Can BES 10 save BlackBerry?

Powerful new MDM tool for BlackBerry, Apple and Android devices could give enterprises a reason not to jump ship

By Mike Heck, Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, BES 10, BlackBerry

BlackBerry Management Studio provides a simplified way to perform many common day-to-day tasks for devices in your organization. From the web console, we viewed the devices assigned to a user and clearly saw the administrative tasks we could perform for each device, such as resending an IT policy. Further, I assigned user accounts to groups based on common criteria, including user location or device model. Conveniently, Management Studio links to the associated administration console so you can quickly perform more advanced tasks, perhaps creating very granular IT policies.

Is BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 enough?

BlackBerry seems to be going all out in accommodating its core enterprise clients and getting them onboard with their new OS and phones. Beyond integrating multiple device management products to reduce the work of technical staff, BlackBerry is also letting customers trade up their existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server licenses on a one for one basis for free, through Dec. 31. However, organizations still need to pay the per-device perpetual license, which is $90 each in volume, and BlackBerry charges separately for support and consulting services.

So, is this enough to keep BlackBerry in the game? I believe BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 demonstrates that BlackBerry hasn't lost its edge in security and other aspects of device management. BlackBerry notes that about 1,600 customers have enrolled in the BES 10 readiness program. Moreover, BES 10 has already received FIPS 140-2 certification; this computer security standard allows BES 10 to be used by U.S. government agencies. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it would pilot BES early this year.

But for BlackBerry to become truly relevant again, it must stop the defection of individual purchasers as they embrace iOS and Android devices. BB 10 OS and the BlackBerry Z10 phone have generated positive interest and sales. The hardware available now doesn't leapfrog anything from Apple, Nokia or Samsung - but it's solid and complete at launch.

There are roughly 100 MDM competitors, including Good Technology, MobileIron and Zenprise (now part of Citrix). The advantage BlackBerry holds is that it's established in many enterprises globally and has embraced the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy for a while. BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 manages BB 10, iOS and Android devices with aplomb - and provides some fairly unique features with work and personal workspaces.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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