Google acquires employee smart phone management firm Divide

Google has acquired Divide, a software company which allows corporations to manage employees' smart phones, reports said.

According to PC World, the app was built around the company's BYOD (bring your own device) mobile platform, which was designed to allow workers to merge professional apps and personal apps to their smart phone.

According to the website of the company, employees enjoyed privacy on their personal device as also on a suite of professional-grade business apps to get the work done.

According to Divide, it was being acquired by Google, and its members would be joining Google's Android team.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Divide, which was founded by former Morgan Stanley information-technology executives, helped companies manage the mobile devices used by their employees.

Though Android is the world's most popular mobile-operating system, its presence is limited in companies as the lucrative enterprise market is dominated by BlackBerry. However, Google and Apple are trying to wrest market share from the struggling Canada-based company.

With many companies now allowing employees to connect their own smart phones and tablets to the corporate network, under a practice known as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, corporate technology managers are faced with several challenges.

Corporate technology managers generally had preferred devices using Apple's iOS operating system given the ease with which they can be set up and the relative security they offer, according to Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, a technology research firm, according to the Wall Street Journal. For instance, apps undergo extensive testing by Apple before they are released to the company's App Store, which makes IT managers more comfortable, according to Jones.

According to Jones, Google had exerted less control over the apps in its Play store and some Android apps had contained malware in the past.

Moreover, Android devices were made by many manufacturers and used different version of Google's operating system, according to Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at MobileIron, another mobile-device-security company, while Apple and BlackBerry made all of their own devices, simplifying the challenge.

According to Jones, buying Divide would help Google build security and control into the Android operating system. This, he added, was a smart move and probably something Google should have done earlier.