Dual Persona: A service making personal and business phones a single device

Dual Persona: A service making personal and business phones a single device

The Spanish telco Telefónica will soon launch a service called Dual Persona. Announced today during MWC, it will facilitate the simultaneous use of one single mobile device for both professional and personal uses.

In practical terms, Dual Persona creates two interfaces on your mobile phone – a corporate one, controlled by your employer, and a private one, which your company can’t access.

At the moment, the frontier between personal and business devices is blurred, while smartphones are increasingly used for work purposes.

More specifically, a growing number of employees are already using their own phones for work-related activities. According to Forrester, 60% of companies now allow their employees to use personal smartphones and tablets at work a trend known as BYOD – ‘Bring Your Own Device’.

However, using the same device for work and private purposes may be problematic. For instance, using your business phone to store your personal contacts means that these may end up in the company’s backup base, raising privacy concerns.

This is the problem that Dual Persona is aimed at solving, by creating a hermetic frontier between these two universes. Yet, users will be able to switch very easily between these, and will receive both work and personal notifications within both profiles. You can watch a video presentation of the service here.

While the service is commercialized as Telefónica Dual Persona service and its part of the telco’s Cloud Computing offering, it is powered by the cloud solutions provider VMWare.

According to the two companies, it will save headaches for corporate IT departments, which will be able to provide employees with a safe yet flexible mobile workspace.

As a matter of fact, the service seems best suited for large companies, where the frontier between work time and playtime is well established, which isn’t always the case in other types of jobs.

Pricing and countries where the service will first launch remain to be confirmed. However, we already know that Samsung’s Galaxy SII will be the first handset to offer this service.

According to Telefónica and VMWare, Samsung is expected to offer service compatibility with all of its devices in the coming months. As for platforms, Dual Persona is currently compatible with Android only.

Yet, supporting other manufacturers and platforms is obviously on the roadmap. During a visit to Telefónica’s Innovation Centre today, we also learned that additional features are in the plans, including dual billing and dual chip support, to build an even higher wall between your personal and business interfaces.

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