As smartphones become a commodity in our work and personal lives, it's getting increasingly challenging to balance productivity with protecting sensitive data. Some business users may be forced to carry one device for personal use and another for work, while more permissive organizations might take some risks by allowing them to access corporate data from their personal device.
Mobile networking startup Enterproid believes they've come up with a solution that makes mobile computing more efficient and gives companies the ability to still maintain a secure mobile environment. Called Divide, the solution involves a platform that allows users to create separate profiles for personal and professional use on each Android device.
The one for professional use includes enhanced security, access control, remote wipe capabilities and a set of enterprise-grade versions of applications like email, a web browser, instant messaging and SMS.
Divide runs on ActiveSync so data doesn't actually flow through Enterproid. This means any corporate mail service that uses ActiveSync is compatible with Divide and companies can be at ease that Enterproid won't process any sensitive data on their servers. Businesses set their own IT policies and can manage employees' phones through a web interface.
The two profiles are partially aware of each other as you can see notifications related to your work profile while using the personal profile. Users can easily switch back and forth between them, but no data can cross the division, so that no business data is compromised in the personal profile and vice versa.
Enterproid is capitalizing on what they call the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend. According to the startup, users want to carry the latest and greatest device, or the one that adjusts best to their preferences, without the frustration of having to carry around separate smartphones for personal and business use. Their proposition recently received a vote of confidence in the form of $11 million in a first-round funding from companies like Comcast, Google and Qualcomm.
It's an interesting idea that could end up challenging BlackBerry in enterprise-grade management and security -- an area where the Canadian firm still shines. Enterproid is working with carriers and manufacturers to develop partnerships and plans to extend the service to iOS and Windows Phone 7 platforms in the future.
The app is currently in beta and will debut soon for download on the Android market. If you are feeling adventurous and can sideload apps to your Android 2.2 (Froyo) device here are some instructions on how to get Divide up an running.
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