Android, iOS Capabilities for BES Could Benefit SMBs

Paul Mah
Slide Show

Seven Sexy Smartphones

This latest batch of smartphones calls attention to glasses-free 3D technology, front- and rear-facing cameras and Snapdragon processors.

Research In Motion (RIM) earlier last week announced plans to build multiplatform support into its powerful BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) software. According to the official press release, the company's pending acquisition of software company ubitexx will be used to expand BES beyond BlackBerry smartphones, with secure management of Android and iOS-based devices and tablets specifically highlighted.

 

ubitexx is a German-based software company that makes the ubi-Suite device management software, which on top of the iOS and Android platforms, also works with Symbian, Windows Phone and BlackBerry smartphones. My guess is that RIM made the decision to acquire ubitexx in the midst of helping ubitexx build BlackBerry support into its multiplatform management software. For now, the multiplatform BlackBerry Enterprise Solution is expected to be ready for general availability later this year.

 

RIM envisions the use of a single Web-based console where IT administrators can manage policies and smartphone inventory, and distribute software as well as the provisioning of services for BlackBerry and other mobile devices. It is expected that supported devices will be able to be managed over the air, with the ability to remotely lock and wipe devices, among other tasks.

 


In a prepared statement, Peter Devenyi, vice president of the Communications Platform Group at Research In Motion shared the corporate vision:

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.

With over 550 IT policies available on BES, the venerable server-side software has long been the gold standard in smartphone security and management, and is widely deployed in large enterprises and governments around the world. Due to pressures from competing platforms, RIM early last year released a free version of its flagship software called BES Express, also popularly known as BES-X. While BES-X is a stripped-down version containing much fewer security and management policies, it is a highly usable product that is a suitable choice for many small or even mid-sized businesses.

 

Of course, it is not known at the moment whether RIM will eventually release a free variant of the multiplatform BES. My personal opinion is that RIM has no choice but to allow iOS and Android support to filter down to BES-X in order to capture a crucial stake of the market share of smartphones and tablets. If that were to happen, small and mid-sized businesses would stand to benefit immensely from the enhanced visibility and ease of management.



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May 15, 2011 10:17 AM JOE MCGLONE JOE MCGLONE  says:

PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW IMPLEMENTING MULTIPLATFORM SUPPORT ON BES X WILL CAPTURE CRITIAL SMARTPHONE AND TABLET MARKET SHARE????????  I ASSUME YOU MEAN FOR DEVICES LIKE CURVE, BOLD TORCH AND PLAYBOOK.  IF BES X SUPPORTS AAPLE DEVICES, FOR EXAMPLE, HOW DOES THAT SELL RIMM DEVIVES???

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May 16, 2011 4:35 AM Paul Mah Paul Mah  says: in response to JOE MCGLONE

Dear Joe, the main thrust of my blog is how the implementation of multi-platform devices will benefit SMBs in general.  I've assumed that the reason how it will benefit RIM is obvious, and hence did not elaborate on it.

The reason is simple: by implementing multi-platform support, companies that are currently torn between an all-or-nothing approach (Switch to Apple, ditch BBs) will no longer have to do so.  This helps retain RIM's existing user-base, and help CIOs/IT Managers maintain the case for keeping BBs against a backdrop of users clamoring to use their more attractive iPhones and Android devices at work.

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