BlackBerry, Samsung combine Knox, BES12 in enterprise push

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BlackBerry, Samsung combine Knox, BES12 in enterprise push
BlackBerry's latest smartphone, the Passport.

Partnership aimed squarely at Apple, IBM tie-up.

BlackBerry and Samsung have partnered in a bid to make Android more secure for enterprises by integrating Samsung's Knox security solution with BlackBerry's enterprise server 12 (BES12).

The deal will allow IT teams to manage Samsung Galaxy devices running the US Department of Defence-approved Knox through BES12, the companies said today.

Enterprise customers will now be able to opt for deployments of Samsung Knox-enabled devices on which BES12 can control corporate information and containerise it from personal data.

As part of the agreement, Samsung will resell BES12 (released today) to joint customers, and BlackBerry will support Knox for its BES12 gold-level subscribers.

Pricing and a specific launch date for the new service are yet to be announced. 

The BlackBerry-Samsung tie-up comes just months after BlackBerry rival and market leader Apple announced a deal with IT services giant IBM which will see the pair combine forces to target the enterprise market.

In an effort to extend Apple's influence within big business and IBM's customer base, IBM will resell and manage corporate iPads and iPhones, while Apple will provide a dedicated enterprise support option under its AppleCare program. The pair will also develop 100 enterprise-specific applications. 

The BlackBerry-Samsung deal similarly attempts to boost each company's share in the enterprise market, without needing to develop new products or features.

BlackBerry also today announced a partnership with Salesforce to connect its customer relationship management (CRM) platform with BES12. The partnership will allow joint customers - such as public sector bodies - to run their organisations from their phone, the companies said.

BES12 - the latest version of Blackberry's cross-platform enterprise mobility management solution - adds several new features including WorkLife, which allows enterprises to add a separate corporate phone number to a personal device brought in by employees, or to add a personal phone number to corporate-issued devices. 

It also provides proactive monitoring and systems tuning, automated problem solving, and the ability to manage internet-of-things devices, among others features.

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