RIM has announced plans to extend its BlackBerry Enterprise Solution to the support of non RIM devices. This means that Android and Apple phones and tablets will be able to be incorporated in the RIM device management and security environment.
This is a timely announcement and follows a piece1 that I wrote a few weeks ago regarding the problem of consumerisation of the workplace. RIM also says that it is responding to requests from its enterprise customers and that its target market is enterprises and government organisations.
There is a huge market outside these sectors. RIM has highlighted the problem but by focusing on big business is leaving the door open for others to play in the small and medium sized enterprise space.
It is interesting that RIM does not mention Microsoft in its press release. Presumably it sees Windows as a totally separate/mutually exclusive environment. I wouldn’t bet on that.
1 I’m not of course saying that the RIM announcement is in response to my article – we are clearly just thinking along the same lines:)
PS the RIM PR seems to have disappeared from their website for some reason. I happen to still have the copy which I have, for your delight and delectation, replicated below:
RIM Announces Multi-Platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution for Smartphones and Tablets
Device Management Solution to Provide Security, Management, and Control of BlackBerry Devices, Plus Secure Management for Other Mobile Devices
Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM, TSX: RIM) is announcing today plans for a multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution for managing and securing mobile devices for enterprises and government organizations. The solution will make available the market-leading management, security and controls of BlackBerry® Enterprise Server and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express for BlackBerry® devices plus, through RIM’s pending acquisition of ubitexx (creator of the ubi-Suite device management solution), the solution is expected to incorporate secure device management for Android and iOS based devices and tablets, all managed from a single web-based console.
“The multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is designed to address a growing market and respond to requests from enterprise customers who want a secure multi-platform device management solution from a company that already delivers the gold standard for enterprise mobility,” said Peter Devenyi, Vice President, Communications Platform Group at Research In Motion. “We recognize the opportunity to continue leading in the enterprise market by providing customers with a common platform to help simplify the management of a variety of mobile devices.”
The single web-based console is being designed to provide IT administrators with a simple and efficient way to distribute software and manage policies, inventory, security and services for BlackBerry devices, as well as other mobile devices. IT administrators will be able to manage devices over-the-air, including activating devices, distributing software and applications, locking or wiping devices, enforcing and resetting device passwords, setting IT policies, and managing optional mobile applications for end users. Certain features are expected to remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices because such capabilities are built into the design of a device’s operating system. Examples include RIM’s industry-leading push technology, network and data usage efficiency, behind-the-firewall access to enterprise applications and systems, and many of the over 550 IT policies available through BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The recently-released BlackBerry® Balance™ technology (see separate press release issued today), which supports the use of a single smartphone for both work and personal purposes without compromising the security of corporate content or the privacy of personal content, will also remain exclusive to BlackBerry devices.
Overall, as is largely understood in the enterprise market today, organizations can expect a range of security, manageability and controls depending on different device platform capabilities, with some devices further limited by the design of their operating system.
The multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will be comprised of optional architectural components based on the configuration of an organization’s mobile deployment and their operational needs. Optional components will include BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express for BlackBerry devices, and a separate, secure device management server for Android and iOS devices (based on the foundation of ubi-Suite from ubitexx). It will be possible to deploy multiple components in a virtualized environment on a single server.
Note: Registration for a product preview of the ubitexx solution is open today at www.ubitexx.com/preview.
The multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is planned for general availability later this year.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.