IBM to offer BlackBerry device to enterprise customers

IBM Corp. will team up with Canada's Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM) to offer international wireless communication to IBM's enterprise customers via RIM's BlackBerry wireless pager devices, the two companies said Wednesday.

The tie-up will involve IBM Global Services adding BlackBerry to its range of wireless offerings, according to an IBM statement. IBM also intends to set up a team to work on integrating the BlackBerry device with e-mail and intranet back-end systems. The team will also offer business consulting, systems integration and design services.

The companies didn't say when the first fruits of their combined work would be available, and couldn't immediately be reached.

Earlier this month, RIM unveiled versions of BlackBerry to support users of Domino and Notes groupware software from IBM subsidiary Lotus Development Corp. The pagers are due to ship next month costing from US$399 for a single device. RIM and Lotus have also committed to working together on mobile and wireless communications devices.

Back in March of last year, IBM and network services provider Motient Corp. signed a deal to offer Notes access to RIM pagers.

IBM, based in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or via the Internet at http://www.ibm.com/. RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, can be reached at +1-519-888-7465 or via the Internet at http://www.rim.net/.

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