Samsung launched a new enterprise service called “Samsung 360 Services for Business” on Tuesday, following a disastrous Q3 guidance that warned of another weaker-than-expected earnings.
The new service basically turns Samsung into the go-to contact for all the things that ails the enterprise when dealing with fleets of mobile devices: technical support, security of mobile devices, training developers to build custom apps, even wonky things like making sure that all devices are properly licensed to use all the software people download to them.
And, unlike the Apple/IBM deal, this service won’t just cover Samsung’s products or Android but all platforms and operating systems, including iOS and Windows devices.
The new service will be led by Robin Biefait, Samsung’s Chief Enterprise Innovation Officer, who has more than 30 years of experience at Blackberry and AT&T. Samsung wouldn’t share its list of customers now, but says that “multiple Fortune 1000 companies” are in pilot tests for the service. It will be an official offering by early 2015.
Today’s announcement shows Samsung’s growing interest in the enterprise market. Last month, Samsung released the Galaxy Tab Active, its first tablet specifically designed for business customers. In fact, ABI Research, a tech market research firm, gave Samsung the top spot in its enterprise smartphone competitive assessment list last year.
But it’s also not hard to sense Samsung’s urgency here to reach for any kind of answers following Monday’s disappointing Q3 guidance report. Samsung said its Q3 operating profit is expected to be nearly 60% down from last year, as it continues to see rising competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers.
In the meantime, enterprises now have the Apple/IBM partnership to examine, too, which tempts them to buy more iOS devices.
That makes Samsung’s new service almost look like a rushed plan to counter Apple’s partnership with IBM. The only difference is Samsung’s new service has no mention of actually building native apps or cloud services for the enterprise.