The bar which has just been set for getting to grips with Android in the enterprise is higher than ever – with the launch of a new Google program.
Android Enterprise Recommended has launched with nine partners which Google says has been able to demonstrate a variety of requirements, from a ‘proven ability to deliver advanced security and management features’, as well as a consistent deployment experience and Google-trained personnel across field sales, technical pre-sales, and deployment support.
The enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers chosen are BlackBerry, Google Cloud, I3 Systems, IBM, Microsoft, MobileIron, SoftBank, SOTI, and VMware.
In a blog post, Bhavesh Kumar, senior product manager at VMware’s end user computing arm, noted the ‘enormous strides’ Google’s Android enterprise focus had made since its initial launch in 2015. “VMware has been working closely with Google ever since inception to ensure that organisations can take advantage of the latest features right away,” wrote Kumar. “Touting one of the best experiences for any enterprise use case, from BYOD to dedicated devices to [COPE] devices and everything in between, Android Enterprise is constantly evolving with Google’s full focus.”
MobileIron CEO Simon Biddiscombe described the enterprise as key to the continued development of the Android platform. “Enterprise transformation will be central to the second decade of Android computing,” said Biddiscombe. “Offerings like Android Enterprise Recommended, OEM Config, and Google Play Protect create the perfect storm to support the millions of Android devices that are increasingly making their way to the enterprise.”
Regular readers of this publication will be aware of the rise of Android’s enterprise push. At the time of the initiative’s first launch – then known as Android for Work – back at 2015’s Mobile World Congress, this publication put it thus: “The move has been a long time coming, and the search giant is stacked amidst a plethora of partners on the management, devices, applications, and networking side.”
While Android continues to dominate the consumer banner with all its flavours, iOS outnumbers it by approximately four to one in an enterprise context, according to analysis from Egnyte. Yet just a technical analysis shows how much progress has been made. Writing for this publication in May, Chris Koeneman at MOBI noted the importance of enterprise mobility in the Android 9.0 release, focusing on smart reply, text and image selection, and better battery saving technology.
This latest move, Google hopes, will be a key stepping stone. “By raising the bar of excellence, we’re helping customers select which partners are best equipped to help them fully leverage the robust security and management capabilities in the Android platform,” wrote Will Ro, head of Android enterprise partnerships, management and security in a blog post.
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