Google & Carrier Partners Unveil Zero-Touch Enrollment

September 22, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Android device deployment in IT can be time-consuming, even if a one-click solution is set up for going from the box to a user’s hand, so Google has announced that it is teaming up with carriers to create a zero-touch enrollment solution that will bring newly bought devices to your company’s doors ready to roll. When devices show up, they will already be set up with your defined corporate use policies. Once a user signs in, they will instantly gain access to policy-defined content through approved apps, and any policy-defined apps not already on the device will be downloaded and installed from a predefined location or the Play Store instantly. All four major carriers in the US are set to be on board, while Europe sees BT and Deutsche Telekom jump on the bandwagon, and the Asia-Pacific region has SoftBank and Telstra to look to. For now, Verizon is the only available US partner. OEM partners include Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, and Moto for smartphones, along with Honeywell, Zebra, and Sonim for other device types.

It should be noted that zero-touch enrollment is fully compatible with other enrollment and setup methods, and can be used in conjunction with them, or simply forgone in favor of them. Manufacturer-made solutions like Samsung’s Knox Mobile Enrollment, as well as QR codes, NFC bumps, Wi-Fi Direct, and other enrollment methods remain compatible across all devices and Android versions, even if bought with zero-touch enrollment configured. Options are not set up by the carriers; they simply sell you devices made to be compatible with zero-touch enrollment, and you set up the policies once you have the devices, assigning each device to a certain user in your network.

Getting devices with the new feature simply requires a prospective customer to ask for the option to get the process started. Once compatible devices are purchased, administrators can assign each device to a unique user, then set up policies, including things like app data, security clearance for each user, management apps, and restrictions. Once all of that is done, the device will complete enrollment once it’s been powered on and a user has signed in. True to the name, administrators never have to open the box and physically touch the device to get it set up, and setup can be done in bulk.