For years, the business use cases of mobile devices went as far as text, email, and calls. But, thanks to lower costs, expanded capabilities and new customer touchpoints, smartphones and tablets are showing up everywhere — from direct customer use to mobile fleets to point-of-delivery healthcare.
These specalized use case have lead to more intensive set up and deployment processes for businesses. Configuring dedicated devices with specialized apps used to require working with manufacturers to create custom industrial-strength hardware — which came at a high price point.
But now, in-house IT teams can complete these projects internally with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) devices. All Samsung customers also have access to Knox Platform for Enterprise (KPE) and the Knox Service Plugin (KSP) — licensed, free-to-use tools that are key to successful customization.
Even if a particular specialized configuration isn’t available directly from manufacturers, the expansiveness of the Android market means that someone, somewhere, is building an inexpensive add-on that will meet your needs. All of these app-dedicated devices are run on the standard Android OS, complete with automatic software updates and global app store infrastructure.
Customizing your devices
Inexpensive devices and standardized software are appealing, but IT teams will need something more bespoke than the standard Android user interface and normal Android experience. More desirably, dedicated devices should boot up running the right app, and end users should be blocked from changing the device settings. Enter the world of device customization.
Most IT teams are customizing smartphones and tablets via mobile device management (MDM), also called enterprise mobility management (EMM) and unified endpoint management (UEM). But standard, off-the-shelf MDM/EMM/UEM settings may not be sufficient for your highly customized business apps. KPE enables deep customization, with control over device hardware and granular configuration settings that aren’t available in most MDM tools.
These configuration settings are available to all Samsung customers under the free KPE application programming interface (API) license. Using KSP in your favorite MDM tool delivers easy and immediate access to a whole world of special hardware customizations — without the MDM vendor needing to update their software at all.
Let’s use an example. An airline finds that upgrading their in-flight entertainment systems is expensive and time-consuming, and having maintenance fix even one seatback unit can wreak havoc on air traffic schedules. As an alternative, the airline has decided to hand out tablets to passengers so they can access the same entertainment content, at lower ongoing costs to the airline and lower impact on flight schedules. These tablets have to be heavily customized: The airline doesn’t want passengers playing with the device settings, installing unauthorized software or using the tablets for anything other than their intended application.
In this scenario you would want to disable the device speaker and only allow access to the headphone jack. That’s not something you can control with standard Android APIs. But with a standard MDM tool and the Knox Service Plugin, Knox APIs give you full control to make these customizations on Galaxy tablets.
You would probably also want to control the device’s Wi-Fi connection, perhaps connecting to a hidden SSID and using only the 5GHz Wi-Fi band, for maximum performance and least interference. This level of control is beyond the scope of standard Android APIs, but is easy to achieve with the Knox APIs included with KPE.
KPE puts you in control
There are many capabilties accessible via the Knox API that aren’t built into the standard Android configuration APIs. You can gain control of everything from the bootup screen to the hardware buttons to detailed Wi-Fi settings and USB access.
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Galaxy smartphones and tablets even have a special Kiosk mode — again, managed through the Knox APIs and KSP — which is designed for dedicated devices that run special applications, to make this use case rock solid.
By using Samsung’s Knox APIs and KSP, your business IT teams can customize devices within the context of your existing MDM solution. There’s no need to install new tools or add new products, so you get faster training, startup and implementation. And the Knox APIs available as part of KPE make mobile kiosks simple, secure and goof-proof.
Learn more about how Knox Suite provides the end-to-end mobile management and security solutions you need to keep your business running as efficiently as possible. And if you’re just getting started with your MDM — or want some tips on how to streamline your processes — check out this free beginner’s guide.