Real estate firm plans mobile management upgrade

By , Computerworld |  Mobile & Wireless, BlackBerry, BoxTone

BoxTone Inc. today announced its BlackBerry management tools are being extended to a variety of smartphones, including the iPhone, Palm Pre, Windows Mobile devices and smartphones using ActiveSync.

The new version, Boxtone 5.0, will start at $35 per user , according to BoxTone officials.

One real estate services company using Boxtone version 4, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) in Chicago, plans to migrate to version 5 in two months, said Joe Ryan, senior vice president of IT operations in the Americas for JLL, in an e-mail.

Ryan said the new version will help JLL monitor and manage ActiveSync devices, and could provide self-service features to help remote users activate and provide some basic management of devices on their own.

Ryan said JLL has invested in BoxTone to improve the user experience for about 4,000 workers using BlackBerry devices. He didn't say what devices using ActiveSync might be under BoxTone management.

BoxTone helps IT workers know when a problem with server software develops even before most users notice the problem and call with complaints, Ryan said. If a wireless carrier is having network problems, the IT department can notify the users early. "We have had cases where an entire region of the country was down for one carrier, and we can e-mail users in that area, letting them know their carrier is having issues," he said.

BoxTone "definitely saves us some money," he said, by reducing the number of trouble tickets that users create and by helping to spot users not using their BlackBerry devices so JLL can reclaim the BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses to save money.

Ryan called the BoxTone software "more of the Cadillac" version of tools he reviewed, which included Conceivium and BesMon, which is built into the BES server.

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