BlackBerry Balance tilts consumer devices to enterprises
At RIM's BlackBerry World on May 2, 2011, the company launched BlackBerry Balance addressing the need for companies to support the influx of BlackBerry devices and provide the same security and management you'd expect from the BES, but deliver the end-users the opportunity to utilize their own device and personal content.
With a BES 5.0 and BlackBerry 6.0 device IT organizations can better embrace BlackBerry personal use devices allowing end users to leverage personal applications and data, while providing strong BES-level device management and security. Features go beyond core management and security and include for example the ability to wipe corporate data with no impact to personal data and prevent copy and paste from an enterprise application to a personal application.
One myth among the mobile world is that BlackBerry devices are largely corporate-liable, however, RIM, over the last several years has focused on enhancing BlackBerry devices for consumers and corresponding sticky applications such as BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, etc. - so much so that consumers' represent approximately half of their subscriber base. Further IDC expects that by 2014, more than 40% of all BlackBerry devices used for business will be individual-liable devices. In order to accommodate this growing base, RIM provides its BlackBerry Balance in an effort to encourage IT to allow non-corporate owned BlackBerry devices onto the BES. This effort, along with BES Express, its recent announcement of MDM support of iOS and Android and support of Android apps on the PlayBook enable RIM to address competition and speaks to the company's broader push to appeal to the heterogeneous environment.
BlackBerry Balance furthers the story around cost improvements for individual-liable device adoption and does so in a more competitive way than some of its other competitors. Beyond device and data plan savings existing BES customers adding BlackBerry Balance offers up competitive MDM offerings comparable to third-party solutions that charge for similar features (BlackBerry Balance is free). The prospect of RIM expanding BlackBerry Balance to iOS and Android becomes intriguing to complement the upcoming multi-platform MDM solution and drive a further wedge against third-parties actively involved in a thriving business of managing and securing Android and iOS devices.