Samsung Said to Partner SAP to Push Corporate Use of Android
Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- SAP AG and Samsung Electronics Co. are teaming up to make mobile devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system safer to use as corporate tools, according to people familiar with the matter.
SAP, the largest maker of enterprise-management software, and Suwon, Korea-based Samsung will present their plans next week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, said the people, who declined to be named because the details aren't public. The cooperation will include e-mail encryption as well as making handsets compatible with device-management systems that remotely update software and toggle phone functions such as switching the camera on and off, one of the people said.
The partnership is SAP's first deal of this kind with a maker of Android phones and follows agreements with Research in Motion Ltd. for the BlackBerry platform and Apple Inc. for iPhone and iPad devices. Samsung, the second-biggest smartphone manufacturer behind Apple, is aiming to sell more handsets to corporate clients after the Android platform became the most popular operating system for smartphones.
"Companies need more pre-configured tablets and smartphones which comply with their advanced security requirements," said Ulrich Trabert, a software analyst at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt who has a "sell" recommendation on SAP. "Naturally, SAP is looking for a partner who is dominant on the Android platform."
Spokesmen for Walldorf, Germany-based SAP and Samsung declined to comment.
Pick Your Device
Handset manufacturers benefit from the so-called consumerization of information technology, in which people use technology gadgets for both personal and work tasks, and as more companies allow employees to pick their mobile device of choice.
SAP added technology to help bring its software onto smartphones and tablets by acquiring Sybase Inc. in 2010 for $5.8 billion. Growth in revenue from mobile applications is part of the German company's strategy to exceed 20 billion euros ($26.5 billion) in annual revenue in 2015.
Apple passed Samsung to become the world's biggest smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter on surging sales of its iPhone, researcher Gartner Inc. said this month. Google's Android software ran on more than half of all smartphones sold.
Global sales of such handsets that use computerlike processors and can handle business e-mail and streaming video increased 47 percent to 149 million units, according to Gartner.
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