Back in November, we did an interview with BlackBerry’s John Sims and Samsung’s Greg Wade on the then-newly announced partnership between Samsung and BlackBerry. With today’s announcement, it’s clear that what we talked about in November was just the beginning. We had a chance to get an update on the partnership with Billy Ho, BlackBerry’s Executive Vice President, Enterprise Products and Value Added Solutions and Greg Wade, Vice President of Samsung’s KNOX Business Group.
What’s new with the BlackBerry/Samsung partnership?
GW: For enterprises, the combination of these services and Samsung KNOX devices will provide a great way to separate, secure and protect valuable enterprise data and communications.
‘Separate, secure and protect’ — why should that matter to an enterprise?
BH: For many organizations, information is among the most valuable of its assets. It needs to be shared and communicated as part of business — through emails, documents, messaging and voice calls — and that makes it challenging to keep it secure.
GW: Plus, there is also value in employee’s time and costs associated with the mobile service that employers, one way or another, have to pay for. Employees and employers want to keep work and personal activities clearly separated — employees want to keep their personal time their own and employers don’t want to pay for personal calls and data. We’re even seeing some governments now mandating that employers find ways to separate work and personal mobile charges.
BH: For security, cost and, in some cases, compliance, companies really want to keep work and personal mobile use clearly separated.
And, these products you are bringing to Samsung KNOX do that?
GW: Absolutely. WorkLife is the one of the only solutions that can separate work and personal voice and SMS as well as data usage. We’re working closely with BlackBerry to make sure the implementation on KNOX is as seamless as possible. It will be very easy for employees to choose between making a call on their work number or a separate personal number, for example.
BH: And, SecuSUITE brings the kind of virtually tap-proof communication — secure enough for world leaders, in fact — to the Samsung KNOX Workspace.
GW: When you add the capabilities that the newly launched Samsung KNOX 2.4 brings to devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the end-to-end security offered when you combine that with BES12, the package becomes very, very attractive to enterprises that care about security.
What’s the extent of the partnership beyond integrating technologies?
GW: We’re continually looking at ways that it makes sense for us to work together to better serve enterprise customers. For example, we also announced today that our new Samsung Business Services will offer the growing selection of BlackBerry enterprise products and services.
What is Samsung Business Services?
GW: It’s focused on giving enterprise customers a single point of contact to help manage and support their Samsung mobile devices, along with a range of associated services and solutions. So, for example, Samsung Business Services enterprise technology specialists will be able to provide customers guidance and technical support through the deployment and implementation of the tightly integrated, end-to-end secure solution that brings together BES12 and, say, a fleet of new Samsung Galaxy S6s.
BH: Making something like this work from a customer perspective means working together closely with Samsung to make sure that customers get the advice and support they need for the entire solution. It’s not just stitching together bits of BlackBerry and bits of Samsung. It really is an integrated solution. That’s where customers tell us the value-add is — not having to figure out how to integrate all the pieces themselves.
Both Samsung and BlackBerry are showcasing their products and services at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. If you are at the event, check out demos of SecuSUITE, by BlackBerry subsidiary Secusmart, at Hall 6, 6B40. And, be sure to drop by the Samsung booth at Hall 3, 3I10. If you aren’t at Mobile World Congress (#MWC15), stay on top of the latest BlackBerry news here at Inside BlackBerry or on Twitter at @BlackBerry, @BlackBerryNews.