Google on Thursday is adding a new way for businesses to deploy Android devices, enabling them to have the devices configured before they're shipped to employees.
"Zero-touch enrollment" eliminates the need for useres to configure devices manually and ensures corporate policies are in place. "Support is also much easier, with no extra steps for end-users; they just sign in and get access to their work apps and data," product manager James Nugent wrote in a blog post.
Google is working with several OEMs currently to bring zero-touch to their devices, including Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG Electronics, HTC, Motorola, Honeywell, and Zebra. The first devices that will support the new deployment option include the Huawei Mate 10, Sony Xperia XZ1, and XZ1 Compact.
Starting Thursday, Verizon is offering zero-touch enrollment in the US on the Pixel phone and will eventually offer it for other Android devices. Later this year, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will offer it in the US, while BT and Deutsche Telekom will offer it in Europe. Softbank and Telstra plan to offer zero-touch enrollment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Meanwhile, businesses can specify configurations and device policies with software from a range of enterprise mobility management providers (EMMs) including VMware AirWatch, BlackBerry, MobileIron, IBM, SOTI, and GSuite.