Wager said Samsung is also in the process of gaining FIPS compliance for the Galaxy S III, which important to healthcare, government and financial firms. Samsung has won FIPS compliance on the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi tablet from Verizon Wireless. SAFE will be certified on other tablets in the future, Wager said.
The MDM vendors Samsung has worked most closely with for the Galaxy S III launch include Afaria, MobileIron, AirWatch and SOTI, Wager said. A large enterprise would need to have MDM software installed in its data center to offer the full benefits of the integration with the Galaxy S III, although ActiveSync does offer some MDM capabilities useful for small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs), Wager said.
MDM can be used by corporations to control how many or what kind of apps their workers use, as well as for remote wipe of data from lost devices. MDM sometimes is also a tool to help IT distribute apps from its own internal app stores or public app stores.
Because of the SAFE compliance, Wager said a worker can buy a Galaxy S III and "go into the office and show the IT guy that it complies," Wager said. "We know the demand for Android is there and workers want to bring them to work. With SAFE, the IT compliance issue should go down."
Samsung also announced Safe2SSwitch, a trade-up program that gives users the ability to quickly see how much their smartphones are worth, so they can quickly trade-in for a SAFE device. With it, a user will soon be able to scan a QR code with an existing smartphone to be taken to a site than can detect the smartphone model and present its value and provide directions for a trade-in to a SAFE smartphone. The QR codes will be published in computer trade magazines, Wager said.
While the IT compliance inherent in SAFE will help companies feel more secure about their workers using the Galaxy S III, Wager said it is the smartphone device that is driving sales. "IT compliance of a smartphone doesn't drive buying behavior; the device drives the behavior," he said.
The Galaxy S III has features that will attract business users, including a larger screen for reading emails and access to faster LTE networks. "The larger screen is a huge driver for the mobile pro," he said.
An added advantage of using an Android device inside an enterprise is that custom apps can be less expensive to develop, given Android is built on open source software, Wager added.
Kathryn Weldon, an analyst at Current Analysis, said that SAFE will help IT shops have more confidence in workers using Android. "But I'm not sure IT has much of a choice, as their employees will be bringing them in on an BYOD basis," she said.
One benefit of Samsung's approach is that Samsung is not creating its own MDM but is partnering with an established crop of them.