This new support is notable because RIM has traditionally avoided ActiveSync like the plague, in an attempt to build loyalty around its BES software. And because PlayBooks don't connect to BES, IT managers cannot use BES software to secure and manage them. To address this new need for tablet management options, and for security and management features for additional mobile platforms including iOS and Android, RIM has released BlackBerry Mobile Fusion.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is a software tool that works in conjunction with the latest version of BES to help IT remotely manage PlayBook, iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones and tablets, via a Web-based Mobile Fusion Studio console. And RIM yesterday released the initial version of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, which currently only works with the PlayBook and not iOS or Android devices. (Interested parties can get a 90-day free trial for up to 500 users for a limited time. And the full version of Mobile Fusion with iOS and Android support is expected in late March.)
The BlackBerry Device Service component of Mobile Fusion Studio allows IT to manage PlayBook tablets and apply "key settings and IT policies" to PlayBooks remotely after admins associate the tablets to specific users. (That association must be made via a USB connection to a PC with RIM's BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager software installed, according to RIM.)
2) BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Security and BlackBerry Balance
As stated above, PlayBook tablets do not connect to BES software, and as such, they cannot take advantage of the security safeguards in BES. But that doesn't mean that IT managers can't securely manage PlayBooks thanks to BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and RIM's BlackBerry Balance technology, which effectively separates personal user data from "work" or corporate data stored on or accessed via PlayBook.
And the secure, corporate sections of the BlackBerry PlayBook fully support hardware encryption, so organizations that require this feature will be able to secure and employ PlayBooks in the enterprise.