BlackBerry, Samsung in Security-centric Enterprise Mobility Deal
Color enterprise mobility not red but white hot. In the latest in a string of enterprise mobility collaborations, BlackBerry (BBRY) and Samsung will deliver an Android-based solution that combines the former’s BES12 enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform with the latter’s Knox security-equipped Galaxy and Note mobile devices.
Color enterprise mobility not red but white hot.
In the latest in a string of enterprise mobility collaborations, BlackBerry (BBRY) and Samsung will deliver an Android-based solution that combines the former’s BES12 enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform with the latter’s Knox security-equipped Galaxy and Note mobile devices.
Under terms of the agreement, starting early in 2015 the partners will feature Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4 mobile devices embedded with the Knox security technology and deploying BlackBerry’s BES12 EMM software. In addition, Samsung will resell BES12 to joint customers and BlackBerry will offer Knox support as part of the Gold family of BES12 subscriptions. The companies said pricing will be announced early next year.
BlackBerry is looking to the BES12 platform, which officially became available on Nov. 13, to provide a significant boost to the company’s revenue. A BlackBerry spokesperson said the BES12 service will be available through wireless carriers worldwide in the coming months, ComputerWorld reported.
The BlackBerry deal is Samsung’s second such arrangement this week following an agreement with SAP (SAP) to develop industry-specific mobile solutions to run on the Korean manufacturer’s devices and wearables. Last July, Apple (APPL) and IBM (IBM) struck a similar deal.
Samsung’s Knox mobile security platform allows users a virtual container to separate work-associated data and applications from personal information. Currently, some 87 million devices are Knox-equipped but only 1.8 million actively use the platform, although that number is said to be rising. The Knox platform is baked into Android 5.0, the latest version of the Google (GOOG) mobile OS.
“BlackBerry has developed a very close partnership with Samsung and we’re committed to deepening the interaction between our engineering and product development teams for the long-term,” said John Sims, BlackBerry Global Enterprise Services president.
“It is a natural progression in our path to providing our customers with more alternatives to meet their evolving mobile needs,” said Sims. “Samsung Knox offers a number of hardware and software security features and our partnership allows us to tightly integrate these capabilities with BES12.”
Injong Rhee, Samsung Knox Business Group senior vice president, said that by working together the two companies can offer enterprises a highly secure mobility option.
“We share the goal to provide enterprises with the most secure mobility solutions through this partnership with BlackBerry,” said Rhee. “Samsung Knox is focused on delivering secure mobility solutions to enterprises and, combined with BES12, we will offer more options for customers that need enhanced levels of security on Android devices.”
Samsung’s Knox mobile security-enabled Galaxy S4 and S5 smartphones and its Note 3, Note 4 and Note 10.1 phablets are among a list of 10 of the vendor’s products that recently gained approval from the U.S. National Security Agency under the Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program.
Ironically, the listing attaches to Samsung a level of credibility for its Knox-equipped devices to position the Korean device maker as an alternative to BlackBerry in circumstances where security takes a prominent role in public sector buying decisions.