(By Maribel Lopez)
“Microsoft continues to seek out ways to overtake Apple and Android but market share gains have proven elusive. Apple has significant traction in both the consumer and enterprise mobile markets but hasn’t focused on building the features enterprise customers desire. Blackberry recently ditched its consumer business to focus on the enterprise but it’s in the middle of a private equity buyout. Meanwhile, Samsung looks as if it wants to capture the enterprise flag.“
Microsoft had dominated the operating system and software landscape for decades. Over many years, the company worked with hardware and software vendors to build an ecosystem that reinforced Microsoft’s position. Today, new operating systems, applications and device makers have surfaced with the rise of mobility. It’s apparent that the mobile device and operating landscape is rapidly usurping the traditional PC-based world. While most individuals and businesses will continue to use PCs for some time, it’s become easier to use tablets and smartphones for business tasks.
With billions of dollars of new device and applications sales up for grabs, heavyweights such as Apple , Microsoft and Samsung are battling for the mobile crown. It’s unclear which company will become the enterprise mobile market leader. Will the title go to a consumer-oriented company because of adoption of the Bring Your Own Device trend within workplace? Or will IT seek out a more suitable enterprise-focused play?
Microsoft continues to seek out ways to overtake Apple and Android but market share gains have proven elusive. Apple has significant traction in both the consumer and enterprise mobile markets but hasn’t focused on building the features enterprise customers desire. Blackberry recently ditched its consumer business to focus on the enterprise but it’s in the middle of a private equity buyout. Meanwhile, Samsung looks as if it wants to capture the enterprise flag.
Samsung started down the path several years ago by adding SAFE (Samsung For Enterprise), which was a set of security and feature enhancements meant to eliminate IT’s security woes. The company worked with a variety of vendors to provide enhanced IT security protection through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync IT policy control, Mobile Device Management (MDM), Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity and On-Device Encryption. It then offered KNOX to provide deeper security.
While the world watched Microsoft swallow up Nokia and Blackberry court suitors, Samsung launched a new enterprise mobile ecosystem this week that it calls the Samsung Solution Exchange. Samsung will work with a yet to be disclosed list of partners to deliver vertical solutions for industries including healthcare, financial services, government, transportation, retail and education. The company also released its device SDK and with it, its 1,000+ enterprise APIs, to members of the Samsung Solution Exchange. The goal is for these partners to optimize their solutions by leveraging features within Samsung Mobile SAFE devices, such as the S Pen, IR blaster, Air View, Air Gesture, Advanced Multi Window, Screen Mirroring and NFC.
At first glance, this might not appear revolutionary. After all, Microsoft and others have built ecosystem partnerships and programs in the past. And this is exactly the point. Mobility will be the future of enterprise computing. Eventually the PC-based operating system and PC-based applications will recede into the background as new mobile-first solutions are built.
Samsung’s goal is nothing short of being the platform that software and value-added services firm’s build their businesses on top of. Yes, the company wants to build sexy consumer devices and lead within the consumer category. But it understands that it can be more successful if companies build enterprise class solutions that are Samsung-ready, instead of just Android-ready. It wasn’t that long ago that this was the sole domain of Microsoft. Today, we are debating if there will ever be another computing market that’s dominated by one vendor. Can Samsung become the enterprise vendor of choice? Samsung is in the running but it will be difficult to convince ecosystem partners to truly invest in Samsung when there are so many options available.
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