Samsung's Galaxy S5, the follow-up to Korean electronic maker's popular S4 Android smartphone, is ready for business.
The company announced the worldwide commercial availability of KNOX 2.0 for the Galaxy S5, enabling businesses to manage and secure corporate data on the new smartphone. KNOX, the company's mobile device management (MDM), was first launched in 2013 as an app container and security solution.
Today, KNOX encompasses a variety of enterprise mobile management capabilities. The app container component is now called KNOX Workspace, and it is joined by the KNOX EMM, Marketplace and Customization modules.
KNOX Workspace features new upgrades, including TrustZone certificate management, two-factor biometric authentication and a KNOX key store. The software also offers an improved user experience and additional enterprise deployment options, according to the company.
User enrollment has been streamlined via the use of Universal MDM Client and Samsung Enterprise Gateway. Another timesaving feature is Google Play App Store support. The KNOX container now supports all Google Play Android apps, eliminating the need to undergo a separate app-wrapping process.
KNOX also helps keep budgets in check with a split-billing feature. Working with carriers, KNOX can now "separately calculate the bills for personal-use apps and professional-use apps and in turn bills the company for all enterprise or professional app use," said Samsung.
The company's cloud-based KNOX EMM provides MDM, identity and access management and policy configuration. Geared toward small and midsized businesses (SMBs), KNOX Marketplace is a collection of KNOX and enterprise cloud apps for a simplified, one-stop approach to searching and purchasing mobile business apps.
For systems integrators, KNOX Customization provides "a groundbreaking way to create highly customized B2B solutions with off-the-shelf hardware by providing either SDK or Binary," boasted the company in a statement.
Samsung is first rolling out KNOX 2.0 for its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone. The S5 continues in the tradition of its popular premium smartphone line and adds new touches like a heart rate sensor, a fingerprint scanner and a water-resistant enclosure. The updated MDM platform will be available to other Galaxy devices "in the coming months."
The updates come in the wake of brisk demand for KNOX since its launch in September 2013, said JK Shin, CEO and head of Samsung's IT & Mobile Communications unit. "As a result of this rapid adoption, we needed to evolve the Samsung KNOX platform to directly address the ever-changing needs of the enterprise as we demonstrate our commitment to protect and respond to future enterprise mobility and security challenges," stated Shin in prepared remarks.
Samsung isn't the only device maker investing in MDM to win over enterprises.
Apple, the company's chief rival in and out of the courtroom, in February announced several MDM enhancements for iOS 7.1. While it offered a fresh new UI and carried forward many of the features that made previous versions a hit among consumers, iOS 7 was largely criticized for its lackluster enterprise management feature set.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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