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May 3, 2011
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. At least, that’s what it looks like Blackberry company RIM is doing. But whether the company is hedging its bets or genuinely focused on the future, RIM has acknowledged iOS and Android as key players in the mobile workforce. The next version of Blackberry Enterprise Server will now support iOS and Android management. Read on for the details and channel implications …
For the uninitiated, Blackberry Enterprise Server manages mobile devices for the enterprise or governmental organizations, and allows for a high level of security for connected devices, management of business applications and enhanced IT control over devices in the workplace and which resources they’re connected to. It’s all via a single web console that allows for policy enforcement over-the-air, including deactivation of devices and remote wiping services.
RIM’s pending acquisition of ubitexx, a cross-platform device management solution company, however, gives it the ability to support other OSes, and so RIM will be integrating and incorporating that technology with its own to bring Android and iOS devices under its wing. In RIM’s press release, the company attributes the “growing market” and increased “requests” from customers as the impetus for the sudden adoption of competitors’ platforms.
The multiplatform solution will be enabled through a series of optional “architectural components” built around the Blackberry Enterprise Server, though RIM admits that “a separate, secure device management server for Android and iOS devices,” is necessary, although it “… will be possible to deploy multiple components in a virtualized environment on a single server.” General availability is set for later in 2011.
What does this mean generally for the channel? It’s an ongoing confirmation of my favorite subject, the consumerization of IT. More importantly, it’s a validation of iOS and Android as serious workplace players, by arguably the king of mobile work devices, RIM. That could lead to greater adoption of mobile devices in general, and play right into what I’ve been talking about all along: VARs and MSPs can capitalize by offering services and infrastructure to support the growing mobile masses.
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