Enterprise Mobility is the buzzword for today’s businesses as they are embracing the advancements for multiple advantages. But, in the midst of a plethora of mobile devices, companies find it challenging to provide their employees with the right set of devices to meet enterprise purposes and to make it simple for their IT department to manage the devices.
For the companies who choose to deploy fully managed corporate-owned devices at work, it becomes crucial to select devices that follow a consistent deployment scheme, are easy to be streamlined and managed and support a solid security update pattern. It is indeed a critical task to buy smartphones (or choose OEMs) for work purposes that would solely serve to keep the employees connected with safe and updated hardware while enabling them to stay productive and efficient.
What is Android Enterprise Recommended?
To put it simply, Android Enterprise Recommended is a Google validated program that maintains a list of approved devices that meet a bunch of elevated enterprise-level requirements. Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program proved to be a relief for businesses who can now assuredly select, deploy and manage from a list of approved Android devices.
When it comes to using Android devices for pure business purposes users expect that the devices are equipped with some standard enterprise features and options that will stay updated with any latest software, along with the most current Android security patches and will not come loaded with carrier or manufacturer bloatware or unnecessary apps that eat up device battery and space.
So, to tackle this situation and aid companies who sought these phones, Google has come up with Android EMM Solution, especially for the enterprise users and announced the creation of Android Enterprise Recommended on February 21, 2018. As the program’s name suggests, it was conceived to guide the enterprise buyers and not the regular consumers.
How a device can make it to the AER list?
For devices to make it to the Google AER list, it is a must to meet an elevated set of hardware, deployment, security, and UX specifications. To obtain this Google certification, the devices are intensively tested against Google’s “established best practices and common requirements”. The list of requirements gives a direction to the companies about what is going to work out for their business and what won’t.
- Minimum hardware specifications for Android 7.0+ devices
- Zero-Touch enrollment for bulk deployment
- Consistent application experience in managed profiles on managed devices
- Android security updates within 90 days of release from Google
- Availability of unlocked devices from manufacturer or seller
Apart from these, there are other requirements as well. You can find the full list of requirements here.
AER benefits for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
On being AER certified, the device is granted the Android Enterprise Recommended badge that can be mentioned by the OEM in marketing and publications. For an OEM that wants to participate in the Google AER program, it is provided with enhanced technical support and training by Google, which help the participating OEM to eliminate any struggles or issues related to UX, Android Enterprise, capabilities or otherwise. Google can also choose to directly inform and train the OEM on how to fix issues with particular devices before they reach the customers. As the Android Enterprise continues to mature, it is in the best interest of the OEMs to participate in AER program to stay ahead and updated with the evolving enterprise requirements and customer standards.
Also, it is important to notify that AER as a Google certification process is applicable for per-device and not for per-OEM, which means each device will need to be verified individually to make it to the AER list. The OEM cannot get an AER certification for a whole set of devices just by submitting a single device.
The core AER advantages for companies and the key elements
Android Enterprise Recommended program is aimed to help companies select the best Android phones from chosen manufacturers that will serve the purpose of device security and easy deployment in a large and modern workplace. Let’s look at the benefits and the elements that are driving companies to adopt it.
Simplified device selection process: The AER program has introduced a list of well-chosen and approved Android devices, which simplifies the selection process for enterprise usage. These selected devices and services meet the elevated standards and requirements from partners supported and trained by Google. Look at the full list of AER selected devices here.
Consistency in deployment: AER supports consistency in management, deployment and user features that enable company IT admins to easily streamline, supervise, distribute and manage Android devices without incurring high costs for support, device servicing and deployment. Learn more about Zero-Touch enrollment and its seamless support for set-up and deployment of corporate-owned devices.
Constant security updates: According to the AER program, devices that fall under its list are regular with security patches delivered in every 90 days. Service providers of AER phones always stay updated with current and latest Android features and trainings.
Inclusion of rugged devices: Google expanded support for rugged devices, with minimum Android OS version 7.0+. Minimum device specifications of 2GB RAM, 16 GB storage, 1.1 GHz speed, 32-bit architecture, bulk enrollment with the QR code or zero-touch provisioning, MIL-STD-810G or IEC 62-2-32, min. 4′(1.2M) repeated drops to concrete, and various UI/UX and service features.
Inclusion of EMM solutions: EMM solutions that are selected and approved by the AER program provides a broad set of use cases from employee-owned to corporate-owned deployments and provide support by trained and experienced professionals. AER EMMs are known for their demonstration of proven experience across multiple Android Management policies, ability to deliver advanced security and management features, consistent deployment experience with a simplified set-up and best practices for set-up and configuration.
Find more about AER EMMs here.
Authorized and trained service providers: Android Enterprise Recommended Managed Service Providers are experts in the deployment of Android enterprise and are trained by Google on mobility architecture, implementation, technical support. They are also further trained by the AER EMM providers.
Get the list of AER MSPs here.
The list of AER devices keeps increasing
Initially, Google introduced just 22 devices as under its AER program, but as of today the total number of AER supported devices has gone up to 70 till January 2019. The list is increasing everyday with new hardware releases and security updates. Lately, Android Enterprise Recommended is seeing rapid adoption and has gained momentum to expand into rugged devices, EMMs, and MSPs. It is expected that the AER system will extend to UEM vendors and solution integrators soon. It will be interesting to see how the AER program will mature further and how enterprises will embrace it in the future.