Google has released a new Android standard for enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers – companies that make software which allows organisations to securely support employee use of mobile devices and applications.
The so-called OEMConfig standard aims to eliminate the current practice where developers designing EMM products have to build support for each feature that is included on devices by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Instead OEMConfig uses the Android Enterprise tool Managed Configurations which lets developers specify which options be can configured.
Once this is done Managed Configurations pushes this information through the Google Play application out to a company’s EMM console.
Google’s Dushyant Vipradas wrote: “Instead of integrating enterprise APIs from each OEM to support their custom features such as control of barcode scanners or enabling extra security features, EMMs can easily use an OEM-built application that configures all of the unique capabilities of a device.”
New Android Standard, OEMConfig, Aimed at EMMs
As mobile devices such as phone, tablets and smart watches have got cheaper over the years they have been widely adopted by the public and businesses alike.
Some enterprises insist employees only use company devices during the working day, while others take a more relaxed attitude, allowing personnel device to connect to the network. In both cases it is wise for IT staff to monitor devices used in a work context for internal or external threats. Many use EMM platforms which register devices, providing security teams with an overview of connected device and their threat level.
A company’s developer would normally come up with an on-premise or cloud enterprise mobility management console where employees create device enrollment tokens and management policies.
Enrollment tokens are used to bind devices to an enterprise, a process named enrollment and provisioning. Once created a token can be moved to a device and tied to a specified user. These tokens are then used to enroll company devices and facilitate the application of management policies to the enrolled devices.
Previously Google has selected nine Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) providers that meet compatibility with Android devices in a new programme launched at the start of this year.
The Android Enterprise Recommended project has launched with nine companies assured for their ability to provide technical and security issues in their Android-compatible EMM products.
BlackBerry, Google Cloud, I3 Systems, Microsoft, MobileIron, Softbank, SOTI, and VMware have all been added to the new Google programme, which validates EMMs able to deploy devices and apps consistently at scale.