Last summer, health-care startup Preventice asked Samsung Electronics if it would create a custom version of its popular Galaxy S II phone. Preventice was putting the finishing touches on a product that used a smartphone to transmit data from a patient’s heart monitor to a doctor, and it needed Samsung to disable downloads, which might interfere with a cellular connection. In less than six weeks Samsung made the necessary changes and agreed to pick up roughly $40,000 in engineering costs. “I saw a huge company with huge resources move very quickly,” says Preventice Chief Executive Officer Jon Otterstatter. “Samsung was very aggressive.”
Samsung’s mobile-electronics empire was built mostly on consumers. Now it’s making its first big push to woo companies. This so-called enterprise market includes companies that distribute smartphones and tablets to employees, who use them for checking e-mail and tasks such as tracking sales, as well as companies like Preventice that want to resell the devices as part of their own products. “We’ve made the decision to be No. 1 in enterprise,” says Timothy Wagner, who runs the Texas-based Samsung unit that’s leading the effort.