Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>

Michael Finneran | February 25, 2013 |


Samsung on the Red Carpet

Samsung on the Red Carpet Can a big Oscar-night ad buy translate into enterprise device adoption?

Can a big Oscar-night ad buy translate into enterprise device adoption?

Well the Academy Awards were on last night with Argo taking Best Picture (though no "Best Director" for Ben Affleck), Daniel Day-Lewis getting Best Actor for Lincoln (they shouldn't even have had to vote on that one), and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress in the delightfully off-beat Silver Linings Playbook (still charming and gorgeous even after a tumble climbing the stairs to the stage). However, what really caught my eye was Samsung showing up as a major sponsor with a total of four and a half minutes of ads pushing Samsung SAFE.

SAFE, which originally stood for "Samsung Approved for Enterprise" but has now been shortened to "Samsung for Enterprise", is Samsung's program to provide devices that are enterprise ready and support such key features as on-device encryption and support from a number of mobile device management (MDM) vendors. We'll be hearing more about Samsung's enterprise push at Enterprise Connect next month. However, I'm wondering if this Academy Awards gambit was money well spent.

The storyline deals with a small company trying to create a videogame called "Unicorn Apocalypse", and the kick-off is a team meeting where the boss announces that employees will now be allowed to use any mobile device they want--"BYOD" in prime time? One vignette shows a stodgy dude waving a BlackBerry saying "This is business", but my favorite is this developer type picking up his new Galaxy from the IT gal and asking "Are you sure these are secure enough?"--when was the last time you heard that from a user?

There's also a scene where a woman is asked if she is going to consolidate her phones, but replies, "No, I have a system. This one is for work, and this one is for home" over a shot of a BlackBerry and an iPhone sitting side by side. They do have some of the funny stuff that Samsung has been putting into its anti-iPhone ads like one guy saying "He wants it to look like a real unicorn", and another dolt chiming in "The way they look in real life." From that we learn that "real life unicorns have rainbow blood."

It's nice to see Samsung putting some real money into advertising (including a cameo from their spokesman LeBron James), but is this going to score points? The Academy Awards is a major TV event, and the LA Times estimated ads were going for $1.7 million for a 30-second spot; that would put Samsung's bill at $8.5 million. Ads from JC Penney, AT&T, Coke, Sprint, Procter & Gamble, Hyundai, Nokia,, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's and Best Buy were on display, but is this where you're going to find people who know (or care) what "AES 256-bit encryption plus support for VPN and MDM" really means?

Samsung is far and away the biggest provider of Android smartphones, but they still have some work to do in closing the enterprise gap with Apple. ComScore puts Android's share of the US market at 53% to Apple's 36% for the three months ending December 2012, but in the enterprise we see the exact opposite. A recent survey we ran for Information Week found that for company-provided smartphones accessing corporate email systems, Apple beat out Android 38% to 21%; for personally owned devices, Apple led 50% to 27%--that's almost 2-to-1 in favor of Apple.

Amazingly, Apple has done that while essentially thumbing its nose at enterprise buyers. With a whole gaggle of former BlackBerry execs at the helm, Samsung's enterprise sales group is clearly trying to get a bigger piece of the enterprise market, particularly with BlackBerry on the ropes. We applaud the enterprise focus--but "unicorns"?

"A long time ago when the earth was green, there were more kinds of animals than you've ever seen...."

Follow Michael Finneran on Twitter and Google+!
Michael Finneran on Google+


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.