March 1, 2019

Samsung and Google Enhance Cooperation in the Enterprise Market

Samsung Knox News

Knox Mobile Enrollment & Android Zero Touch: A New Common Integration Library

Samsung Electronics and Google continue to diligently harmonize our core enterprise platforms: Samsung Knox and Android Enterprise. Both serve together to provide enhanced security and management features to our customers and partners, giving them the flexibility to deploy mobile devices to meet their specific requirements without compromising their safety.

Android Enterprise provides a security and management framework built into Android. Samsung Knox Platform for Enterprise (KPE) adds to this core with enhanced and unique features that can only be provided by the device manufacturer. KPE is embedded within the firmware on all Samsung mobile devices and is additive to and built on top of Android Enterprise.

With Android Oreo, Samsung and Google cooperated extensively to remove overlaps between the platforms and to harmonize KPE and Android Enterprise so that they are truly complementary to one another and not duplicative.

Samsung and Google are broadening this cooperative approach to encompass our mobile enrollment services.


Knox Mobile Enrollment & Android Zero Touch: A New Common Integration Library

IT departments require services that allow mobile devices to be easily enrolled into their enterprise mobility management systems, bypassing the often error-prone and laborious process of manual device enrollment, configuration, and setup.

Google and Samsung both provide services that fit this need: Android zero-touch enrollment and Samsung Knox Mobile Enrollment (KME). Both of these services are provided free of charge for customers to streamline the bulk enrollment of smartphones and tablets into enterprise mobility management, from which point they can be configured and managed according to the organization’s particular needs.

However, these services are distinct and separate. Samsung devices can only be enrolled using the KME service, whereas zero-touch is used by many other Android devices. This duality requires device resellers to perform two service integrations: one for zero-touch and another for the Knox Deployment Program (KDP), which is the underlying backbone of Samsung’s Knox Mobile Enrollment, Knox Configure, and other Samsung services. The requirement to integrate two services clearly represents a challenge for our partners.

In order to solve this problem, Google and Samsung have worked closely together to bring to market a new common library that will allow a single integration to access both services. To be clear: Samsung devices will still only be able to be enrolled using KME (hence the need for resellers to integrate to the underlying KDP backbone), whereas other Android devices will be enrolled using zero-touch*. Going forward partners and resellers no longer need to perform two distinct integrations. The new library is designed to provide a set of functions, data types and response codes to allow resellers to operate both services in a common way.

For the sake of clarity, the joint recommendation of both Google and Samsung is as follows:

  • Partners who have integrated to both KDP and zero-touch need do nothing more: both services will continue to exist independently.
  • Partners who have integrated to only one service should integrate to the other independently rather than use the common integration library.
  • Partners who have not integrated to either service should use the new common library which provides the advantage of a single integration, giving them and their customers access to both underlying services.

The new common integration library will be available in Q1 2019.

* Update (as of March 2021): Google’s Android zero-touch enrollment is currently available on all Android 9+ devices including Samsung Galaxy devices

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