Today, we see an on going war on smartphones for enterprise market between Apple’s trend setter IPhone and age old business phone Blackberry from Research in Motion. Is it possible to see a new player in this market? It looks like this war will heat up in near future as Google’s great success Android is charging for enterprise customers after securing a huge slice of end user smartphone market’s shares.
Android’s first attempt was Motorola Droid which has been provided with Verizon in the United States, however Droid didn’t succeed to create a decent share for Android in enterprise market due to its lack of IT management capabilities. Companies were complaining about that as it was not possible at that time for Android to control which applications you can install and uninstall from the phone. This raised big concerns for companies so they didn’t embrace Droid as a business phone for their employees. Google took the input from the companies and add some of the required features for IT management for Android with its Froyo release.
Also, Android offers a really good integration with Google’s other applications such as Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar and most importantly Google Docs. I think Google Docs will become really useful and widely embraced among the companies as I see that cloud computing becomes more and more useful. We now see even states moving their state wide operations to cloud computing based networks so I can say that it would not be surprising to see companies taking advantage of technologies based on cloud computing such as Google Docs which enables you to work on your documents from just your browser over the internet. We might see a decrease of usage of Microsoft Office like softwares in near future as usually employees don’t use all of its features and simple and cheap solutions like Google Docs will help companies cut on their spendings. Plus this trend will also be boost by the increasing usage of iPad like tablets in the industry.
Android also enables IT managers to remotely wipe all the data from company phones in case of theft and lost items. Such administration policies for company mobile network can be enforced now as locking idle devices after a period of time, requiring passwords for each device in the system and setting minimum levels for password security. Now it is also possible to exclude devices from the company network so that when a the relation between the company and employee is over, data security can be set without taking back the given phone.
However, even though it is good features there are still raising eyebrows for the security of Android devices as there isn’t strict regulation on application market like Apple implemented on theirs. Also, IT managers are a bit skeptical about the reliability of the operating system as it is a relatively new to the smartphone market. To make people change their old habits, such as Blackberrys as business phones, Android needs to do more than providing what is already provided by other competitors. I think with Motorola’s dedication on creating an enterprise targeted phone such as Droid Pro, we may see other manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung to provide Android based enterprise smartphones in near future.