VMware fits work phone into personal phone

The software company is tinkering away with Verizon and Telefonica to help make it easier for you to bring your own smartphone to work.

VMware Horizon Mobile screenshot

If you’re sick of having to carry around two smartphones, one for work and one for your personal life, there are options coming that will save you grief and the need to carry multiple devices everywhere.

One such product is the VMware Horizon Mobile solution. Basically, this platform enables a user to run a “phone-in-a-phone,” meaning both work and personal mobile environments separately on the same device. Users would be able to have two phone numbers and data accounts on the same smartphone.

Think of it like a partition on a computer hard drive, but in terms of virtualization with far less dedicated space for the work phone, and it’s much easier to toggle between the two user interfaces.

The work environment is entirely encrypted and tied to the requirements of the respective enterprise providing the phone number (and possibly the smartphone), but the personal side is unaffected and can download as well as use any apps.

VMware Horizon Mobile screenshot

Hoofar Razavi, director of product management for VMware, explained to me during the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco last week that VMware will be working with the mobile OEMs to make devices enterprise-ready so that the end user can buy whatever device they like, and then the IT department can issue the virtual work phone over-the-air.

“By the time you get that corporate phone, it’s good for use,” said Razavi.

As seen in the side screenshots, the personal phone is truly the main screen with an icon to the “work phone.” When one clicks on that it takes you to the VMware UI, seen in the second image. The work side should take up less than 1GB of space, and it also allows for a corporate app store with pre-approved apps (i.e. Salesforce, etc.) so that users don’t need to worry about more expenses and the configuration.

Management for that store as well as the devices can be controlled by IT departments (alleviating some of those bring-your-own-device security worries) in the platform seen below.

Although VMware Horizon Mobile hasn’t been released yet, the technology should be 100 percent applicable to any mobile device on any operating system when it becomes available.

Razavi noted that Telefonica has announced they will enable two phone lines, but Verizon hasn’t publicly announced their intentions just yet. Final implementation will be up to the carrier.

For a closer look at VMware’s mobile initiatives, check out the promo video about VMware’s partnership with LG below:

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "VMware prepping 'phone-in-a-phone' for enterprise customers."

 

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