BlackBerry Management Center for Small Business
Free online service helps small businesses centrally manage and protect BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud.
As a rule, IT organizations prefer to extend existing investments rather than rip and replace something no matter how expensive it was to acquire. After all, the money on acquiring the technology has been already spent and the IT organization already knows how to manage that particular investment.
As a result, those who would count out Research In Motion (RIM) might want to consider how prevalent BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) software is in the enterprise. RIM recently announced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which basically turns BES into a mobile device management (MDM) platform for managing not only BlackBerry devices but also Google Android and Apple iOS devices.
Tyler Lessard, chief marketing officer of Fixmo, a provider of MDM software that runs on top of BES, says this is a significant shift for RIM in that it uses the installed base of BES to make RIM a significant player in the MDM space. On the one hand, Lessard acknowledges that may mean more competition from RIM for Fixmo, but Lessard says that Fixmo is betting that as the size of the BES installed base increases thanks to BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, the size of the opportunity for Fixmo will increase.
Lessard says the Fixmo MDM platform, which is based on technology developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, goes a lot further than BlackBerry Mobile Fusion in terms of its ability to encrypt data and give IT organizations more granular control over the security policies that can be applied to any mobile computing device.
Whether that winds up being true remains to be seen. But what is certain is that IT organizations appreciate the inherent security advantages of the BlackBerry, which many of them would be inclined to simply extend out to Apple iOS. Google Android, Microsoft Windows Phone or any other mobile computing platform.
In the meantime, it's clear that RIM is currently not prepared to deal with the onslaught of competition from Apple and Google. But the folks who make decisions in the enterprise don't always care about what's popular, so it might be premature to count RIM out just yet.