At an event in San Francisco on Thursday, Blackberry and Samsung, two seemingly unlikely partners, announced plans to work together to bring Samsung’s Knox security platform to BlackBerry’s business customers.
The partnership will bring together BlackBerry’s cross-platform BES12 enterprise mobility management software, which features a range of tools and security options to help businesses keep on top of employee hardware, and Samsung’s KNOX security for Android devices. The aim is to offer enterprise customers the option of deploying Knox-enabled Samsung hardware with BlackBerry’s sophisticated software solution.
The benefits for Samsung are quite clear cut, the company stands to better position itself in the lucrative enterprise market. Samsung already holds a significant smartphone market share in the US, as well as globally, and aims to offer handsets that are suitable for both home and business usage. The deal also offers up competition to Apple’s fledgling business security solution, which it announced in a similar deal with IBM earlier this year.
Currently, KNOX only goes so far in helping manage business data, BlackBerry’s experience and industry leading enterprise server software will likely turn Samsung into a real contender. Samsung’s regular consumers will also likely benefit from Blackberry’s security input into the KNOX platform.
The situation isn’t quite so clear for BlackBerry as it risks improving the market position of a major competitor. However, as its hardware sales have already declined dramatically, BlackBerry may be better off focusing on its remaining core business strength – enterprise.
Availability of the combined product selection is expected in early 2015. Samsung will resell BES12 to joint customers and BlackBerry will offer KNOX support as part of the Gold family of BES12 subscriptions. Pricing details will also be announced next year.