The Android-powered Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone is about to get a bit more enterprise-friendly thanks to a new offering from Red Bend Software that appears to be modeled on BlackBerry's Balance technology for BYOD.
This morning, Samsung and Red Bend Software announced that they have partnered to trial a virtualization product that will allow enterprises to manage two separate “personas” on their employees’ personal Android-powered Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphones, one for corporate information and one for personal data.
Sound familiar? It should if you’ve been paying attention. RIM, nay BlackBerry, has been pushing its BlackBerry Balance solution, which offers similar dual-persona management features, for two years.
Today it appears that Samsung and Red Bend are tipping their caps to BlackBerry—imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all—by offering their own version of BlackBerry Balance for the Galaxy SIII smartphone. (Red Bend’s email pitch featured the subject line: “First BYOD Smartphone to Enter Enterprise Trials,” which seems to suggest that the company is unfamiliar with BlackBerry Balance, but something tells me that’s not actually the case.)
I’ve reached out to Red Bend PR for more details and specifics, and I’ll update this post with any relevant information I receive, but the new solution, which uses Red Bend Type-1 mobile hypervisor software to virtualize two different Android operating systems, is set to begin enterprise trials in Q2 2013. Galaxy SIII devices running the Red Bend software can be managed and secured using the company’s True Solution for BYOD.
Considering RIM has been talking up BlackBerry Balance for years and it’s already officially available as part of the new BlackBerry 10 mobile OS and BES 10 management software, Red Bend probably has some catching up to do. The product also runs on top of the Android OS, and it’s not a native part of the OS like Balance, so I can’t help but wonder about performance issues. The news is noteworthy, though, because of the popularity of the Galaxy SIII smartphone and the general hesitance of security-conscious businesses to embrace Android.
The idea behind BlackBerry Balance is innovative and unique, and I’ve praised the offering multiple times in this blog, so it’s not surprising to see rival handset maker’s taking a cue from BlackBerry’s playbook—poor pun shamefully intended.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.