One of the problems with opening up the enterprise to staff bringing their own devices is securely managing the variety of platforms behind the firewall.
Samsung Electronics is one of the few Android handset makers to court organizations by equipping select Galaxy devices with its Knox security features and, more recently, a cloud-based enterprise mobility management service called Knox EMM for those who don’t want an on-premise solution.
Today it announced that single sign-on application management capability has been added to Knox EMM to make it easier for corporate customers using Samsung devices to log on once to business apps.
Separately, Canadian EMM software maker SOTI Inc. said its solution is now supported by more than 50 Android mobile device manufacturers.
These announcements come as Apple and IBM prepare to solidify their recent partnership to give more enterprise support for Apple iOS devices.
Samsung is licencing the identity and access management capability from Centrify Corp., a California identity and access management company it has invested in and offers its own cloud identity management solution. Centrify already had components in Knox EMM.
In addition, Samsung is re-selling Centrify’s identity as service solution for non-Samsung devices and mobile operating systems other than Android, calling it Knox IAM, for $4 a user a month.
Centrify is also integrated as the cloud IAM service for apps bought through Samsung’s new Knox Marketplace, where Knox IAM will also be available.
“Many small and medium organizations out there don’t know or care or want to pay for MDM,” Shreyas Sadalgi, Centrify’s senior vice president of business development, said in an interview. “That is the real solution Samsung is trying to democratize.”
With the addition of identity and access management, Knox EMM enables single-sign on for whatever cloud-based business apps the organization wants, he said – Office 365, Box, Evernote or 2,500 other applications.
“For Centrify the benefit is we get distribution and revenue because the technology ships on millions of Galaxy devices. And any customer that buys Knox IAM, Samsung shares that revenue with us.”
The advantage for Knox EEM is that Samsung doesn’t have to integrate identify and access management with every cloud application, he added.
Sadalgi took pains to explain how the Samsung-Centrify partnership is stronger for enterprises than the IBM-Apple team – which hasn’t released its full solutions yet. Customers only have to deal with Samsung (if they buy Galaxy devices) for IAM, Sadalgi said, and the integration is deeply embedded into the Galaxy Knox platform.
He also dismissed Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite and VMware’s MDM solution through its acquisition of Airwatch as suites that aren’t fully integrated.
Meanwhile Mississauga, Ont.-based SOTI said its MobiControl+ technology now supports handsets from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Panasonic and others. In doing so SOTI addresses Android device fragmentation, the company said.
“We level the playing field, allowing organizations to select the device that works best for their enterprise mobility strategy, regardless of operating system,” SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues said in a release. “Whether it’s a consumer smartphone or tablet or even a barcode scanner, businesses implementing mobility as part of their operations can have a management system that offers a consistent level of security in addition to advanced mobility features.”