Research In Motion (RIM) released a free update of its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion MDM solution. With the release, the company is also expanding availability of the solution to an additional 37 countries to bring its total to 81.
The Service Pack 1 update will provide additional features for iOS-based devices and PlayBook tablets. Organizations managing iOS devices will see configuration enhancements in Wi-Fi, VPN and ActiveSync service across devices, and the ability to manage the distribution of apps. Organizations managing PlayBook tablets will be able to use features including over the air enrollment and configuration of devices, full device encryption, and certificate-based authentication with Microsoft Exchange. The new features will be accessible with a pending update of the PlayBook operating system.
“We have listened to feedback from our customers about how we could help them be more effective and have prioritized the development of the new features and functionally with this update,” says Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management at RIM. Holleran suggests that the update will have larger implications on a greater number of users and devices in the near future with the impending launch of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10.
“While BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will allow customers to manage BlackBerry tablets and iOS and Android devices today, it will also prepare customers for an upgrade to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 10 when it launches together with the first of our new BlackBerry 10 smartphones,” Holleran says.
While users are waiting for the upgrade BES10, the company has released a new service pack for the current version. Service Pack 4 is available immediately for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino, and will be made available for Novell GroupWise in November.
Administrative updates to the new service pack include access control rules for groups, administration service improvements, and new security patches and bug fixes. For end users, improvements include enhanced handling of HTML email messages, support for larger email attachments, improved graphics rendering for Microsoft PowerPoint attachments, support for Microsoft Office password-protected attachments, and calendar and message enhancements.
An International MDM Alliance
RIM has leveraged its MDM solution in conjunction with the Global Enterprise Mobility Alliance (GEMA) to jointly deliver managed mobility solutions for multinational customers. This was done to bring GEMA members across platforms and countries a consistent approach to service delivery and technical expertise, enabling them to keep their mobile workforces reliably and securely connected, serviced, and able to meet the global business environment.
GEMA currently has seven members that are also “elite” members of the BlackBerry Alliance Program: Berkley Technical Services (U.K.), Emitac Mobile Solutions (Middle East, Africa, CIS, and Eastern Europe), GPXS Services (Europe), MSC Mobility (Australia and New Zealand), Mobi All Technologia (Latin America), SCHIFFL GmbH & Co. (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), and Vox Mobile (North America). GEMA is currently in discussions with other members of the alliance program that are interested in joining the initiative.
Derek Peper, VP of enterprise strategic partnerships and alliances at RIM, indicates that, while there was previously an alliance between the two entities, it is now more formal. “Mobility in multinational organizations continues to expand with both company-provisioned and BYOD devices, creating new challenges for them. RIM has successfully worked closely with the GEMA members for many years to provide our mutual customers with services and support.”
GEMA members will be provided the ability to push mandatory applications and updates to BlackBerry users and alerts to iOS and Android users of required applications and with “balance” technology, which enables a customer to use their device for both work and personal purposes by keeping business information and applications secure and separate from personal information.