Samsung joins Android Enterprise program for easier deployment and lifecycle management

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Samsung is joining forces with Google’s initiative to make deploying Android devices easier for the enterprise.

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Samsung has finally joined Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended certification program just over a year after the initiative was launched, making the largest Android device manufacturer (both in terms of number of devices manufactured, and the physical size of those devices) fashionably late to participate in Google’s enterprise device qualification initiative.

This is due, in large part, to Samsung’s own Knox enterprise security software, which partially duplicates the feature set of Google’s initiative. Foremost among these features are zero-touch deployment systems: One is integrated into Android, but Samsung’s proprietary Knox Mobile Enrollment performs the exact same function, making it trivial to set up new Android devices in bulk for enterprise deployment. According to a Google Blog post on Monday about the Samsung partnership, these competing systems are being harmonized:

Google and Samsung have developed a common client library for service providers with a single set of APIs that will integrate with both Android zero-touch capable devices and Samsung devices. Distribution of the library will begin this spring 2019 with Google and Samsung supporting ecosystem partners as they move to this simplified integration model.

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Likewise, Samsung has pledged support for OEMConfig, an Android standard that allows Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) providers the ability to offload management of OEM-specific features of a given device to an OEM-provided app, rather than require EMM platform builders to integrate support for an exhaustive number of features across thousands of phones.

Samsung also announced Tuesday that the Galaxy S10 series will ship with McAfee VirusScan preinstalled, extending a longstanding relationship between the two companies.

To gain Android Enterprise Recommended status, device manufactures must ship phones with Android 7.0 minimum for rugged devices, and 8.0 minimum for knowledge worker devices. Security updates must be pushed within 90 days, and devices must be supported for three years from launch. Participating devices are available from BlackBerry, BQ, Fujitsu, Google, Honeywell, Huawei, LG, Motorola (Lenovo), Motorola Solutions, Nokia, Panasonic, Point Mobile, Sharp, Sony, and Zebra Technologies.

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Image: Sara Tew/CNET

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