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In addition to new smartphones, BlackBerry (formerly known as Research In Motion) also released new software to help businesses manage fleets of smartphones.But the new software could be too little, too late, writes IT consultant Michael Davis, president of External IT and a columnist for InformationWeek
First, the good news. BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10 has two new features that enterprises should love.
One feature makes BlackBerry devices super secure. BES 10 now has military-grade encryption. Even if the BlackBerry is on a public WiFi connection, hackers can’t snoop on emails or Web apps.
The second feature is even better and something that other tech companies, like VMware, have been working on for years. It’s called BlackBerry Balance.
Balance allows the phone to be divided into two separate phones: personal and work. You can have, for instance, two Box apps, one for work documents the other for personal and the two never mix. Your company can dictate security restrictions on your work email, but not for your private Gmail, etc.
That’s good stuff, but maybe not good enough.
These features only work with the new BlackBerry phones.
Plus “RIM didn’t do anything to reduce the costs and complexity” of BES, contends Davis. RIM is charging about $99 per phone for the BES licence, plus other potential monthly fees, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Clint Boulton.
That’s a problem because there are a ton of alternatives to BES that work better for a company that needs to manage iPhones and Android devices too. It’s an entire industry known as Mobile Device Management.
And ultimately, users want to choose their own devices. So unless most employees want the new BlackBerry phones, a company has little reason to buy the new BES 10 software, Davis notes.
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