Enterproid is a new mobile startup launching today which helps companies better manage the personal smartphones used by employees for work purposes. The first product from Enterproid is Divide, a platform for separating work and personal profiles on one device, and allowing them to be managed separately. With this new service, I.T. has limited access to the device, as compared with the fully-managed deployments of business-only smartphones in years past.
I.T. can still wipe data from lost or stolen phones, but only corporate data. It can deploy enterprise apps over-the-air, but it can't see what personal apps a user has installed. And it can't track the location of a phone unless the employee gives it permission to do so.
Meanwhile, the employees in a organization where Divide is used are empowered like never before. They have access to a self-service dashboard from a cloud-based platform called "ARC" where they can track voice and data usage, they see their device's location and they can even wipe their data from the device - all without I.T.'s involvement.
For I.T., Control Where it Matters
If that sounds like a deal that would make the control-freak I.T. admins uncomfortable, Divide offers some enterprise-ready features that should sweeten the deal. On the work "side" of the device, enterprise-grade applications for email, contacts, calendar, text messaging, IM and Web browsing are provided, and they sync with ActiveSync-compatible systems, including Microsoft Exchange, Google Apps and Lotus Notes.
I.T. still has the ability to set policies on the devices - for example, to enforce encryption or to specify under what scenarios an employee can connect to the network. It can also enforce legal terms of service, like the management of email signatures, and it can require a password to be entered every time a user switches from the personal profile to the work one.
The switching process is done by a simple double-tap of the "home" button.
Divide also includes a secure API (application programming interface) that allows third-parties (or even I.T. itself) to write apps that access corporate data. These apps can then be sent down to end users' devices over-the-air.
Finally, I.T. can brand the business profile to their liking, right down to the background image and the icons that appear on the homescreen.
Private Beta Today & Other Company Details
Today, Enterproid launches into private beta via a sign-up form on its website. A mid-2011 commercial launch on the Android platform is planned with support for Windows Phone 7 and iOS devices to soon follow.
There are some interesting co-founders behind Enterproid, it's worth mentioning: CEO Andrew Toy formerly served as VP of Mobile and Syndication Technology at MTV Networks, VP of Business Development Alexander Trewby spent 10 years at Morgan Stanley as VP of Mobile Development and VP of Engineering David Zhu was previously Director of Engineering at iOS-focused startup Smule, the maker of a slew of #1 hits on the iTunes App Store.