RIM has already shown it's willing to dip into other platforms if it thinks that will boost its market appeal - the arrival of Android apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook later this year will be evidence of that - but the company hasn't forgotten that enterprise users will want to securely manage their broadening ecosystem. The new multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will allow admins to control and manage not only BlackBerry smartphones and QNX tablets, like the PlayBook, but also Android and Apple iOS devices too.
The latter will be managed by a separate, secure device management server, based on ubitexx's ubi-Suite; using that, it will be possible to deploy multiple components in a virtualized environment on a single server. A single web-based interface will be used to control all devices, no matter the platform, including activations, distributing software and applications, locking or wiping devices, enforcing and resetting device passwords, setting IT policies, and managing optional mobile applications.
Some of the functionality is BlackBerry OS-dependent, of course, and as such won't work with Android or iOS phones and tablets; after all, RIM want to persuade you to buy a Bold 9900 somehow. A preview of the multi-platform system from ubitexx is available now, and the multi-platform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will launch properly later in 2011.
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® BalanceTM 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.