Can Samsung Deliver Knockout Punch to Blackberry with KNOX and Centrify?

February 25, 2013

By Doug Miller

KNOX and Centrify may have just given Samsung the springboard to leapfrog BlackBerry in the enterprise space.

Back in August I wrote a piece for AOL Government asking the question: “After BlackBerries, What’s Next For Government Mobile Users?” We were all witnessing the decline of BlackBerries as a favored mobile device for government users and I discussed the alternatives that existed in the marketplace. One of the strong candidates was Samsung with its Samsung for Enterprise or SAFE offerings for smartphones and tablets. The SAFE solution set added some valuable enterprise features, such as better Microsoft Exchange support, on-device encryption, mobile device management and VPN support to the standard Android-based platform for certain Samsung mobile devices. Since writing that piece Samsung has indeed proven itself and according to Gartner, Samsung has grown to be the largest supplier of mobile phones in the world and IDC has Samsung as the #2 tablet maker behind Apple.
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The Orphans of Android

January 9, 2013

By Doug Miller

We’ve all read reports about mobile market share and the rapid rise of Android as a smartphone and tablet platform. Some reports – depending on how and what you measure – have Android share at just over 50% (comScore MobiLens US smartphones) and some as high as 72% (Gartner’s worldwide mobile device sales). One thing that has always puzzled me is why I see so few people using Android devices. Walking through an airport, a grocery store, a conference, a business meeting or on the street, I have been keeping an informal tally of what types of mobile devices people are using. I’m not sure what others see, but I sure see a lot of Apple mobile devices out there. I see people still using PCs on the plane (but a lot less than a couple of years ago), I see people with Kindles reading books and a random mix of other devices, but I just don’t see a lot of Android phones or tablets. While this is by no means a scientific sample, there may be a reason why we don’t see more Android devices out in the wild.
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After BlackBerries, what’s next for government mobile users?

August 28, 2012

By Doug Miller

RIM has historically been the device of choice for secure mobile communication in the government market. The BlackBerry phone offered unique business-oriented capabilities but lacked sex appeal to draw consumers to its products. Yet for government agencies that needed to supply their workers with a robust, secure cell phone, the business features won out over giving users a device that was “magical.”

Now with the rise of BYOD (“bring you own device”) in government agencies, RIM is suddenly no longer an appealing option for consumers who are now asked to buy their own device and bring it to work. As attractive as BYOD is for budget planners, BYOD has the potential to be a nightmare for IT support staff that has to support and manage what seems like an infinite range of smartphones with different operating systems, security capabilities, enterprise features and quality. I believe, what is more likely to happen is government IT staff will provide users with a list of recommended devices and only support users of those devices for government communications needs once the device has been properly secured and configured. Some agencies, like the NSA, may want to stick with closely-managed, government-issued devices but will be looking for alternatives to the BlackBerry.

Does anyone have the ability to both address the security needs of government IT policies but also provide a range of products that will appeal to consumers? Until recently, I thought Samsung had a good shot at doing this. Now with the recent Apple-Samsung patent trial outcome, it is worth revisiting the options.
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