Two of the largest smartphone competitors are pairing up together in an effort to give Apple a run for its money in the Bring Your Own Device movement. Reports Friday (July 10) said BlackBerry and Google are collaborating on a new enterprise-focused Android operating system.
The partnership will bring BlackBerry’s BES12 security software into Android, offering a more reinforced security service for enterprise smartphone and mobile device users. Reports also said that the new OS will integrate into Google Play for Work, making it easier for workforce users to operate custom apps on their devices.
BES12 offers a range of workplace services like custom controls for device usage and data security. When compatible with Android, it would give employers and managers the ability to oversee all employee-used devices from a single interface.
Michael Kraner, CEO of BlackBerry partner Primary Support Solutions, elaborated to CRN in a recent interview on the new partnership. “If Google and BlackBerry can merge their strengths together and create a business platform, it could really add value to organizations,” he said. “I think people really enjoyed their Blackberries at a time, and if somehow you can combine the features that they loved about Blackberry with Google, it would be a marriage that consumers would be interested in."
As the Bring Your Own Device movement gains momentum, some of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers and device makers are beginning to launch new services and products just for the workplace.
Apple remains in the top spot in terms of workplace penetration of its smart devices. The conglomerate has teamed up with IBM to launch dozens of new enterprise apps, and industry experts have been discussing the possibility that Apple Pay will take off as a new B2B payments option.
But both BlackBerry and Google haven’t fallen too far behind. Reports last month said BlackBerry is looking to move to Android as part of its enterprise Software-as-a-Service business, while Google has been said to be in the process of relaunching its Google Glass for the workforce.