to Wallin.

The growing competition for enterprise dollars isn't likely to cool off anytime soon, as Apple gets ready to deliver the first apps as a result of its partnership with IBM, and Samsung and BlackBerry get to work.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags BlackberryAppleconsumer electronicssmartphonesSamsung Electronicssoftwaresystem management

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?