Today, VMware is excited to announce support for Android enterprise on purpose-built devices. Support for Android enterprise on such devices will give IT unparalleled security features and the ability to lock down devices, silently install apps and push updates. In addition, we’ve extended our Android-specific management APIs and remote management capabilities for increased security and control.
Purpose-built devices are corporate-owned, mobile endpoints used in line-of-business use cases. These are used, and often shared, by task workers to complete mission-critical business operations. Examples of such devices include a rugged handheld scanner, used to improve inventory management, or a smartphone in an enterprise sled used as a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) device. Because workers rely on these devices to get their job done, it’s critical organizations choose the right device and management solution to maximize worker efficiency.
Why Android Enterprise for Purpose-Built Deployments?
With Windows CE and Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 quickly reaching end of service, organizations have started to migrate to Android, making it the fastest growing operating system for harsh work environments or line-of-business use cases.
Android enterprise empowers organizations to:
- Reduce Device Fragmentation: Android enterprise offers advanced and consistent features across all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), which streamlines management across the device lifecycle for IT. Android’s flexibility, compatibility and ever-expanding app and developer ecosystem also enables organizations to quickly react to market changes and demands.
- Streamline App Management and Distribution: Android enterprise enables IT to easily deliver and manage both public and internal apps through the Google Play Store. Google Play Protect not only ensures all apps in the Play Store are secure, but also regularly checks apps and devices for harmful behavior. If any security risks are found, users will be notified immediately.
- Future-Proof Deployments: Over the past several years, Android invested heavily and made significant strides in their solutions for purpose-built and rugged devices. As more organizations begin to migrate their legacy systems and devices to Android-compatible solutions, we’ll continue to see Android adapting to the current market demands.
VMware Support for Android Enterprise
For over a decade, VMware AirWatch technology enabled organizations to securely manage devices in tough work environments, such as a warehouse, manufacturing plant, oil rig or hospital. With the VMware Workspace ONE digital workspace platform, powered by AirWatch technology, we’re excited to make our rapid deployment and provisioning, app delivery and user enablement and remote management and control available for Android enterprise deployments.
Rapid Deployment & Provisioning
When devices are deployed outside of the corporate office and away from IT, it’s essential that enrollment and configuration be low-touch. Workspace ONE supports several onboarding options for easy and automated enrollment.
With product provisioning, IT can configure installation of Wi-Fi, VPN and email profiles, applications, files and actions. Products can be delivered to devices on demand, or based on a schedule or device conditions. For purpose-built devices, this means organizations can schedule a critical app update to occur after a worker’s shift ends and only if the device’s battery level is adequate.
App Delivery & User Enablement
Workspace ONE provides IT with multiple ways to easily configure purpose-built devices in single-app mode, using Android’s native settings or multi-app mode with the ability to prevent user access to settings, using AirWatch Launcher technology. For example, turn a retail device into a product lookup kiosk or lock-down a field device to only contain the two data input apps required for the job.
AirWatch technology also leverages OEM-specific services, such as Zebra Mobility Extensions (Mx), to further enhance device customization and control.
Remote Management & Control
When it comes to field workers, nothing’s more important than reliable remote support. With Workspace ONE remote management capabilities, IT and support teams are able to easily remotely manage and maintain, as well as support and troubleshoot, devices that remote workers need to do their job.
This significantly increases productivity and reduces downtime. For example, if a delivery truck driver’s device fails while he or she is on the road, IT can gain immediate visibility into the device, control it as if it were in their hands and resolve the issue in a matter of minutes.
Support for Android enterprise on purpose-built devices is available today with the following requirements:
- GMS-certified devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop and later
- AirWatch Console 9.2
- Android Agent 8.0+ or Zebra Mx Service 3.0+