Author(s): Peter Bryer
On 7 October, Samsung announced Samsung 360 Services for Business, an umbrella of enterprise mobile fleet management services. The Samsung conglomerate isn't new to enterprise services, but it's the company's most ambitious push to date.
Samsung currently provides enterprise mobility management through its cloud-based Knox Enterprise Mobility Management service, being used as a stepping stone into its new, broader portfolio of mobile support. Samsung's new value-added services will include support for device provisioning, application development training, security attainment and repair. Samsung's 360 Services would cover smartphones, tablets and wearables.
The news of Samsung's intentions to enter into high-margin services isn't entirely unexpected following the appointment of Robin Bienfait as head of enterprise innovation earlier this year. Ms Bienfait had been Chief Information Officer at Research In Motion, overseeing its Enterprise Business unit and customer services, and headed AT&T's Global Services unit during her time as the company's senior vice president.
Samsung's announcement comes several months after Apple and IBM unveiled a partnership to offer enterprise mobility management services for iOS-based devices. The move left an opening for services for non-Apple devices, and Samsung believes that 66% of the future mobile enterprise devices in use will be Android-based.
CCS Insight believes that Android device deployments are more maintenance-intensive for enterprises than BlackBerry or iOS smartphones, making the need for Samsung's services (particularly regarding applications) self-sustaining. Many global firms currently require support to automate the deployment of large fleets of disparate Android devices and applications as a result of the complexity involved.
The larger challenge for Samsung could be its consumer-electronics pedigree. Samsung is a well-known consumer brand, so heavily influenced by consumer tastes. Despite investing in its B2B capabilities over the past three years, it needs better distribution channels into enterprises and the global engineering staff to offer consistent support services. A lack of strong local and global partners will see the company struggle to enter the big leagues in enterprise mobility consulting, especially to global firms. Samsung has said that it will partner with software companies and system integrators for its 360 Services, but no details have been given about which companies Samsung will be working with.
Samsung rightly sees an opportunity in services for enterprises, especially thanks to its position as a global market share leader. However, the company will need to build a following across major markets in order to gain large international clients. Samsung can certainly overcome the brand mismatch between consumer and enterprise, but will need to gear up with staff and partners to make it work.
With the arrival of Nicholas McQuire as Vice President, Enterprise, CCS Insight will be providing more in-depth coverage of the area of enterprise mobility.