BlackBerry® Balance™ technology was introduced last May, and since then I’m sure that you’ve heard the term thrown around in discussions about the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, BlackBerry smartphones, BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, and many other BlackBerry services and solutions. In short, BlackBerry Balance technology is designed to enable BlackBerry devices to be used for both business and personal purposes, without compromising company security or personal privacy. The technology is designed to intelligently partition data on your device, keeping corporate information secure without limiting your personal use of the device. For more details, check out the BlackBerry Balance presentation on SlideShare.
The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS 2.0 software update will support BlackBerry Balance technology in a few ways, continuing the theme of providing functionality for both work and play. Before digging into each of these instances, let’s take a quick look at how RIM’s new device management solution – BlackBerry® Mobile Fusion – makes use of this technology.
BlackBerry Mobile Fusion is designed to allow IT departments to manage BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the enterprise, allowing them to specify IT policies that work with BlackBerry Balance technology to secure corporate data. This device management platform is not only designed for company-provisioned hardware, but also for devices that employees may bring into the company themselves. It works seamlessly with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server to manage BlackBerry smartphones, and will include support for Android™ and iOS devices.
Got the IT side nailed down? Good. Now on to the handheld aspect.
On the device side, through BlackBerry Balance technology corporate data is identified as obtained through business applications, and is then restricted from being accessed by personal applications. It’s really that simple, and this functionality is built into apps like Messages, Calendar, and Contacts – all with customizable behaviour set by the IT policies of the company you work for. For example, IT administrators can set an IT policy where messages received in a corporate email account can’t have content copied and pasted into apps like Facebook® or Twitter®. Beyond the day-to-day use cases, BlackBerry Balance technology is also designed to enable IT administrators to remotely wipe corporate data on BlackBerry devices without wiping a user’s personal info with it.
In summary, management of corporate data is no longer an all-or-nothing situation, but can now be accomplished intuitively and pragmatically, on both personal and work-provisioned devices.
BlackBerry Balance technology is built into the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, providing a unique experience for IT administrators and end-users, where neither the corporation’s data nor the user’s content is compromised. In BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS 2.0, the personal perimeter, by default, contains personal data and applications, while the optional corporate perimeter can be fully managed by BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. Upholding our strong security standards, this corporate data is kept safe with XTS-AES 256-bit encryption.
You can also see the BlackBerry Balance technology functionality in action with BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS 2.0 in a few of the app experiences. IT policies can manage the integrated Messages, Calendar, and Contacts applications. Beyond these, Print To Go also partitions work data securely, as well as apps like Citrix® Receiver and Documents To Go®.
As the range of devices being used within organizations expands, managing these under a balance of corporate and personal priorities has been challenging for many corporations. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet OS 2.0 equipped with BlackBerry Balance technology work to provide an incomparible device management and end-user tablet experience.
Note: For BlackBerry smartphones, BlackBerry Balance technology requires BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0.3 or later, BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express v5.0.3, or MDaemon Messaging Server, BlackBerry Edition.
Are you an IT manager or IT administrator? How would you see BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and BlackBerry Balance technology improving device management within your organization? Share in the comments!