Samsung Declares Unicorn Apocalypse on Apple, BlackBerry

Samsung has launched Solutions Exchange, a holistic, secure approach to winning enterprise customers (and crushing opponents).

Samsung bought up eight commercial slots during the Sept. 22 Emmy Awards to tell the story of an imaginary game company readying its biggest new title, Unicorn Apocalypse. The staff is young and clever; Galaxy S III and Note 2 devices are brought in and shown off as superior to (and more secure than) the BlackBerry and Apple devices used by two less-than-awesome colleagues; and both working from home and on-screen group collaborations are made possible. Ultimately, the game is a success.

"Lebron just tweeted he's addicted to Unicorn Apocalypse!" says a staffer in the final installment, before Tim Burton shows up to discuss a movie option.

If Samsung's 6 minutes of airtime didn't make it clear, its Sept. 25 announcement does: It's going after enterprise customers in a major way (and letting the rainbow unicorn blood spill where it will).

With Samsung Solutions Exchange, the world's top-selling phone maker plans to do something "extremely unique," said Tim Wagner, vice president and general manager of Samsung's Mobile Enterprise Business Unit.

"If you think of all the things our devices can do, we have very unique, consumer-focused features," said Wagner. "Think of Exchange as a very unique and first-of-its kind engagement model that is completely focused on end customer engagement and success, and that leverages our ecosystem of solutions providers and end channels."

Samsung's approach to this is three-prong. First, said Wagner, you have to offer "highly desirable" products—a task that Samsung, given its sales figures, has clearly accomplished.

Second, those devices need to be secure. In 2012, the company introduced Samsung Approved for the Enterprise, or SAFE, with the Galaxy Note and then the Galaxy S III. SAFE includes on-device, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, virtual private networks (VPNs) and mobile device management solutions (MDMs).

This February, Samsung also unveiled Knox, a container platform that separates business content from personal.

"With Knox and SAFE together, we have support for more than 460 IT policies. Our closest smartphone competitor," said Wagner, not acknowledging Apple by name, "has less than half what we have today. We've really gone above and beyond."

The third and final piece of Samsung's plan is to offer a holistic approach, providing value in a way that its competitors can't match.

The standard model for tech adoption in the enterprise has been for users to present a problem and IT to go look for a solution. During that looking process, device manufacturers have been at the mercy of all the other players involved, said Wagner.

"The model we're moving to is one where Samsung goes out and embraces the entire value chain," he explained. "Now, Samsung's sphere of influence will be over the IT department, line of business owners, software companies and the carriers."