Most people with business-only smart phones use a separate personal device because they don’t want to conduct their affairs on a phone their corporate overseers can access. Companies like VMWare and LG are working on a virtual solution that creates two interfaces on smart phones, one for managing corporate communications and another for personal use, but that solution hasn’t hit the market yet.
In lieu of that approach a mobile startup named Enterproid offers an app-based solution. Available today for private beta, the Divide application adds a business profile to Android 2.2 devices, one that includes corporate-grade security, remote IT connectivity, and gated access to business communications like email, SMS, and instant messages.
Here’s how it works: Open the Divide application and a separate Android interface for corporate business dealings exclusively opens. Behind that partition are special apps for email, SMS, and text messages that apply only to corporate communications and is locked behind a password-protected wall accessible to IT departments and the user alone.
The rest of the phone’s data – personal calls, non-work emails, text messages to friends, holiday photos, and family videos - is completely inaccessible to your company and its tech staff.
Meanwhile on the business side, all the standard enterprise features are present. Divide’s business profile includes remote wipe tools (but won’t wipe the rest of the smart phone’s content) and access to a cloud-based device management system for monitoring and controlling the handset over the web, sans any (costly) server setup. That last bit is useful for small businesses that want to self-execute IT operations as well as individual users who just want a firmer line between business and personal communications.
Because there is no app store access under the business profile, apps installed under the personal account can be made available for access on the business side manually. In the future, Enterproid will release a Divide APK that will allow subscribing companies to build applications designed specifically for their customers (for example, a company intranet app). We’re sure third-party developers will be let in on the party, too.
Divide is available for gadgets running Android 2.2 or higher now, with iOS and Windows Phone 7 support to follow in the indeterminate future. Want to give Divide a trial run? Download the beta at www.enterproid.com before the yet-to-be-determined subscription prices kick in.