Google unveils Android Enterprise Essentials to help SMBs protect their mobile devices

Google today announced a new mobile management service for small and medium-sized businesses. Android Enterprise Essentials, as it is called, is designed to provide a way for companies to protect enterprise mobile devices including the business data stored in them.

According to the company, the service's features borrow some of the functionalities from Android Enterprise device management and security tools built for large organizations. The result is a set of basic solutions for businesses with simpler requirements and smaller budgets. The new service includes fundamental device management capabilities such as requiring employees to use a lock screen and encryption to protect their enterprise mobile devices. It also blocks apps outside the Google Play Store and allows businesses to remotely delete all company data from a phone when it is lost or stolen.

Those security policies are automatically applied so employees won't have to configure on their own devices. Instead, SMBs only need to purchase Android devices and ship them to employees.

While Android Enterprise Essentials is primarily intended for small businesses, some large organizations can use the service to apply basic protections to devices with no need for advanced management services. They can also use it to get started with simple management first before upgrading to more sophisticated solutions in the future.

Google says Android Enterprise Essentials will initially roll out in partnership with a few distributors such as Synnex in the U.S. and Tech Data in the UK. The service will be available through additional resellers in the future, with plans to launch it worldwide early next year.

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