Samsung aims for the enterprise

In the face of competition from iPads and iPhones, Samsung hopes to make its offerings more attractive to businesses

As more companies allow employees to bring smartphones and tablets into work, Android device makers are building products and partnerships to secure them, and now Samsung is joining the fray.

Samsung hopes its efforts to secure its products will encourage executives to choose its devices over others, said Ken Daniels, senior director of strategic alliances at Samsung Telecommunications America.

It has some tough competition, particularly in the tablet business, where Apple dominates the market. But it hopes corporate IT departments will be on its side. Samsung knows that CEOs will bring iPads to work and ask the IT department to secure them. "What we're trying to do is have the IT guy say, 'Hey, boss, try this one out. The Samsung Galaxy Tab. Because it can do what you want and it's easier for me to manage.'"

Samsung is also adding a new enterprise category to its app store, making it easier for people to find enterprise apps, said Eric Moon, an executive in Samsung's enterprise group.

The executives were speaking at CTIA Enterprise and Applications in San Diego, where Samsung made two announcements about adding security to its tablets and smartphones.

The first was about the Samsung Approved for Enterprise program, which will add the SAFE certification to Samsung products that include features for enterprises, such as compatibility with third-party device management products, AES-256 bit hardware encryption, or virtual private network and ActiveSync compatibility.

Samsung also plans to offer the certification to developers of applications aimed at vertical markets like health care, education and retail that run on SAFE-certified Galaxy tablets and smartphones.

The company also launched the Samsung Enterprise Alliance Program, designed to help developers build enterprise products and services for Samsung devices. Samsung will provide technical, marketing and sales support, it said.

The company has worked with enterprise developers in the past, but in an ad hoc way, Daniels said.

The company is also approaching businesses to ask what they need. "We're actually going out and talking directly to customers, which is something we haven't done for a while," he said.

Samsung isn't alone among hardware vendors looking to make Android devices more attractive to enterprises. Motorola recently bought 3LM, a company that offers a platform for managing and securing phones. Many other independent companies offer software and services that secure Android phones for enterprise use.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
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