Samsung Knox, a division of Samsung and creator of an enterprise security-grade solution for the Android operating system, officially launched its multitiered partner program and made it available to solution providers worldwide on Tuesday.
"Historically, Android has been perceived as risky in enterprise by the overwhelming majority," said Andy Musliner, chief technology and innovation officer of DMI, a mobile enterprise solutions provider based out of Bethesda, Md.
DMI is one of first solution providers to partner with Samsung Knox in its efforts to make Android a stronger competitor in the enterprise space with beefed up security and simpler manageability.
"I do think that Knox makes a substantial difference in the way enterprises should consider bringing an Android solution into its BYOD environment," Musliner said. When referencing a timeline for when Android would see a significant uptake in the enterprise world, Musliner said, "it is easy to predict the future; it is not easy to predict when the future will happen."
Knox, originally launched in February at Mobile World Congress 2013, is chipping away at the notion that Android is not and will never be enterprise ready.
"It's a first-generation, enhanced hardware-based security for mobile devices, and there are not many of those out there yet," Musliner said. "This is a great opportunity for enterprises to take advantage of a [platform] they have been waiting anxiously for."
Lauren Robinette, who works in business development at Samsung Mobile B2B consulting, told CRN, "You can't avoid that Android is going to be a solution of choice for consumers. Figuring out how to handle it will be in the hands of partners."
According to Robinette, Samsung Knox is looking to "aggressively" expand its partner program.
All three partner training program sessions scheduled so far have been oversubscribed. In order to speed up the channel building process, the company is waiving its minimum partner requirements for at least the first six months of partner recruitment, which officially begins in November.
NEXT: Knox Talks Partner Requirements
Benefits of the Samsung Knox partner program are divided into three tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Entry-level partners, or Silver, gain access to a variety of information and surveys and are able to utilize the Samsung Knox Partner Portal and leverage the Samsung Knox Partner Logo.
The Gold-level tier adds eligibility for opportunity registration, 'Not For Resale Product' licenses, extra online training and assessments to the list of partner perks, as well as access to marketing development funds and partner events.
Finally, Platinum partners can also take advantage of free sales tools, an awards and advisory program, 24-hour technical support, and product and program certifications.
Requirements for an entry-level partnership consist of a registration form, acceptance into the program and a partner profile. A Platinum-level partnership, meanwhile, requires a minimum quarterly revenue target of $125,000, a variety of sales and support training and a minimum of three Samsung Knox Technical Specialist Accreditations.
Samsung Mobile B2B consultant Robinette said Samsung Knox expects to add five to 10 partners per country in the next two to six months. United States and Europe, she said, will be the strongest geographic areas out the gate.
Though DMI's Musliner said he recognizes Samsung Knox is just getting started, he hopes it will take hold sooner rather than later. The opportunity for partners to wrap around services and develop apps to use within Samsung Knox, Musliner said, is near limitless.
PUBLISHED NOV. 12, 2013