Android – Ready to go to Work!

Mar 02, 2015

 

Android for Work – Introduction

 

Google recently introduced the Android for Work program that enables secure, containerized app deployment to Android devices running Android 4.0 and higher. Through an EMM vendor, IT admins can securely provision and containerize apps on any device with an Android for Work profile (Android Lollipop), or the Android for Work app (Android 4.0 - 4.4).

Key features of Android for Work include:

 

  • Separating work and personal data at the OS level
  • Enabling a consistent native Android user experience across disparate device manufacturers
  • Providing a model for secure enterprise app distribution
  • A wide range of in-built or pre-installed productivity apps – including email, contacts, calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

 

Security Features

 From a security perspective, there are quite a few interesting features in Android for Work. These include:

 

  • A new secure, trusted enterprise application installation process
  • Separation of personal and business content on devices
  • Exceptions for self-hosted applications
  • Extensive data loss prevention capabilities
  • Granular, application-level VPN capabilities.

 

Using Android for Work in the Enterprise

 

Enterprise IT can easily enable Android for Work on compatible devices. For Lollipop devices, IT admins set up a managed Google domain which requires a one-time web registration process with Google to claim a domain. Once the domain admin account is created and verified, the admin will receive a token to bind to the company’s EMM provider which allows IT to use their existing EMM provider to manage Android for Work users. This is followed by adding and activating users, and then configuring the users’ Android for Work profiles and activating the device. Google requires all users to have a personal and corporate Google account to use Android for Work. While most users will already have a personal Google account, the IT admin will have to create corporate Google accounts for all Android for Work users and add them to the Google directory.

 

A separate Android for Work app is required to enable the features of Android for Work on devices running Android 4.0 to 4.4. After authenticating the EMM provider, and downloading the Android for Work app, users will have to complete the setup through the Device Policy Client – or DPC - an app an EMM app for devices running Android 5.0 and above with managed profile capabilities. They will also have to create a passcode (if required) to access Android for Work apps in the container.

Conclusion

 

Android for Work addresses the key challenges in enterprise mobility today – security, and fragmentation. By allowing enterprise IT to work with their existing EMM providers, Google has ensured that IT can continue to use the tools they are familiar with to leverage these next-generation enterprise mobile communication capabilities. It is evident that Google understands what it takes to enable a road adoption of Android in the enterprise, and the company has clearly raised the bar with its Android for Work program.

 

Blog written with inputs from MobileIron. https://www.mobileiron.com/en/whitepaper/what-android-work-means-enterprise


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Vikrant Gandhi

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Fourteen years of product marketing, research, and consulting expertise, which includes supporting clients’ needs through more than 140 syndicated market research deliverables and consulting assignments. Particular expertise in Assessing next-generation telecommunications trends, technologies and market dynamics; Helping clients develop and execute their go-to-market strategies; Providing continuous inputs to clients into new market developments and helping them understand the strategic implications.


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