Why Samsung Won't Beat Blackberry in the Mobile Enterprise

Samsung Safe aims to make Android phones better for the enterprise, but using the least secure mobile OS out there and ignoring the IT-ready BlackBerry might not be a good move.

By Rob Enderle
Fri, February 22, 2013

CIO — Earlier this week I was asked to review the Samsung Safe offering, which is being rolled out to make Samsung's Android phones more acceptable to the enterprise. Safe reminds me a lot of what vendors from Netscape to Sony did to address what they thought were enterprise needs and often showcased without actually speaking to their own IT organizations.

The issue comes down to the general tendency for technology companies to be run by engineers with no IT experience and therefore no real clue about what a business IT organization—including their own—actually does.

IT, when done right, is largely transparent. As a result, it's often taken for granted. This makes it hard to build products for IT without engaging IT and hiring people with significant IT experience to work on the effort.

BlackBerry: Keeping IT in Mind From the Beginning

BlackBerry started with businesses as its primary customers. Then known as Research in Motion, the company initially brought the two-way pager into the mainstream—and, unlike today's typical smartphones and tablets, these actually entered the market as executive tools, not consumer products. From the very start, the company had to learn what IT needed and how to protect top executives. These were lessons hard learned.

BlackBerry Security

Look at BlackBerry security efforts, then, and you see that they start and end with targeted IT needs. BlackBerry ties its systems into IT policy, assuring that IT can easily get the devices to conform. This is critical; IT doesn't have the time to manage everything that's currently on the table, and BlackBerry is designed to assure compliance without significantly increasing IT overhead.

Commentary: Why 2013 Is RIM's BlackBerry Year and Blackberry 10 Launch Reaffirms That This is BlackBerry's Year

One of the most talked-about problems since the introduction of the smartphone is separating personal and corporate information. This is because IT doesn't want to deal with personal apps and files, and users don't want IT seeing their personal stuff.

BlackBerry separates the environments on its devices, giving the user his own space and letting IT manage and secure the business information under its control. This is unique in the market—and it was driven by IT demands for this feature.

When developing its unique tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, the company tied it to its overall security framework and sandboxed the apps so they can't do hostile things. Looking at the overall nature of email and application attacks, BlackBerry created permissions and monitoring components that directly address the damage these attacks can cause, even though BlackBerry platform is generally less likely to be attacked than one of the consumer platforms.

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