RIM has hinted at the possibility of more flexible control over non-BlackBerry devices from the company's servers, making it more straightforward for enterprise clients to manage phones and tablets running Android, iOS and other platforms. VP Pete Devenyi told AllThingsD that RIM had wondered whether there is "the possibility that RIM might extend capabilities to make it easier for those corporations to manage those devices" as an extension of BlackBerry Connect.
"BlackBerry is and will continue to be dominant in most corporations. It’s not going to be the only device, given the fact that consumers have the choice to bring in their own devices, and IT departments are often letting them in. So there’s a question there. Do those corporations have to manage those devices differently or is there the possibility that RIM might extend capabilities to make it easier for those corporations to manage those devices as well" Pete Devenyi, Vice President, RIM
BlackBerry Connect already allows control of some non-RIM devices via the servers, but requires those devices to communicate using BlackBerry protocols. A more complex setup as Devenyi is describing, he claims, would be "done differently" since it would not use those RIM protocols.
"It is not something that we would say is never going to happen. If enough of our customers really want us to do it, we know that BlackBerry management is far and away the best management console in the world, and if the right thing to do is to extend a subset of those capabilities to be able to manage other devices, it’s worthy of a conversation."
The hint does not mean that RIM is necessarily planning to bring coveted services like BlackBerry Messenger to rival platforms, however, and such a move would seem unlikely as it would potentially rob the company of a significant differentiator. Instead, it would more likely mean that enterprise-friendly functionality such as remote-wipe and tracking could be more easily implemented across a range of devices.