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Google launching ‘Android Enterprise Essentials’ device management geared at SMBs

Increasing enterprise adoption of Android devices has been a long-running initiative for Google. The company is now offering its own mobile management service with Android Enterprise Essentials that’s catered towards small and medium-sized businesses. 

Google wants to provide SMBs with an easy way to protect managed devices and company data. Core aspects, which are derived from the full Android Enterprise offering that’s geared for large organizations, include:

  • Requiring a lock screen and encryption on devices to prevent unauthorized access to company data.
  • Enforcing mandatory malware protection by ensuring Google Play Protect is always on and employees can’t download apps outside of the Google Play Store.
  • Providing the ability to wipe all company data from a device in case it’s lost or stolen. 

In creating, Google focused on a “critical set of default features designed for businesses with simpler needs and smaller budgets.” This comes as SMBs are “increasingly the target of malicious attackers and may be required by local laws to protect company data.” 

And with more business and customer data residing on mobile devices, one lost or stolen phone can create a major incident that can have a large and lasting impact on your business. 

Despite that uptick, these organizations are hesitant to invest in what they perceive to be complex and costly solutions. In terms of setup, Android Enterprise Essentials automatically applies those basic security tenets:

These core features are applied automatically, so there’s nothing for users to configure and no extensive management or training is required. Companies can just purchase devices and ship or hand them off to employees with persistent policies already in place. 

Google also positions the program for “larger organizations that want to extend core protections to devices which may not need advanced device management.” It’s notable that the company is offering its own solution as there are a number of existing EMMs that take the features built into Android and provide a managed solution. Google is potentially getting an interesting revenue source here.

Android Enterprise Essentials is rolling out first in the US and UK via third-party distributors before expanding worldwide “early next year.”

Essentials can also serve as a starting point for customers who want to try out simple management at first, and potentially upgrade to more sophisticated management in the future. 

More about Android Enterprise:

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: