One of the big things that IT departments at big companies are coping with these days is the BYOD — bring your own device –trend. It refers to the tendency of people to take their personally owned mobile phones and tablets to the office, and the expectation that whatever its brand, the IT department will support it.
IT managers tend to get queasy about the notion of a BYOD world, because mobile devices in general are a hassle to manage for a variety of reasons — but mainly because devices get lost easily, creating a security challenge. So they like having a lot of control over what those devices can and cannot do when connected to the corporate network.
Samsung today is giving IT managers the kind of control they want with its forthcoming Galaxy S III smartphone and other Android devices, by launching SAFE — a branding campaign that stands for “Samsung Approved for Enterprise.” The point of SAFE, which includes the branding logo at right, is to give IT the ability to impose the sorts of policies they like that let them feel less queasy about letting mobile gadgets into the office. Right out of the box, devices that have the SAFE brand on them will support 338 distinct IT policies, including strong encryption of data, support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, and support for VPNs.
The Galaxy S III is also being pushed with some features that corporate types should like, such as GroupCast, the ability to securely share Microsoft PowerPoint decks and PDFs with in meetings with other people who also have it. Another is Share Shot, which lets users quickly share photos with selected colleagues and contacts.
The point of the branding effort is twofold: To encourage adoption of the Galaxy S III in favor of other phones like Apple’s iPhone and the always Enterprise-friendly Blackberry, and to capture upgrades from other Android phones. So Samsung has launched a trade-in program called SAFE2SWTICH for other phones.
The Galaxy S III is expected next month from all the major U.S. carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular.