BlackBerry Bacchanalia: Everything But A 12-Step Program

By  Susan Nunziata — May 12, 2009

Research In Motion's Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2009 in Orlando, May 4-8, 2009, was chock-a-block with case studies and panel discussions about the various ways enterprises in government, healthcare and the private sector are putting their smartphones to productive use.

Discussions also centered around the many challenges of mobilizing your workforce, including the burden placed on IT administrators and support teams, as well as the various compliance and regulatory concerns that certain industry sectors have to contend with.

One of the hottest topics was the debate over whether to taking an employee-liable versus corporate-liable route to device deployment. We promise more on these issues next week.

With the company's Curve smartphone surpassing the iPhone in 1Q sales, the only thing missing was a 12-step meeting for those whose BlackBerry addictions have gotten the better of them.

Product Roundup
On the device front, RIM is reportedly planning the next generation of the BlackBerry Storm, as well as an EDGE-only device, the 8520, which uses an optical trackball for navigation. Meanwhile, smartphones with the new 5.0 OS are expected later this year.

The conference marked AT&T's debut of the Curve 8900, which is slated for release in early summer. The device includes both WiFi and GPS, and a microSD expandable memory card slot for storing multimedia. 

Research In Motion kicked off WES on May 4 with the official release of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 for Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange.

Naturally, IBM announced that it is optimizing its Lotus suite of applications for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0.

Research In Motion also announced a strategic alliance with HP that, among other solutions, will offer CloudPrint for BlackBerry smartphones. The nifty web-based service will allow users to print emails, documents, photos and Web pages using a BlackBerry smartphone to the nearest printer at any location. It's a printer-agnostic service that will be offered to BlackBerry Internet Service subscribers as well as BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers.

SteelWorks debuted its new SteelWorks mobile Appliance for BES 5.0, including the EverAvail suite that that leverage the high-availability features of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 to provide robust, self-contained, automated fail-over and facilities for disaster back-up/recovery and patch management.

RIM is also progressing with its unified communications play, announcing its latest Mobile Voice Server optimized for use with Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

The solution, developed by RIM as part of Cisco's Technology Developer Program, features deeper integration with BlackBerry Enterprise Server and direct SIP integration between Cisco Unified Communications Manager and BlackBerry MVS Server for improved manageability, scalability and ease of deployment.

Verizon and Sprint are emphasizing their respective support for MVS as part their Fixed-Mobile Convergence offerings.

For Verizon, the services are key to its overall strategy to provide mobile phone users with the same capabilities available on an office phone.

Sprint is making MVS an integral part of its next-generation Sprint Mobile Extension services. Fayetteville State University in North Carolina -- a Sprint Mobile Extension customer for the past two years -- is in the process of migrating to the BlackBerry MVS.

More Product Highlights

  • G&D debuted mobile security cards that will integrate with the new BlackBerry 5.0 device software when it launches later this year. The card provides an independent cryptographic module that authenticates users and also encrypts information sent to and from a BlackBerry.
  • gwabbit introduced its automatic email contact manager for BlackBerry, which can manage signatures and contacts on any BlackBerry device for a mere $9.95 a year.
  • On the platform management side, Boxtone debuted its new v4.0 software for BlackBerry platform management, monitoring and support.
  • Zenprise introduced its new Device Manager module for its MobileManager solution that gives help desk personnel and administrators of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution access to real-time information about the phones. The solution enables them to find lost or stolen handsets as well as proactively monitor and diagnose issues.
  • Tangoe debuted the latest version of its CommCare Enterprise Mobility Management solution, which includes new monitoring functionality for BlackBerry Enterprise Servers.
  • LogMeIn launched its Ignition service for the BlackBerry Storm, which enables users to access their Internet-connected Mac or PC via their smartphones.
  • If voice security is your thing, Cellcrypt introduced an end-to-end real-time voice encryption solution for BlackBerrys.
  • On the CRM front, Maximizer Mobile CRM is now certified to work on the Sprint network.

For those who like to plan ahead, RIM has already announced dates for its 2010 event: April 27-29.

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