Samsung offers interoperability with Android Enterprise program for easier deployment

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

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Samsung has made their mobile device management platform interoperable with Google's Android Enterprise program just over a year after the initiative was launched.

Samsung's independently developed Knox enterprise security software partially duplicates the feature set of Google's initiative, making deploying Samsung and non-Samsung Android devices a more involved task. 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.

Correction: While the two platforms are now more interoperable, an earlier version of this article indicated incorrectly that Samsung was a named partner in the Android Enterprise Program.

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Image: Sara Tew/CNET

By James Sanders

James Sanders is a technology writer for TechRepublic. He covers future technology, including quantum computing, AI, and 5G, as well as cloud, security, open source, mobility, and the impact of globalization on the industry, with a focus on Asia.