RIM BlackBerry Enterprise Server to support iOS, Android devices

Research In Motion’s press release follows, verbatim:

Research In Motion 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.

SOURCE: Research In Motion

MacDailyNews Take: You know, for when enterprises no longer use BlackBerries.


  1. Nice idea actually!

    If they execute this correctly it could be a hell of a product.
    We are piloting the iPad and Android devices at my work and this is exactly what we were just talking about the other day, not RIM per say, but hashing out how we were going to provide a consistent management policy across multiple devices.

    If they do it correctly we’ll probably buy it. Assuming of course it shows up in a few months instead of years and we aren’t forced to come up with another solution!

    1. And that would be stupid. Why add another layer of the BES when other products manage iOS while using Active Sync nicely, without the hassles and downtime we see on the BES’
      Boxtone and Casper Suite are two that are excellent. No thank you RIM.

  2. Hedging their bets, eh?

    I can see this becoming a way for RIM to survive, while still peddling a few blackberries to IT shops with little vision (nobody got fired for buying IBM/Microsoft/Blackberry…).

    1. …and help Apple expand?

      This looks like RIM admitting that they’re at the end of their monopoly in Enterprise, and they’re looking to shift their services to include their mobile competitors in order to keep on selling those Enterprise Server Software Licenses.

      The interesting part of all of this is that “forward looking” companies have already sought to bring iOS/Android into their fold and have sought out alternative (non-RIM) solutions.

      With RIM now looking to bring iOS/Android into their fold, the real net effect is that the less forward looking companies will be able to deploy iOS/Android too.

      Thus, it appears that RIM’s hope is merely that by offering such services, they’ll be able to retain the BES share of sales that they do now…because where’s the sales growth upside? To perhaps win back customers that they just lost?


  3. RIM’s slide into irrelevance continues apace. Soon, in the not too distant future, the shell of the once thriving RIM hulking around corporate IT departments will be reduced to Blackberry Enterprise Solution. 

    When that happens RIM will be forced to merge its Blackberry business with Sony, like Ericsson did when its handset business was in trouble, which will be known by its acronym RIMSE (and wash). That will the time the remaining part of RIM comprising BES will be left servicing iPhones in the enterprise. 

    BB will be nothing more than obsolete junk and a distant memory in the collective consciousness of the IT hive, otherwise known as the CIO Borg. RIM, innovate or be assimilated. Apple will eat your lunch.

  4. HAHAHAHAH talk about waaayyy too late but still good idea for them to somewhat help hold onto some business.

    I officially a month ago was excited to shut down the BES server services on our Lotus Notes mail server. It was a glorious day. We had 30 or so blackberry’s and now we have 1 and he just uses web mail now because we have everyone else on iphones 😀

    RIM will join in the success that Palm is today…. a tombstone in history of a has been.

  5. BES requires all data to go through BES servers. Once upon a time, it was believed this was secure (I.e., not even RIM could see the clear data, just the encrypted data). However, RIM apparently has given some countries a “master key” to monitor RIM traffic (I.e., to see encrypted data as clear text). Email on the iPhone using a solution like Good provides all the same advantages as BES, and does so without the middle-man server. RIM needs to change their architecture, fast, if they want to convience people their product is secure IMHO. Otherwise, I think it is dead on arrival.

  6. Smart move from RIM at last!
    They know the iOS storm can’t be stopped anytime soon so they’re developing enterprise solutions that will bridge the gap between blackberry enterprise service and iOS, so the IT boneheads can finally use a superior platform of continuous innovation like iOS…

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