Samsung Targets Enterprise Market with Android SAFE Initiative

After introducing several flagship smartphones meant for both consumer and enterprise markets in its Galaxy Series — S II, Note, and Galaxy Tab — Samsung is upping the ante with its recently-launched S III flagship smartphone. Enterprise customers will get an additional benefit with the bundled Samsung Approved for Enterprise (SAFE) certification, which targets enterprises that are already issuing smartphones to their employees or supporting “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs.

(Photo copyright Abe Olandres / Tech Wire Asia)

Samsung describes SAFE as a way to “defragment the Android OS across multiple versions from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich at U.S. carriers,” with the aim of offering better security to customers. Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Sales Tim Wagner said that SAFE-certified handsets will provide “a consistent level of IT compliance for individuals who demand the very best in both their personal and professional lives.”

Regardless of the carrier, SAFE will enable support for a full suite of enterprise-ready features as well as 338 IT policies, which include on-device 256 bit AES encryption, better implementation of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync support in corporate e-mail, calendar and contact features, Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity and Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.

Samsung has been working very closely with established VPN providers: Cisco, F5, and Juniper Samsung has also made agreements with MDM providers to address remote management and security concerns. These include AirWatch, Juniper Networks Junos Pulse and Sybase Afaria.

Identified as the SAFE Galaxy III, several carriers will offer the smartphone, initially in the American market. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and US Cellular have already committed to launch the Safe Galaxy S III, backed by an attractive trade-up system offered from the vendor. Samsung is giving credits to enterprises for trading in their old devices with SAFE-certified smartphones.

With the SAFE2SWITCH program, individuals and organizations are offered US$ 300 credit for mobile phones traded in for a Samsung Galaxy S III. Samsung has identified a few criteria in accepting Brand, model, service provider, functionality and physical condition — including the screen — are criteria that have been defined for a phone qualifying for the offer.

Upon getting a quote and purchasing the new Samsung phone, users may mail in their older, qualified phone within 30 days, and will receive a check for the trade-in refund.

By tapping into the enterprise space, Samsung is targeting what has traditionally been the expertise of RIM’s BlackBerry which is still acknowledged as a popular choice when it comes to business and corporate mobile solutions.