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For many businesses, figuring out the right technological approach to address their workforce’s mobile productivity needs is a time-consuming, stressful and inefficient process. According to Taher Behbehani, the head of Samsung Electronics America’s Mobile B2B division, both enterprises and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) struggle to determine if they should build their own solutions in house, partner with someone else or simply buy something readymade.
That’s why Samsung is launching AppStack, a new delivery mechanism for software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools and native apps designed around Samsung’s ecosystem.
“[AppStack] enables the intelligent discovery and recommendation of apps to a vertical or business,” Behbehani explained, adding that many organizations are looking for innovations that address highly specific pain points. “They’re saying, ‘Don’t give me a consumer product for a B2B use case.'”
Beyond identifying the best mobile solutions, AppStack will deliver enterprise apps in a secure container that separates them from any personal apps on a corporate user’s device, Behbehani told the audience at the Samsung Developer Conference (SDC).
B2B App Rollout Made Easy
“If I’m a new Samsung user, and I’m setting up a new device as a business owner, I can select the apps that I need to run my business and bundle them as one purchase,” explained Behbehani. “The apps are delivered to my device — or devices — at the time of activation.”
As businesses continue to use their Samsung devices, they will receive specific, curated recommendations based on the size of their organization, the industry they operate in and their usage patterns. This makes it easier for businesses to use the best tools available, and for developers to more easily connect with those who would get the most value out of their applications. These recommended apps are selected by the business and can then be rolled out either directly through the app store, or through the company’s mobile device management (MDM) system.
Devices are not laden with any bloatware or clutter; conversely, to improve efficiency of business users, devices are divided between personal and workspace apps, so users can more easily find the right app for what they need at that moment.
“We made this change because we needed to grow this ecosystem; all of us can benefit from it,” said Behbehani. “Enterprises and SMBs can discover, purchase and subscribe to apps when they need them. Developers and our partners can reach Samsung’s install base and leverage our marketing power in the marketplace. For a select number of partners and enterprises, we will provide customer support to deploy apps in their enterprise.”
To stimulate other ideas on how to close what he described as an enterprise “app gap” that amounts to an estimated $75 billion annual GDP loss in the U.S., Behbehani said Samsung is also launching a B2B community. This will include ways to connect not only online, but in person through meetups and design thinking workshops.
The new Knox Partner Program also supports developers looking to capitalize on the Samsung ecosystem by providing additional resources and support to those developing B2B apps so they can “innovate without fear,” Behbehani said. This tiered program includes assistance to get Knox Validation for applications and access to testing devices.
The B2B Growth Opportunity for Developers
While SDC offered plenty of inspiration for developers aiming to entertain or improve the lives of consumers, Behbehani pointed out that B2B represents a huge growth area. This is driven in part by the fact the device landscape is still growing, with purpose-built industrial devices and process automation becoming more popular within the enterprise, he said.
The rise of 5G networking, meanwhile, is accelerating the adoption of apps that connect to the internet of things (IoT) and those that use artificial intelligence (AI) tailored to industrial environments or business-focused sectors such as retail. Today, companies like automotive supplier Magna International are already using Samsung tablets and smartwatches to run AI, IoT and virtual reality (VR) apps that reduce downtime in its factories by 6 percent, Behbehani said.
The biggest roadblocks for B2B firms in adopting new technologies, according to Behbehani, have included the speed at which they can bring innovative ideas to market, scaling apps effectively and securing solutions, all of which AppStack and Knox Partner Program will address.
Developing for the enterprise can also be highly meaningful, Behbehani added, hearkening back to his own days as an engineering undergrad at the University of Wisconsin. During that time, he once found himself checking into an emergency room at 4:30 a.m. in late September to watch a medical device he had helped design get put to use in a pediatric surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital.
“I had a sense of pride in being an engineer, a sense of purpose. I will never forget that experience,” he said.
This sense of purpose is what he said informs the mission within Samsung’s Mobile B2B division: to empower human-driven innovations that defy barriers to progress.
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