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I am a firm believer that products should ship with the expected basic set of features out of the box. It is not really omission of some features to create an upsell opportunity that I mind—it is the extra hassle and the “you who built this product, are dumping it on me as the customer to sort this out” that gives me a negative feeling.

Remember when kid’s toys used to come without batteries?  As a parent rushing out to buy batteries so that your four-year-old doesn’t have to cry over his new toy not working, only to discover upon return that you got the wrong size batteries? Thankfully pretty much all toys come with batteries these days. It might not be the best batteries there are, but at least they are there out of the box and usually they will serve you well.

IFS logo with Samsung KNOX bannerMobile platforms aren’t all that different from kids toys, and mobile security is just like batteries. (I will leave it up to you to judge if this analogy also compares your business with a four-year-old.) A mobile platform targeting business users is not complete without a decent security solution. Both Microsoft and Apple have realized this and introduced basic security features into iOS and Windows Phone respectively. Android has, in this regard, been lagging and we’ve read a lot about security vulnerabilities lately. Although there are some businesses that truly need a fully-fledged mobile device management (MDM) platform, for many a basic set of security capabilities would do just fine. This is why I think Samsung’s decision announced at the IFA fair in Berlin last week to ship their KNOX solution to consumers is the right one. Especially in these days of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). With Samsung’s market share and range of devices it means that businesses that require higher security than “standard Android” now have a credible out-of-the-box solution, avoiding the need to source and implement an MDM separately. Needless to say IFS is backing Samsung’s KNOX initiative—we already have our first apps available in the KNOX app catalog, and more is to come.

With Microsoft’s purchase of Nokias phone business, and Samsung providing KNOX on Android, we now have three (or four if you still count BlackBerry) players going after the business segment by controlling both the device hardware as well software. With Microsoft, Apple and Samsung all doing this it will be interesting to see what move Google will make. Perhaps BlackBerry could be of interest – they have a credible brand in businesses and have already started down the Android path?

Thoughts anyone?


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