In an apparent attempt to solidify its standing in the corporate world, RIM has unveiled a new platform that allows IT specialists to more tightly manage company devices -- even those from rival manufacturers like Apple and Android. With the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software, announced this morning, companies will be able to set up rules governing employee passwords apps and other software across a variety of smartphones and tablets, including the iPhone, iPad and Android handsets. The system also allows managers to remotely wipe and lock any devices that go missing or stolen, potentially bringing enhanced security to a workplace that's become increasingly fragmented. "Our customers have been saying, 'We're moving to these different adoption models, and we'd like you on board with that,'" said Alan Panezic, vice president for enterprise product management, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Slated to launch during the first quarter of next year, Mobile Fusion represents RIM's first foray into the multi-platform management market, and may expand even further to encompass Windows Phone devices, as well. Compatible with BlackBerry OS and BBX, Mobile Fusion will also allow users to remotely manage PlayBooks from BlackBerry handsets, though that won't happen until February, when the tablet finally receives a software update. No word yet on pricing, but Panezic says it will be "competitive" with the market.
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Simplifies Management of Smartphones and Tablets for Business and Government
Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion – the Company's next-generation enterprise mobility solution and RIM's entry into the multi-platform Mobile Device Management (MDM) marketplace. Building on years of leading enterprise mobility management solutions from RIM, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will simplify the management of smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry®, Google® Android® and Apple® iOS® operating systems.
"We are pleased to introduce BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – RIM's next generation enterprise mobility solution – to make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today," said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. "BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together our industry-leading BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, all managed from one web-based console. It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations."
RIM is the leading provider of enterprise mobility solutions with over 90 percent of the Fortune 500 provisioning BlackBerry devices today. The enterprise market for smartphones and tablets continues to grow in both the company-provisioned and employee-owned (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD) categories. BYOD in particular has led to an increase in the diversity of mobile devices in use in the enterprise and new challenges for CIOs and IT departments as they struggle to manage and control wireless access to confidential company information on the corporate network. This has resulted in increased demand for mobile device management solutions.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together the market-leading BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (version 5.0.3) for BlackBerry smartphones; new management capabilities for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets built on BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology; and mobile device management for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will provide the following mobile device management capabilities for all supported mobile devices*:
• Asset management
• Configuration management
• Security and policy definition and management
• Secure and protect lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
• User- and group-based administration
• Multiple device per user capable
• Application and software management
• Connectivity management (Wi-Fi®, VPN, certificate)
• Centralized console
• High scalability
BlackBerry smartphones will continue to benefit from the many advantages of the end-to-end BlackBerry solution including the same advanced IT management, security and control available with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which is part of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. These advanced features include BlackBerry® Balance™ technology supporting the use of a single device for both work and personal purposes without compromising the organization's need to secure, manage and control confidential information; over 500 IT policies; over-the-air app and software installation and management; high availability; and much more. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will also introduce new self-service functionality for employees to secure lost or stolen BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is currently in early beta testing with select enterprise customers. RIM is now accepting customer nominations for the closed beta program which will start in January, and general availability is expected in late March.
For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/mobilefusion.
* Device security, manageability and controls will continue to vary according to the inherent capabilities of the individual device operating systems.