From Android for Work to Android Enterprise: The Evolution of Android Business Features

With Android Enterprise (formerly Android for Work), Google offers comprehensive security and management features that enable companies to securely integrate Android devices into their environment. Once Android devices are distributed and managed using an EMM solution, nothing stands in the way of mobile work with Android smartphones and tablets. We look back at the origins of Android’s business features and show how Android Enterprise is making Android devices more and more popular in businesses.

Android Enterprise enables secure mobile working

Android for Work Becomes Android Enterprise

Before the release of Android for Work, the market was flooded with inconsistent management features from various Android vendors and app developers. Aimed at ending this unsustainable situation and to catch up with Apple, Google announced Android for Work in 2014. Android for Work initially referred to all devices shipped with Google’s secure containerization APIs for separating private and business apps and data. With this service, Google had created the groundwork for securely integrating Android devices into corporate IT on the basis of their native operating system functions.

After almost all Android devices had these functions, Google abolished the branding “Android for Work”. Demonstrating its commitment to enterprise mobility, Google renamed Android for Work Android Enterprise in 2017 and expanded it to include additional business features. Today, Android Enterprise stands for a broad spectrum of security and management functions that enable the use of Android devices in everyday work. With this mature enterprise platform, Google has simplified the integration of Android devices into EMM solutions and given IT administrators on-demand control over Android enterprise devices.

Android Enterprise Enables Secure Mobile Working

With its numerous management and security features, Android Enterprise meets various company requirements for hassle-free mobile working. Consistent APIs for device and app management ensure that Android devices can be easily distributed to employees and securely managed:

Android Work Profile

The work profile feature enables IT managers to separate apps and private data from business data at the operating system level. It is therefore particularly suitable for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scenarios. When implemented, e-mails, documents and specific business apps are accessed within the business container / work profile, creating a particularly secure working environment for employees. To ensure security, the business container is protected by security policies – e.g. password restrictions – and DLP (Data Loss Prevention) policies prevent corporate information from being transferred outside the work profile. Since the company data is stored in the secure working environment of the smartphone or tablet, employees can use applications such as WhatsApp in the private area of their device. Using Enterprise Wipe, the work profile can be easily removed without affecting private data.

Fully Managed Device (Formerly Work-Managed)

This mode allows complete control of data and apps on corporate smartphones and tablets – without personal storage space (COBO – Corporate-Owned, Business Only devices). The entire device and its functions are controlled by the EMM administrator.

Versatile Deployment Models

In addition to BYOD and COBO, Android Enterprise also supports mobile devices used for specific purposes, i.e. smartphones and tablets that are equipped with appropriate apps and used exclusively for dedicated applications (single use) such as ticket printing or warehouse management. With the COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) method, full device management is combined with work profiles to provide a fully managed device where personal use is also permitted. In contrast to the work profile, this also allows complete control of the device enabled for private use.

Zero-Touch enrollment

Similar to Apple’s DEP and Samsung KME, devices purchased through an authorized reseller are assigned to a zero-touch console. This provides employees with a ready-to-use device managed by the EMM administrator. Zero-touch enrollment therefore removes the need for manual setup and makes multiple devices available to end users.

Android Enterprise Recommended

Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program helps you choose the right devices to match your business needs. The devices recommended for Android Enterprise meet Google’s requirements for hardware, deployment, security updates, and user experience.

Cortado MDM for Android Enterprise

Right from the beginning, Cortado has supported Android Enterprise (as well as Android for Work). With the MDM solution Cortado MDM, companies fully leverage the potential of Android Enterprise and securely integrate Android devices into their enterprise environment. Using Cortado MDM, enterprises can finally manage smartphones and tablets throughout their entire lifecycle. Alongside these benefits, organizations can quickly set up devices and comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation thanks to the enterprise mobility solution’s pre-defined policy sets.

Learn more about Android Enterprise and the best practices for device and application management in our white paper.

Comments are closed.