While there are plenty of enterprise mobility and device management companies, they may not go deeply enough in controlling the end-user experience for an employee or a customer.
Many of these enterprise mobility startups use standalone apps that a tablet user can switch in and out of to the browser. That might be a security risk for restaurants that, for example, want to let their customers order from an iPad or a distraction for teachers that want to manage attention in the classroom.
Anfacto, a startup with talent from Google and an earlier company called 3LM that Motorola acquired, is building custom versions of the Android OS that let enterprises offer single-purpose devices for the workplace, conferences or the classroom.
“This is a level of control you can’t have with an application,” said CEO Hristo Bojinov.
Anfacto’s Android variant called FleetOS could let customers like UPS give their drivers Android tablets that they can use exclusively for tasks like scanning packages.
“The idea is that we can lock down the experience from a user standpoint,” Bojinov said. “The customer can go in and decide what applications and features can be run.”
He said a conference could give away tablets to attendees and push applications to them while they’re roaming around the event. Or a company like TaskRabbit or Uber could give their contractors phones specifically for managing errands or drives. Or they could partner with a hardware maker that wants to make tablets exclusively for kids with only specific, child-friendly apps.
The company is already profitable through a few early contracts, and took some strategic funding from DoCoMo Capital. They say FleetOS competes against expensive legacy solutions in the older Windows PC market.
Bojinov said he got the idea for the company because so many hardware makers were asking for it. Their solution has a policy server where an IT administrator can set the rules for what’s allowed or disallowed on their devices. They can also manage graphical resources like wall papers to offer a more customized or personal experience.
The company has 12 people on its team, with most of them in Palo Alto. They’re also opening an office in Bulgaria, where Bojinov grew up.