Samsung is the biggest name in Android today, so it only makes sense for Google to work with the company to better improve the Android ecosystem. Today, Samsung and Google are announcing a new Android standard which makes it easier for Enterprise users to control OEM features of a device.
OEMConfig is a new standard for the Android operating system which expands on the partnership between Google and Samsung to improve how Android works for enterprise users. Detailed in a post on The Keyword, Google explains that this new standard is designed to make it easier to EMMs, Enterprise Mobility Management providers, to control features of a device that are provided by an OEM. With this standard, a single provided app on the device can provide EMMs with the options to configure all of these options.
The premise of OEMconfig is simple: allow an OEM provided app to configure all of the customized OEM-specific features on the device, instead of having EMMs build support for each and every OEM-specific feature in their products. OEMConfig leverages a feature of Android Enterprise known as managed configurations, and is part of the standard published on the Appconfig community.
Expansive feature sets like Samsung KPE, which deliver a broad range of security and fine-grained hardware controls, have presented a challenge for EMMs to implement. With OEMconfig, EMMs can now offer their customers a full complement of KPE features on Android Enterprise without having to build the supplemental feature support in their consoles.
Google says that Samsung will be releasing an update to the Knox Service Plugin this Spring which will feature support for OEMConfig. All EMM vendors which have validated solutions for Android Enterprise will be able to support this new standard immediately after it’s released.
Further, Google mentions that it has worked with Samsung to develop a common client library for service providers that has a single set of APIs for both Samsung and Android zero-touch capable devices. That library will be available this Spring.
Android Enterprise offers a simple bulk, over-the-air enrollment method called zero-touch enrollment. Samsung also offers Knox Mobile Enrollment, which provides similar functionality for Samsung devices as part of their Knox Deployment Program (KDP)… it has been a burden for operators and resellers to integrate and offer both services.
To help alleviate this challenge, Google and Samsung have developed a common client library for service providers with a single set of APIs that will integrate with both Android zero-touch capable devices and Samsung devices. Distribution of the library will begin this spring 2019 with Google and Samsung supporting ecosystem partners as they move to this simplified integration model.