RIM welcomes Office 365 users into the fold with BlackBerry Business Cloud Services

For wary Office 365 enterprises who've been reluctant to dip their toes into the beta pond, today will certainly be memorable in the IT room: Research in Motion has gone ahead and blessed BlackBerry Business Cloud Services as ready for prime time. The software, which has been in beta stage since October, allows BlackBerry users to easily integrate with their firm's Office 365 deployment. Users can expect synchronization with their Exchange email, contacts and calendars, along with the ability to remotely wipe or lock their data should the device go missing. Likewise, IT gurus may take advantage of remote administration and wireless activation of the handsets. The software is free and will work for all medium-sized and enterprise subscribers of Office 365. So go ahead and uncork that dusty bottle of champagne, or absent that, feel free to flavor up the Folgers a bit. The press release just after the break, and you'll definitely want to prepare yourself.

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RIM Launches BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365

Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced general availability of BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new service for business and government organizations that extends Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry® smartphones and allows customers to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. The service is available at no additional charge to current medium-sized or enterprise subscribers of the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online and works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans.

"RIM is pleased to launch BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365. This new cloud-based option allows customers to cost-effectively support mobility across their organizations and easily manage and secure their BlackBerry deployments," said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. "We continue to build upon the end-to-end BlackBerry solution for our business and government customers with both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, a range of technical support options to suit any size organization, and a growing ecosystem of apps and services for users."

"Microsoft's partnership with RIM exemplifies our commitment to providing customers with the best productivity experience across the PC, browser and phone," said Julia White, Senior Director of Microsoft's Exchange Product Management Group. "The availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is great news for Office 365 and BlackBerry customers who want to get the maximum benefit from these two business collaboration services."

BlackBerry Business Cloud Services offers advanced administration and flexible smartphone self-service features to support an organization's BlackBerry deployment in the cloud. Key features include:

Wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar and organizer data from a BlackBerry smartphone

BlackBerry® Balance™ technology, which presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure

An intuitive web-based console for IT administrators to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from anywhere

Online access to employee self-service smartphone security functions, allowing users to easily reset a device password or remotely lock or wipe a device in the event of loss or theft

Managed service providers, systems integrators, carriers, resellers and other partners can also use the cloud service to manage BlackBerry deployments on behalf of their customers.

The service is available today in over 50 countries. Customers can go to to get started.