Employees who want to use a personal smartphone as their primary corporate device have to jump through endless hoops, be they application limitations, program security certifications or stuffy IT managers who don’t want to deal with the headache. It’s a huge back-end hassle, and most companies would rather you suck it up and tote the corporate-friendly BlackBerry along with your own phone.
Enterproid wants to change that. The company aims to bridge the gap between personal and work devices with its software platform, “Divide.” In essence, Divide allows users to separate their smartphone into two partitions — one for work, and one for everything else — at the application level rather than the hardware level.
“The fact that people are willing to carry around two devices is a symptom of something larger,” Enterproid CEO Andrew Toy said in an interview. “Both phones carry something important, whether it be personal or for work.”
After installing the software, users can switch back and forth between a work and personal environment, and are able to use different applications depending on the profile being used. Enterprise-grade apps like secure web browsing, corporate e-mail, SMS and contacts are available in the work profile, while switching to the personal profile gives the user access to any personal apps they’ve downloaded on their own time.
Enterproid appeases IT managers’ security concerns by giving them the ability to track, monitor and remote wipe the work partition of any Divide-enabled device using Enterproid’s cloud-based management system. At the same time, IT isn’t able to wipe the user’s personal partition without permission, so your non-work related apps and data are kept safe.
It’s an ideal time for the company to launch. RIM’s tight grip on the mobile enterprise space has loosened over the past two years, dropping from 24 percent U.S. marketshare to 19 percent from May to August of this year, according to ComScore data. Much of that territory was lost to Google’s Android, whose share has grown in leaps and bounds, now up to 43.7 percent of U.S. share as of August. Not to mention RIM’s recent widespread BlackBerry network outages in Europe and Africa earlier this week.
The company is gaining traction, securing $11 million in a Series A venture round from companies such as Google Ventures, Qualcomm and Comcast. And on Monday, Enterproid inked a deal with AT&T. The carrier’s “Toggle” service will deliver enterprise-grade applications to customers using Enterproid’s “Divide” technology as the back-end support system.
While Enterproid currently offers support for a handful of enterprise-grade apps, VP of product Alexander Trewby says the company is working on two APIs that will give third-party developers the opportunity to integrate their existing apps into Enterproid’s secure environment.
iPhone lovers won’t be left out. Although the Divide platform will initially launch on the Android platform, iOS support is on the horizon.
Divide is currently in beta trials for a select number of customers, and will be widely available by the end of this year.