There's plenty of speculation that Samsung is pushing deeper into the wireless enterprise market -- at the potential expense of BlackBerry. But is Samsung really making a move or is the media just hyping the competition before the Mobile World Congress this coming week?
A report from investor research firm Detwiler Fenton suggest Samsung is "making an aggressive push into the enterprise segment." The investors' note also says Samsung has BlackBerry's enterprise and small-business lines "in its crosshairs."
According to the note, Samsung has been spending money to beef up its mobile enterprise platform. The note also says Samsung has "been poaching key engineers and managers" from the ailing handset maker. Detwiler goes on to predict that Samsung will offer a "major announcement" at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
At the root of the reports are Samsung's SAFE program, or Samsung for Enterprise. SAFE provides a comprehensive approach to making Android devices more secure and manageable for business users. With a thorough quality assurance process in place to test and confirm enterprise capabilities, SAFE works to systematically meet the evolving needs of IT and the growing number of businesses allowing employees to "bring your own device" (BYOD) to work.
"Over the last couple of years, Samsung's enterprise group was chartered with developing an enterprise platform that could take advantage of the Android ecosystem but that also delivered best-in-class security policies, application management, e-mail, unified communications, etc., to compete with BBRY," Detwiler says.
"Samsung must now believe it has enhanced SAFE to effectively take share from BBRY as we understand it has hired well north of 100 sales and sales support staff to serve the enterprise and small-business markets. We also understand that the company has established very aggressive 2013 sales objectives for this segment."
Is BlackBerry Market Worth Targeting?
Michael Disabato, managing vice president of network and telecom at Gartner, told us he's not sure what's new; Samsung established the SAFE program in 2011.
"What enterprise push could Samsung possibly be making? Are they coming out with more devices with SAFE?" he asked. "If that's the case, then it's a well-welcomed enterprise push. And if they've got the likes of MobileIron and AirWatch linked in so SAFE is an inherent part of any MDM system, this is a good thing."
As Disabato sees it, no one needs to go after RIM. RIM is already in fourth place. He said he had more than 30 inquiries last year from companies concerned that BlackBerry would not survive.
"We told our clients what to do," Disabato said. "Frankly, I'm sorry to see RIM in the situation it's in but they dug that hole."