January 15, 2013, 3:15 PM — There's good news for a change for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, as monitoring-software vendor SpectorSoft today announced its first software support for BlackBerry in the enterprise.
"BlackBerry is very strong in certain places, like finance and government," says Nick Cavalancia, vice president of marketing at SpectorSoft, which today announced Spector 360 7.5, an employee-monitoring package for centralized recording and alerting about what employees do on their Windows PCs, Apple Macs, and now company-issued BlackBerries. "The BlackBerry is still in 90% of the Fortune 500. And we do believe BlackBerry is a secure mobile-device platform."
However, the latest SpectorSoft monitoring software for the enterprise, which costs $110 per computer and $57 per BlackBerry device, can't do as much to track employee activity on the BlackBerry as on the PC or Mac due to constraints related to mobile-platform processing and bandwidth limit and costs.
For instance, although the SpectorSoft software could capture the entire record of virtually everything an employee might do on a computer via the monitoring-software agent, there is no SpectorSoft agent for the BlackBerry and the monitoring is limited to tasks that involve real-time monitoring and recording email, chat and call-record and duration via BlackBerry server integration. Spector 360 7.5 also doesn't support BlackBerry 10, expected out by the end of the month.
But the software can be used for many purposes to watch what employees do with their BlackBerry devices. The software, which will capture emails and chat, can send alerts to IT managers if employees overstep agreed-upon uses of the BlackBerry. And it could monitor if employees appeared to be in touch with the employer's competitors, for instance, by analyzing call records, said Cavalancia.