“Our software can create different “virtual phones” within a single smartphone”


With an aim to drive evolution of smartphone experience and deliver unique value proposition for different set of users, Canada based Graphite Software’s Secure Spaces solution can enable the device owner to create as many “virtual phones” as needed on their device.

Robert Grapes VP, Marketing, Silent Circle Phone, Graphite Software speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s focus and its plans for India and Asian markets.


How is Graphite Software redefining the mobile user experience?

Mobile phones have undergone a dramatic technical evolution but have not delivered the same degree of evolution when it comes to the User experience. We still have a device with limited home-screen real estate, no easy way to partition the phone to best match our daily needs, no means to protect the accounts and data that we store along side every other app on our phone, no means to confidently use our phone at work and at home, and more.

The mobile phone has not evolved from the Users perspective. Graphite Software’s Secure Spaces solution enables the device owner to create as many “virtual phones” as needed on their device. Why not have 5 different home-screens: one for work, one for each child, one for online shopping, etc.

With Secure Spaces each “Space” is isolated from every other Space on the device. Your child cannot change the settings of your phone while they are playing games in their Space. Your employer cannot see or change anything else on your phone except the work Space.

Each Space can have different launchers, wallpapers, themes, apps, accounts, data to allow for a custom experience in each. If you want a new Space create one. If you are attending a trade show for 4 days get the Space for the event and then delete it when you are finished with the conference. Now that is how my phone needs to work with me every day!

What are some of the big benefits that Blackphone brings for the end users as well as business user community?

Silent Circle’s Blackphone, from it’s inception, has been focused on the privacy of the individual and the Enterprise. Secure Spaces contributes to that goal by providing the means to isolate apps, accounts and data into separate, isolated “Spaces”.

An Enterprise is able to secure, manage and control the apps and data used by their employees with the confidence that if lost the device can be locked and the data wiped to prevent any loss. The employee gains the ability to have many personal Spaces that are not visible to their employer so that their device can be used for more than just work and thus prevents having to carry two or more phones.

Today a lot of enterprise critical data is sitting on their mobile devices – in such a scenario, what are your offerings for the enterprise community?

The Secure Spaces Management Service delivers a Cloud-based console that IT administrators use to create, configure and maintain the Spaces that are deployed to employee devices. The console allows for the definition of the apps that are allowed or not allowed to be installed on the device, the device settings that are allowed, the security settings, and a wide range of actions to update policies or lock/wipe the device and more.

Secure Spaces includes an API that allows EMM providers to integrate with the system to enable “Space-aware” EMM with the benefit of using a single console to manage the work Space on a device.

How do you look at the changing security landscape for the android users?

Security challenges exist at many levels for any mobile user. The Android operating system and the threats against it are continually changing. App stores are full of good and bad apps and the user is left to discover which is which. Social engineering remains a very real non-technical threat.

It is not possible to address all of the threats with a single solution but providing layers of protection can go a long way to mitigating the risks. At Graphite Software our emphasis is on compartmentalizing and isolating apps, accounts and data that belong together. Instead of downloading a new, unknown app into the same storage/memory as your banking app or work app why not download it into a Quarantine Space until it can be scanned/used and you are comfortable moving it to another Space. Why store your kids games right next to your work apps? You don’t keep household chemicals and cleaners in your food cupboard, why should everything on your phone be mixed together?

What are the trends that are likely to shape things in near future?

Mobile devices are rapidly taking over as the #1 means of accessing the Internet. They are often used in combination with the TV viewing experience. They are mobile network and WiFi network capable. They are “always on”. Today, mobile advertising is nascent and limited almost entirely to the mobile gaming industry. Tomorrow, mobile advertising will exceed all other forms of advertising revenue. With this comes a series of user experience and privacy challenges that will need to be addressed. Done correctly mobile advertising will be viewed as a valuable, personalized and convenient service rather than an intrusive and annoying inconvenience. The reality is that it will take time and many bad experiences and privacy breaches before the model is solidified and accepted.

What kind of innovations are being driven by Graphite software towards better securing the android experience?

Graphite Software continues to embrace and extend Android but with an emphasis on the device owner and the use cases of the individual. Mobile phones are very personal devices, much more than tablets, and so our innovations are about improving the mobile user experience and security for the device owner and ensuring that their device works within the various contexts of their daily lives.

Simple things like “should outbound phone calls continue to be available when switching to the Kid’s Space?”, “what Spaces should be available when I am on the employers network”, “should my contacts be available in every Space or just those that I select?”. They seem like simple and obvious questions but only Graphite Software is addressing them with the Secure Spaces solution.

What are the key geographies for your operations today? and what are your plans to target India, Asia and Africa regions?

Graphite Software partners with the device OEMs to embed the Secure Spaces technology. We spend a great deal of time and energy in China and India to create these partnerships and to get devices onto the market. Both China and India are strategic regions for Graphite Software sales and marketing campaigns and these will ramp up through 2016 as more Secure Spaces ready devices become available.

Based in North America, we do have sales and marketing efforts here as well but a much larger percentage of our business comes from Asia and India. We do not yet have any plans for Africa but we do understand that most countries are leap-frogging straight to mobile networks and devices and have the same experience and privacy concerns.

What kind of growth are you looking at – and where is this growth likely to come from?

As an early stage tech company we look for aggressive double and triple digit growth. We see this growth in the consumer markets in Asia and the Enterprise markets in North America, Europe and Asia. As mobile advertising takes hold with the large brands our Spaces technology delivers a unique platform for consumer engagement across the globe.