Samsung Mobile Business Summit in Madrid

by Volker Weber

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I was in Madrid on invitation by Samsung to catch up on their B2B offerings and came back quite impressed, both from visiting Madrid as well as some of the information I learned today.

Madrid was simply fantastic. Since I had to stay overnight, I flew in at noon yesterday and explored the city by walking around in the afternoon. Instead of calling a taxi I bought a two day tourist ticket for public transporation at the airport. 14,20 € covered all train and bus rides as well as the airport access fees and the cost of the smart card you need to ride the Metro. Highly recommended. Buy this before you take the elevator down into the station. This is a modern underground train system, clean and efficient, with easily understood signage. I never felt lost.

Last night we had dinner at the Restaurante Sal Negra which gets a ★★★★★ recommendation from me. We started at 8 in the evening when the restaurant was completely empty, and stayed until 11 when it was packed.

Today's event saw a couple of good speakers, starting off with Prof. Nick Bostrom from Oxford University speaking about AI, Joeng Wook Tak, VP B2B Enterprise Business Team, Thomas Riedel, Head of Samsung Networks Europe, and Nick Dawson, who spoke about Samsung's KNOX portfolio.

I already knew most of the things that Samsung presented at the event, but I got a better sense of how seriously Samsung is venturing into the enterprise market. The company is traditionally strong in the consumer market, but they are talking to business and government customers to meet their specific needs like long term software updates, long sales cycles, and have developed some unique capabilities, for instance the management of firmware releases across all devices within an enterprise. It's called E-FOTA (Enterprise Firmware Over The Air) and it enables you to standardize your devices on a tested firmware release that does not have to be the latest available.

I also saw an interesting device for the public sector like police forces or emergency service that combines a Walkie Talkie over LTE with a regular smartphone, all with a brighter flashlight and a louder speaker, in a ruggedized package. Ruggedized Android devices is a growth market and Samsung is also looking at devices for retail that combine a barcode scanner, a credit card reader, and a walkie-talkie to build something that could replace multiple devices used in retail.

Since Samsung can build their own devices from silicon to the display in their own factory and have invested in a secure software stack over many years, they can now claim to have one of the most secure architectures, especially since BlackBerry has folded their smartphone operations. They still have their secure network which is an important asset, but on the device side, Samsung has won. And I see no (Android) competitor challeging them in this market. Apple is strong in the enterprise market, but they don't have the same breadth of offering as Samsung. This won't be the last time I will be looking at Samsung in a business context.

Comments

You must have been lucky to get into the restaurant at 8. I remember a Madrid visit when my daughter was 6 - we had a hard time finding a place to eat before 9 pm. Anna was almost starving ...

Axel Koerv, 2018-11-22

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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