RIM to offer BlackBerry management via Office 365

Free tool to help find and lock lost devices also will be more broadly available

By InfoWorld staff, InfoWorld |  On-demand Software, BlackBerry, Microsoft

Research in Motion announced today that users of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud service, which is expected to be available by 2012 and provide Exchange, Office, and other Microsoft technologies from a hosted environment, will support BlackBerry devices. Although there will be no monthly charge per user, businesses will still need to pay for a master BlackBerry enterprise service plan. RIM also said that Microsoft is now letting customers of Business Productivity Onine Standard -- Office 365's predecessor -- manage BlackBerrys with no monthly fee beyond the master service plan cost.

RIM will host the BlackBerry management service, interfacing with the Office 365's Exchange instance and its ActveSync policies. RIM says the available policies will be the same as available through RIM's standalone BlackBerry Enterprise Server, so users will not be limited to just Exchange's policy options.

[ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

RIM also announced it was expanding its other cloud offerings, including making its free BlackBerry Protect tool more broadly available. The tool lets users lock or wipe a lost or stolen BlackBerry, as well as have it ring in a loud tone to help users find one hiding under a couch or in a deskful of papers. Apple offers a similar free service called Find My iPhone, and some Motorola Android devices have the same capability through its free MotoBlur service.


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