Today, we have some very exciting news to share – Research In Motion® (RIM®) and Microsoft® have entered into an agreement to make a new RIM-hosted BlackBerry®-enterprise service available for Microsoft® Office® 365. The new RIM-hosted service will offer a feature set that is similar to BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express, and will initially be available for Microsoft Exchange Online for Office 365 on a subscription basis starting at $0 per user per month (plus a BlackBerry service plan). The service is expected to be available in closed beta in mid-2011.
Customers are going to see three key benefits with this new service:
Lower cost: As part of the new agreement between RIM and Microsoft, Microsoft is changing the price of the current Microsoft-hosted BlackBerry enterprise service for Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) -Standard from $10 per user per month (plus a BlackBerry service plan) to $0 per user per month (plus a BlackBerry service plan). (BPOS is the predecessor to Office 365.) This means that customers will enjoy a cloud-based BlackBerry service with a set of features similar to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express that is priced competitively with ActiveSync services. This $0 pricing will also be available for the RIM-hosted BlackBerry enterprise service for Microsoft Office 365.
More capabilities: This is an extension of the trusted BlackBerry solution – hosted, licensed and supported by RIM. In addition to BlackBerry wireless sync with Exchange Online and smartphone management and controls, administrators will be able to use BlackBerry® Balance™ technology to keep corporate data separate from personal data on BlackBerry devices; group users for easy management; create and manage more device policies; change device passwords and settings; and locate and manage multiple BlackBerry users at once with extensive search criteria. In addition, employees will have more self-service options for greater control over their BlackBerry smartphones. For instance, they will be able to reset their password if forgotten, and remotely lock their device or wipe their device’s memory if the device is lost or stolen.
Integrated service: Customers will continue to have a holistic BlackBerry experience with single sign-on for administrators and seamless sign-up.
Looking forward, the RIM-hosted BlackBerry enterprise service for Office 365 will replace the existing Microsoft-hosted BlackBerry enterprise service that is available today for BPOS – Standard.
We couldn’t be more excited about this direction! This latest addition to RIM’s cloud-based services signals a new era of possibilities for enterprise customers. RIM is committed to an open and collaborative partner ecosystem with support for open architecture and tools, multiple platforms and cloud implementations that work for our partners and customers.
We’re looking forward to your feedback and will be providing you with more updates soon!