We've heard rumblings that RIM may be planning to bring its popular BlackBerry Messenger application to Android and iOS, and although those rumors haven't mounted to much more than that, the company did announce today that it's prepping a different product with support for those two competing mobile platforms. Dubbed BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, the software will allow companies to remotely manage Android and iOS devices used by employees similar to the way in which BlackBerry Enterprise Server (which will now be rolled into Mobile Fusion) works with BlackBerry products. Mobile Fusion will allow for things like remote lock, remote wipe and application management, though RIM notes that the amount of security and control in Mobile Fusion will vary depending on the features built in to each different operating system.
A survey recently showed that both iPhones and Android devices are gaining steam in the workplace, with iOS even beating out BlackBerry, thanks at least in part to the fact that employees are increasingly being allowed to use their own devices for work. The announcement of Mobile Fusion could help RIM to stay relevant in the enterprise, even if many workers are slowly ditching their BlackBerrys, thanks to the fact that many companies already use BES. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be available in a closed beta program beginning in January, with general availability expected to kick off in March. The full press release is available for your perusal down below.
RIM Announces BlackBerry Mobile Fusion - The Next Generation Enterprise Mobility Solution for BlackBerry, Android and iOS Smartphones and Tablets
Simplifies Management of Smartphones and Tablets for Business and Government
Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion – the Company’s next-generation enterprise mobility solution and RIM’s entry into the multi-platform Mobile Device Management (MDM) marketplace. Building on years of leading enterprise mobility management solutions from RIM, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will simplify the management of smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry®, Google® Android® and Apple® iOS® operating systems.
“We are pleased to introduce BlackBerry Mobile Fusion – RIM’s next generation enterprise mobility solution – to make it easier for our business and government customers to manage the diversity of devices in their operations today,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together our industry-leading BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for BlackBerry devices with mobile device management capabilities for iOS and Android devices, all managed from one web-based console. It provides the necessary management capabilities to allow IT departments to confidently oversee the use of both company-owned and employee-owned mobile devices within their organizations.”
RIM is the leading provider of enterprise mobility solutions with over 90 percent of the Fortune 500 provisioning BlackBerry devices today. The enterprise market for smartphones and tablets continues to grow in both the company-provisioned and employee-owned (Bring Your Own Device or BYOD) categories. BYOD in particular has led to an increase in the diversity of mobile devices in use in the enterprise and new challenges for CIOs and IT departments as they struggle to manage and control wireless access to confidential company information on the corporate network. This has resulted in increased demand for mobile device management solutions.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion brings together the market-leading BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (version 5.0.3) for BlackBerry smartphones; new management capabilities for BlackBerry PlayBook tablets built on BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology; and mobile device management for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will provide the following mobile device management capabilities for all supported mobile devices*:
• Asset management
• Configuration management
• Security and policy definition and management
• Secure and protect lost or stolen devices (remote lock, wipe)
• User- and group-based administration
• Multiple device per user capable
• Application and software management
• Connectivity management (Wi-Fi®, VPN, certificate)
• Centralized console
• High scalability
BlackBerry smartphones will continue to benefit from the many advantages of the end-to-end BlackBerry solution including the same advanced IT management, security and control available with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.3, which is part of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. These advanced features include BlackBerry® Balance™ technology supporting the use of a single device for both work and personal purposes without compromising the organization’s need to secure, manage and control confidential information; over 500 IT policies; over-the-air app and software installation and management; high availability; and much more. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will also introduce new self-service functionality for employees to secure lost or stolen BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is currently in early beta testing with select enterprise customers. RIM is now accepting customer nominations for the closed beta program which will start in January, and general availability is expected in late March.
For more information, visit www.blackberry.com/mobilefusion.
* Device security, manageability and controls will continue to vary according to the inherent capabilities of the individual device operating systems.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.