RIM to Offer Free Version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server

RIM to Offer Free Version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server

rim-blackberryIn March 2010, SMBs will be able to get in on the push-messaging action with BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, a totally free offering that will help connect employees' BlackBerries to Microsoft Exchange or Windows Small Business Server. Here's what MSPs should know.

"In a marketplace where smartphones are becoming ubiquitous, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express significantly raises the bar by providing a cost-effective solution that allows companies of all sizes to support enterprise-grade mobile connectivity for all employees without compromising security or manageability," said Research in Motion President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in a prepared statement.

Given that it's going to be free, it's unlikely that MSPs servicing small businesses will be able to cash out on BES Express installations. But it's going to have remote administration capabilities in a web interface, so the savvy services provider can probably leverage BES Express by adding it to their portfolio of SMB offerings.

Also of note: A growing number of MSPs are offering various BlackBerry services. One name that comes to mind is Intermedia.

Still, I have to wonder at the logic of this most recent RIM move -- it's certainly going to earn RIM a lot of goodwill in the channel, but I have to believe that they make a lot of money from BES deployments. Are they anticipating more BlackBerry device sales as more SMBs are able to use the platform?

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