VMware, Verizon Partner for Upcoming 'Dual-Identity' Smartphone

The new VMware Horizon system will enable enterprise staff members to bring their own devices to work and deploy them for work and personal use without having to forfeit the device when the worker leaves the company.

Virtualization software maker VMware revealed Oct. 19 that it has partnered with telcom Verizon Wireless to develop Android-based, 3G- and 4G-LTE-network smartphones with split personalities: one for business and one for personal use.

Mixing business and personal use on any type of IT device has always posed its own set of difficulties, especially when enterprise security is involved. The in-the-works VMware-Verizon phone system, called VMware Horizon Mobile, is designed to sort out information mixup and loss once and for all.
Enterprises utilizing this new system won't have to purchase smartphones for their employees, which has been standard procedure for years. Instead, this new system will enable enterprise staff members to bring their own devices to work and use them for both purposes without having to forfeit the device when the worker leaves the company.
Another result of this deal is that VMware gets to have its name affiliated with a smartphone for the first time.
VMware said that Horizon Mobile is designed to provide a simple way for IT departments to securely provision, manage and de-provision a corporate mobile workspace (email, data, and other applications) to an employee's Android device over-the-air, while enabling employees to retain the privacy and control of their personal mobile environments.
Similar to a VDI Setup
This environment is similar to that of a virtual desktop infrastructure, only for smartphones instead of desktop, laptop or tablet PCs. In a VDI system, all the computing and data storage is done in a central data center and not on the device itself. When the device is de-commissioned, all the corporate data belonging to the company stays within the company -- not in the device.
Thus, users of the new Horizon system will have their own virtual corporate identity on the phone that won't mix with their personal identity and data on the same phone.
VMware Horizon Mobile users will be able to access more than 250,000 applications already available in the Android Market. VMware Horizon Mobile software is expected to be available on new Verizon Wireless smartphones in the next few months, VMware said.
Verizon Wireless and VMware are working with partners to supply the components for Horizon Mobile. LG Electronics, for one example, will be one of the first to offer the new mobile devices, which are already tested and ready for use with VMware Horizon Mobile on the Verizon Wireless network.
"Bringing your own device into the enterprise is an increasingly important and challenging dynamic in today's enterprises," said Janet Schijns, vice president of Verizon Wireless Business Solutions Group. "Our enterprise customers can look forward to reduced expenses and increased employee latitude all in a secure environment -- proving once again that the employee with the best technology rules."
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's largest 4G LTE network and largest 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers.
VMware is the world's largest virtualization software maker, with various product installations in about 90 percent of the world's data centers.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...