Samsung: We want enterprises to think of us like they do IBM

Samsung is best known for its consumer-focused products, but the company is beginning to take enterprise more seriously and wants to gain recognition from the business community.

“We want businesses to think about us like they think about IBM,” Ken Daniels, Samsung senior director for strategic alliances in enterprise mobility, said Wednesday at the CTIA Enterprise conference in San Diego. “Wherever you have an office in the world, you can buy a Samsung phone, so why not think of us as an asset to business?”

Daniels said Samsung has established many partnerships to help the company branch out, including with American Airlines, Sybase, SOTI and Juniper Networks. The company also now offers its Enterprise Alliance Program to make it easier for other companies to work directly with Samsung.

“We have an ecosystem of partners that no one else has,” Daniels said. “We’re not going to have a 10,000-person sales team so we need our partners.”

I pressed Daniels on how Samsung could be expected to be taken as seriously as a player like IBM by businesses when it doesn’t offer many back-end services itself and would need to rely on “partners.” Daniels said it will be a gradual process, and eventually the company will offer more business-focused services and products.

“We’re starting with making our consumer-focused products friendlier for business,” Daniels said. “We’re looking at delivering software and hardware that’s enterprise-friendly, and working with enterprise developers.”

While I get that Samsung wants to make a deep footprint in the enterprise sector, that will be difficult to accomplish unless the company starts to offer its own services, such as infrastructure and cloud offerings. Whether it does this by acquiring companies or by setting up entirely new operations, it is certainly doable. It will be a tough battle either way since the space is already crowded.

Do you think Samsung will be able to make an inroad to the enterprise, or will it be stuck with a perception as a consumer-only technology company?

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