Bring your own fruit…

I caught up with our RIM/ Blackberry rep today, and found out some stuff that I didn’t know, which was actually really interesting. Obviously quite a few organisations run BES to provide secure email. If you are anything like us, you will have a fleet of BBs for your ‘road warriors’. You’ll probably also have a load of people with smart phones of all persuasions, wanting to connect them to your email system.

A host of providers – GOOD, Mobile Iron, Sybase and others – have sprung up recently providing different takes on ways to secure employee-owned devices for email etc. Alongside that, I suppose it could be said that maybe there is more of a buzz around Android and Apple at the minute rather than Blackberry handsets. That had led me to think that RIM had some serious work to do in this space.

Sounds like they are on it already – I understand that in March, they will release Fusion, which is an add-on to an existing BES implementation that will enable you to manage iOS and Android devices from your BES server. This is more of a Mobile Iron style approach where you can enforce settings and use encryption on the device itself, rather than a GOOD approach where you get an encrypted app that you manage. I slightly prefer this approach as it doesn’t change the experience of the device that your users choose.

This could present an interesting and useful departure for RIM, where they continue to produce hardware, but also use their existing installed base to manage other devices. I don’t think that’s a bad strategy at all – just a shame that they aren’t shouting about it yet!

Kudos to RIM for recognising that Blackberry is not the only fruit in a BYOD world…

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One Response to “Bring your own fruit…”

  1. Graham Bunting Says:

    Interesting that RIM has made this bold (no pun intended) and positive move, given that BYOD is such a big “wave” and that there are other vendors queuing up to eat RIM’s lunch. I guess they are caught in the moment – BBs are not sexy devices like iPhones or the latest Androids – the apps are not cutting the mustard especially, and the opportunity is there for Apple et al to “make hay”. Seems like RIM are not going to be counted out just yet.

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